American Modern: Architecture; Community; Columbus, IndianaMatt Shaw, with photographs by Iwan Baan

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The definitive book on one of the foremost modernist cities and architecture destinations in the USA: Columbus, Indiana

The midwestern city of Columbus, Indiana, is more than a mecca of modern architecture; it is an example of how design can help foster a remarkable community. The dozens of buildings and projects by legendary architects – from mid-century titans such as Eero Saarinen and I. M. Pei to contemporary practitioners Deborah Berke and IwamotoScott – remain integral to its urban fabric. This book explores Columbus’s optimistic program of bold new architecture and landscapes, initiated by the legendary industrialist J. Irwin Miller and local leaders, and the generations-long quest to develop the ideal American city through design excellence.

This is the first in-depth history of Columbus, Indiana, demonstrating the unique convergence of civic, industrial, and social forces that produced the pre-eminent laboratory of architectural modernism in the USA. It presents a rich showcase of outstanding, generation-spanning architects and is published in association with Landmark Columbus Foundation, the civic organization behind the progressive preservation and promotion of the city’s architectural heritage, as well as the producer of the acclaimed program Exhibit Columbus, a two-year cycle of events that uses the context of Columbus to host conversations around innovative ideas and then commissions site-responsive installations in a free, public exhibition.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Size: 295 × 216 mm (11 39/64 × 8 1/2 in)
  • Pages: 472 pp
  • Illustrations: 500 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9781580936125

Matt Shaw, a Columbus native, is an author, editor, and columnist. The former executive editor of The Architect’s Newspaper, his writing has appeared in New York Times, The Guardian, Architectural Review, Domus, and Artforum. He teaches at several schools including Southern California Institute of Architecture and the University of Pennsylvania.

Iwan Baan is a photographer whose work focuses on the intersection of architecture and the social fabric and has been published in books and periodicals internationally.