Play With Your City 2019 winning design announced

A rendering from the Pond & Company proposal for Play With Your City 2019. Image credit: Pond & Company.

Pond & Company wins design competition

Columbia, S.C. – The Columbia Design League (CDL), an affinity group of the Columbia Museum of Art, is pleased to announce the selection of a winning design for Play With Your City 2019: Reimagining Lady. The Columbia office of Pond & Company, an architecture, interiors, and engineering firm, submitted the winning entry and will receive a $5,000 cash prize awarded by the CDL. Implementation of the project, which aims to make the Lady Street corridor in downtown Columbia, South Carolina, more inviting to pedestrian traffic, is slated for October 2019.

A design created to inspire people-first urban experiences.
Pond’s winning design aims to promote connectivity and pedestrian exchange between Columbia’s Main Street and Vista corridors. The plan establishes a series of interventions along Lady Street that invite movement, slow traffic, respond to the city’s identity, and shift the streetscape scale to the human level.

Pond designed shaded, modular units along Lady Street that emphasize human scale and create comfortable spaces. The modules will showcase local artists’ work, tell the history of Columbia and its people with interactive technology, and potentially serve as a green wall.

Placed along the street, these units create an avenue of small focal points; grouped together, they form a flexible sidewalk gallery. They will be equipped with solar lighting so that each unit becomes a nightlife feature and point of safety.

The sidewalks on Lady Street will be painted with bright colors to excite pedestrians and encourage drivers to slow down. At night, streetlights and headlights will illuminate the reflective paint, engaging with evening users and guiding pedestrians into the Vista.

A competitive design process
Pond’s winning proposal for Play With Your City 2019 was selected through a national competition. The jury of highly regarded professionals included:

Mike Lydon, Jury Chair | Tactical Urban Designer | Street Plans, New York City
Steve Benjamin | Mayor | Columbia, SC
DeAnna Cummings | Cultural Development |Juxtaposition Arts, Minneapolis, Minnesota
John Fellows | Urban Planner & Urban Designer | Columbia, SC
Gabe Klein | City Transportation Specialist | Cityfi, Washington, DC
Play With Your City 2019 is the second in a series of competitions designed to involve the public in civic development and design. Artist Jonathan Brilliant captured the first Play With Your City competition in 2011 with a whimsical temporary installation in a downtown park. Field of Good Fortune — a series of human-scale fortune cookie fortunes — was in place for one month and is still fondly remembered by many who visited.

Play With Your City 2019 is supported by a grant from the Knight Foundation Fund at Central Carolina Community Foundation.

For more information, visit

About the Columbia Design League
The Columbia Design League (CDL) is an affiliate group of the Columbia Museum of Art. The group works to educate others about design excellence, emphasize the importance of great design, and to broaden understanding of how good design affects nearly every facet of life. The CDL gathers its membership for an annual series of meetings and welcomes guests and nonmembers with an interest in design. For details, visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About the CMA
The Columbia Museum of Art is a charitable nonprofit organization dedicated to lifelong learning and community enrichment for all. Located in the heart of downtown Columbia, S.C., the CMA ranks among the leading art institutions in the country and is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and creative educational programs. At the heart of the CMA and its programs is its collection, which encompasses 7,000 works and spans 5,000 years of art history. Established in 1950, the CMA now welcomes more than 150,000 visitors annually and is a catalyst for community creativity and education, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds. It is the recipient of a National Medal from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a National Art Education Association award for its contributions to arts education, a National Park Foundation Award, and two Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Governor's Awards for the Arts for outstanding contributions to the arts in South Carolina. In order to serve even more audiences, the CMA recently underwent a transformation. Funded by a successful capital campaign, the two-year renovation project garnered new collection galleries with a progressive thematic layout, new studios for artmaking, cutting-edge program and event spaces, an entrance on Main Street, and a revamped CMA shop. Overall, more than 20,000 square feet of functional space were added to the building’s existing footprint. To learn more, visit

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