On Wednesday, Circle Citizen reported that a design by two landscape architects from Paris had taken first place in the Monument Circle Idea Competition. But the second-place entry, “RE:Centering Indianapolis 1001,” by Urban Design Studio of RATIO Architects, is getting all the buzz—and for all the wrong reasons. Critics have pointed out that one of the idea’s renderings includes an image of La Tour Vivante (“The Living Tower”), a celebrated French building, without giving attribution to its designers at the Parisian firm SOA Architectes. And some of them are throwing around the dreaded “p” word. (That is, “plagiarism.”)
RATIO principal William A. Browne has posted a response on the Idea Competition’s blog: “RATIO’s design team…used a variety of precedent images in the team’s Indianapolis Monument Circle Idea Competition submission, including one of ‘The Living Tower’ by SOA Architects…Regretfully, the design team neglected to properly credit the image. This image was not intended to represent RATIO’s expertise. Our team sincerely apologizes for the error.”
Browne goes on to state that RATIO is donating its second-place winnings ($2,000) to Indianapolis Downtown, Inc.