The 2018 National Symposium, Design, Community, and Progressive Preservation, took place September 26–29, 2018, and featured four days of engaging programming that explored how architecture, art, and design are being used to make people and cities stronger, and how new approaches to preservation are positively incorporating modern heritage into the future of cities.

The symposium included ten exclusive tours of Columbus' modern architectural icons, morning and evening conversations with more than 40 visionary leaders in architecture, art, design, and community, and special events throughout the week including a screening of the documentary "Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future," and the American Institute of Architects’ Trade Show showcasing an array of new and innovative building products and services.

Symposium Schedule

Featured Speakers

Tours and Events

"The sense of progressive preservation at Exhibit Columbus was refreshingly unburdened by the lack of old-school historic preservation and architectural history thought chains, and discussion instead focused on innovation, creativity, and participation over historical facts delivered by academics.

This was clearest in the presenters’ choice of language; the overwhelming use of 'cultural heritage' over 'historic preservation' during sessions brought the field in America one tiny step closer to the cultural, community-centric model practiced in Europe.

Discussions on sustainability looked at the role that historic architecture and design might play in making cities more equitable, not as the central pillar of the well-worn idea that the greenest thing is what’s already built, or the notion that a community can only venerate one period and thesis of historical significance."

Elizabeth Blasius, The Architect's Newspaper

2018 National Symposium Partners

Docomomo US

American Institute of Architects Indiana and Kentucky Chapters

The Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields

2018 National Symposium Presenting Sponsor

The Architect's Newspaper

Columbus Media Sponsor

The Republic Newspaper

2018 National Symposium Sponsors


Deer Crossing Fund

Hotel Indigo Columbus Architectural Center

The Commons

Tracy Haddad

Heritage Fund — The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County

Rick Valicenti, Thirst

Columbus Area Visitors Center

Columbus Indiana Architectural Archives

SIHO Insurances Services

Upland Brewing Company


Schumaker Family

Louisville Stoneware

Kulapat Yantrasast, wHY

Michelle and Perry Griffith

Baker’s Fine Gifts and Accessories

Columbus Area Arts Council

Columbus Indiana Architectural Archives

Blockhouse Studios

Kahn’s Catering

Lucabe Coffee

Special thanks to those who supported the 2018 National Symposium including: the Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture, Sherry Stark and David Tiede, Scott Chambers, Charlie and Jayne Farber, Anonymous, Karen Abel, James Dart, Sean Garman, Inge Horton, Joseph Jones, James Kienle, Rick Kremer, Dan Macey, Beth McNeely, Joseph Meyer, Kelly Mitchell, Jimmy Piper, Ronald Searcy, Lonnie Smith, and Tracy Souza.