Inspired by the Dan Kiley landscape at Eero Saarinen’s iconic Miller House and Garden, in particular the dense hedgerow of Arbor Vitae that make up the perimeter, Into the Hedge playfully re-interprets elements of the modernist landscape as an interactive environment. A grid of 130 living Arbor Vitae trees planted in a large-scale hammock structure on the Bartholomew County Courthouse Lawn, create an inviting space for gathering, and a welcoming landmark at the gateway to downtown. Rather than using the hedge as a divider, the installation invites people in, and creates a responsive and playful environment out of the Miller House hedge.

The Arbor Vitae that make up Into the Hedge were selected in partnership with the Miller House and Garden so that after the exhibition they can be permanently replanted in the iconic hedgerows, creating a link between the installation’s original architectural inspiration and a contribution to the stewardship of one of Columbus’ seven National Historic Landmarks.

Materials - Arbor vitae trees, nylon webbing, recycled gabions, Indiana limestone, recycled mulch, debris netting, lawn stakes

Installation Sponsor

Columbus Area Visitors Center

Fabrication Sponsors

Engledow Group


Estes Material Sales


Sunbelt Rentals

The J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize Profile Films are a partnership between Exhibit Columbus and filmmaking collaborative Spirit of Space. Five short films offer a behind-the-scenes look at the stories and inspiration behind the Miller Prize installations in the 2019 Exhibition: Good Design and the Community.

SO–IL – 2019 Exhibition from Exhibit Columbus on Vimeo.

SO-IL is a forward-looking architectural design firm whose work is grounded in the conviction that architecture’s power resides in its ability to affect humankind for the better. Their participatory practice has resulted in award-winning spaces for creativity, innovation, culture, learning, and living around the globe.

Their projects explore fundamental questions like “How do we want to live?” in innovative, expansive ways. SO-IL first made a splash with “Pole Dance” for MoMA PS1, a playful installation that invited visitors to interact with communal space in new and unexpected ways. Through projects like the Kukje Gallery in Seoul and the Manetti Shrem Museum at UC Davis, SO-IL has become known for exploring the territory between craft and digital production and for experimenting with translucent and porous effects that blur edges and open up spaces.

Image Credits: MINI LIVING – Breathe in Milan, Italy; photo by Laurian-Ghinitoiu. Kukje Gallery in Seoul, South Korea; photo by Iwan Baan.

"Our practice is grounded in the conviction architectures power resides in its ability to affect humankind for the better. Better designed spaces actually really can impact the wellbeing of its inhabitants. The purpose of my being is to share this believe with as diverse a group of people as possible. Humanity is not exclusive."

Occupying the city’s original town square, the courthouse was one of the first significant architectural investments in Bartholomew County, and has remained at the center of Columbus’ civic life for nearly 200 years. Built with Indiana limestone in the Second Empire style, the courthouse was designed by Isaac Hodgson, an Irish immigrant and one of Indiana’s first licensed architects. Landscape design by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and the 1997 addition of the Bartholomew County Veterans Memorial by Maryann Thompson and Charles Rose welcomes people into downtown as they cross the Robert Stewart Bridge.


Into the Hedge is located on a grassy lawn that can be accessed by ramps on the eastern and western entrances to the site. The grass may be uneven and damp due to weather.