The Committee On Design Is Going To Columbus, Indiana

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The Committee On Design is holding its Spring Conference in Columbus, Indiana April 12 – 15, 2012. COD Chair Mike Mense selected Columbus as part of his year’s theme: Defining Architectural Design Excellence.

His premise:

Why, after so many years of excellent public and commercial architecture in Columbus, Indiana, are there almost no modern houses?

Why, when you drive north from Florida’s South Beach passing miles and miles of waterfront houses, less than one percent are anything we would call architecture?

Why do Americans drive designer cars and drink designer coffee but live, most all of them, in a house or apartment that is pretending to be the home of some wealthy ancestors long deceased?

Are we determined as a profession to continue to define ourselves in ways that isolate us from the greater part of the society in which we practice?

Can we find some definitions of architectural excellence upon which we can agree and that we can explain successfully to the silent majority?  Is it even something we want to do?

The exclusive opportunities for attendees to the Columbus Conference Include:

  • The opportunity to meet and converse with many of the national and local architects who have worked in Columbus, Indiana, including Gunnar Birkerts, Ben and Cynthia Weese (representing Harry Weese), Daniel McCoubrey and Nancy Rogo Trainer (representing Robert Venturi), Ralph Johnson of Perkins+Will, Jane Weinzapfel, Kevin Kennon, Carlos Jimenez, Fred Koetter and Susie Kim.
  • An open house tour, with personal photography allowed, of the Miller House and Gardens,  “America’s most significant modernist house” per Travel+Leisure.  The house showcases the collaborative design of leading 20th-century architects and designer: Eero Saarinen, Alexander Girard and Dan Kiley.  You will be allowed to wander the house and gardens on your own, with docents available for information, instead of the limited guided tours.  Personal photography is permitted, not allowed on public tours.
  • Meet Will Miller, patron of modern architecture, son of J. Irwin Miller who commissioned the Miller House and started the renowned Cummins Foundation architectural program.
  • The Cummins’ Friday evening reception and dinner at the Cummins Corporate Headquarters, designed by Kevin Roche,  including tours of the workplace.  Dinner provided by Cummins’ executive chef.  You will also have the opportunity to meet and dine with Cummins executives and community leaders.   Cummins Corporate Headquarters is a secured building and typically not open to the public except for the lobby.
  • Tour Cummins midrange engine plant in Walesboro, an innovative sustainable design by Kevin Roche completed in 1973.  Cummins facilities are not typically open to the public without special arrangements.
  • If you have never been to Columbus, Indiana before, we will visit many of it’s unique collection of over 80 modern buildings, designed by nationally and internationally noted architects, including Eliel Saarinen, Eero Saarinen, I.M Pei, Harry Weese, Robert Venturi, Richard Meier, SOM and many more.  Columbus was ranked 6th in the nation for innovation and architectural design by AIA members.  It was ranked 11th by National Geographic Traveler’s on a list of 109 historic locations to visit worldwide.
  • If you have previously visited Columbus, but not been back in the last 5-10 years, we will visit many new buildings and experience the ongoing redevelopment of the downtown, designed by noted architects Carlos Jimenez, Ralph Johnson, Deborah Berke, William Rawn, Cesar Pelli, Fred Koetter and Susie Kim.

Visit the COD website for more information and follow the conference on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.


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