Biking from one good idea to the next

Jim Walker – Special to Metromix
March 23, 2011

Grassroots Indy: Biking from one good idea to the next

Wil Marquez likes to bike to meetings, and his discussions frequently happen across the community tables he helped create for Tomlinson Tap Room at City Market.

“As I ride through neighborhoods and along the Monon, I’m gathering ideas,” said Marquez, principal at w/purpose — the urban and public design company he started last year. “Biking and walking the city offer advantages. I’m able to speak more intimately about what’s real in these places.”

When Marquez rolls through Indianapolis, he’s usually looking past the buildings to the public spaces between them that people use — or could use. And, in the case of City Market, the spots where people gather.

There, Marquez worked with fabricator Nick Allman and Centerline Studio to create community tables from heavy pine beams salvaged from a wire factory built in Muncie in 1913. More pine boards create a decorative wall with the state of Indiana carved into it.

(Fig.1) New Life - Wood digitally routed using clean manufacturing process

“The wood has life again,” Marquez said. “We took on the project at Tomlinson to show reuse as a responsible part of branding. We came up with a solution the market is proud of — and so are we.”

Marquez, who grew up in Northwest Indiana and developed his passion for urban life through time spent in Chicago, is also working with the United Northeast Community Development Corp. to help improve the 38th Street corridor between Sherman Drive and Arlington Avenue.

“It’s activism in a positive way. Working on places like 38th Street, it’s important to be able to go into neighborhoods and identify with people. I enjoy being able to do that.”

(Fig.2) w/purpose company vehicle

(Fig.3) Indy Connect Director Lori Miser discusses possible transit options for 38th Street