Columbus Columbia Colombo Colón is an investigation of relationships. Christopher Columbus and the places named after him form a series of associations—of identity, property, and power. Designed to make the invisible visible, each vertical element represents a distinct place in the world. By navigating between each of the poles, visitors are invited to draw connections between different narratives and reflect on what is a collective story. Columbus, Indiana is not just a city, it is part of a larger complex of meaning. The persistence of these legacies is one that we all must grapple with.

Click here to read the 58 collected stories around each pole


Jennifer Newsom
Tom Carruthers
Kathy Kao
Arseny Pekurovsky

Sound Design and Videography

Isaac Gale

Production and Fabrication

Bryan Burton, Ryan Hilbert, Vince Rubio, Andy Piercefield, Mike Butler, and Kyle Ross, City of Columbus Public Works
Tim M. Allen, Independent Land Surveying Inc.
Advantage Signs & Graphics
Garelick Steel
Zeus Richardson
Anthony Gage Lockhart
Bo Jacobsson

Installation Supporters

City of Columbus
ESL Spectrum
Katahdin Engineering

Thanks to

Mark Jones and Casey Ritz, City of Columbus Parks Department
Clayton Binkley, ODD Lot

Mill Race Park
MVVA with structures by Stanley Saitowitz, 1993

Michael Van Valkenburgh and Stanley Saitowitz’s Mill Race Park is located in the floodplain that was the site of the Mooney Tannery in the 19th century and later the area was known to locals as “Death Valley.” The area first became a park in the 1960s. In 1993, landscape architect Van Valkenburgh completed a redesigned park that honored the site’s heritage and ecology while looking to the future. The Round Lake acts as the visual center to the water-dominated composition. Saitowitz designed the architectural elements, including an Observation Tower offering a view of Columbus’ downtown architecture.

Dream the Combine is the creative practice of artists and architects Jennifer Newsom and Tom Carruthers. They create site-specific installations exploring metaphor, imaginary environments, and perceptual uncertainties that cast doubt on our known understanding of the world. They are winners of the 2018 MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program for their installation Hide&Seek, and have published widely, including features in Metropolis Magazine, Architectural Record, The New York Times, Dezeen, The Architects Newspaper, Architect Magazine, Archinect, and Log. Jennifer Newsom and Tom Carruthers are respectively Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of the Practice in the Department of Architecture at Cornell University's College of Architecture, Art, and Planning (AAP).

"Our practice is fundamentally interested in people: The ways we interact and come together as humans, the discovery of connections between us, and the networks of relationships that connect us across the country and around the world. How do we live together and support each other? For us to move into that future together it will inevitably require the toppling of old ideas, ideologies, and historical legacies."

— Dream the Combine

Watch this ten-minute video by Dream the Combine, who presents and describes the design concept for their installation, Columbus Columbia Colombo Colón. Dream the Combine is a J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize Recipient, a participant in the 2021 Exhibit Columbus Exhibition New Middles. This is a previously recorded and archived event, view more on our YouTube channel.

"We were compelled by the curatorial vision for this exhibition that out of the complicated metaphor that is Columbus, Indiana, there is room to discuss what is in between. The associations inherent in this juxtaposition of images begin to construct meaning. So, we zoomed out. Maybe to better understand the specific condition, we needed to understand the general one. We started to research Columbus as an origin story."

— Dream the Combine
2021 Design Presentations