LaWaSo Ground is a contemporary memorial and a community ground of (La)nd, (Wa)ter, and (So)il.

It acknowledges the silenced and suppressed voices of the past, and advocates for more diverse inclusion in the future. LaWaSo Ground echoes the topography of the limestone quarries found in the region and is reminiscent of Indigenous earthworks along the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys. Indiana limestone plays a complicated symbolic role given its widespread use in the construction of civic monuments across the United States. Indigenous artist Katrina Mitten, a member of the Myaamia Nation of Oklahoma, designed the engraved motifs. An homage to the belltower of First Christian Church, the tower marks significant times in the solar calendar, such as the summer and winter solstices.


Jeeyea Kim
Dorian Bybee, haptiK|B
Katrina Mitten, Myaamia bead artist
Tyden Graverson
Brian B. Kim

Sponsors and Grants

Bybee Stone Co.
City of Columbus
Cummins, Inc.
Indiana University, Eskenazi School and Arts and Humanities Councils
SYNLawn Indiana

First Christian Church
Eliel Saarinen, 1942

Once a railroad depot, the church on this site today is known as one of the first “modern” buildings in Columbus. The Irwin and Miller Families commissioned Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen to design First Christian Church in the Modern style. Completed in 1942, the basilica and campanile arrangement is a streamlined reinterpretation of Italian Renaissance church forms. Also notable is the sunken garden that flows under the education wing. Many of the interior elements were designed by Saarinen’s wife Loja,Charles Eames, and his son, Eero.

Jei Jeeyea Kim is an Assistant Professor at the J. Irwin Miller Architecture Program of Indiana University. She received her Master of Architecture degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and graduated with distinction. Jei has worked at several architecture studios, including PATTERNS, DavidClovers, and GEA in LA, and MAD Architects in Beijing. Her research and collaborative work effort through haptiK|B, Kim Bybee Design, has focused on material culture and its contemporary use of a prevalent local material—Indiana limestone. Her recent research includes vernacular material application styles along the “Stone Belt”, and a stone panel system utilizing 3D printed brackets for structural support.

"Our work includes architectural and industrial design projects using local materials such as Indiana Limestone, and utilizes a spectrum of conventional and high-tech mediums, such as digital modeling, parametric programming, and many different types of digital fabrication."

— Jei Jeeyea Kim

Watch this ten-minute video by Jei Jeeyea Kim and Dorian Bybee, who presents and describes the design concept for their installation, LaWaSo Ground. Kim is a University Design Research Fellow, a participant in the 2021 Exhibit Columbus Exhibition New Middles. This is a previously recorded and archived event, view more on our YouTube channel.

"The intent of our proposal is to acknowledge the silent and suppressed voices of the past, recognize the culture dichotomies of our present, and advocate for more diverse inclusion in the future."

— Jei Jeeyea Kim
2021 Design Presentations