CAP: INDY is an outreach and education center of the College of Architecture and Planning, offering educational opportunities for students and professionals, assisting neighborhood and community groups through outreach assistance, and supporting initiatives that improve the quality of life in central Indiana.
Our mission is to be a catalyst for recovering and redefining the experience of urban places, in order to build living cities, models for sustainable urban life. This mission implies dedication to social and ecological responsibility, to partnership, and to preservation, planning, and design. It will be accomplished through the combined interdisciplinary knowledge and actions of academia, professional practitioners, and the community.
We are part of a proud history of community-based outreach activities dating back to the founding of the College of Architecture and Planning in 1967 and its signature Community Based Projects program. We are also part of a diverse family of community design centers nationwide that promote equity and social justice, participatory decision-making, design excellence, and place-based solutions to community challenges.
The college has long had a history of community-based work in Indianapolis, starting with a landmark partnership in 1973 exploring the expansion of Methodist Hospital on the near-northside of downtown, participation in the 1979 Urban Design Assistance Team program of the American Institute of Architects that envisioned the transformation of a dilapidated riverfront industrial area into a world-class park, and substantial design assistance for the 1984 Pan American Games.
But it wasn’t until 2001 when, through a partnership with Indianapolis’ Department of Metropolitan Development, our center opened its doors in a vacant city-owned building. Scott Truex, professor of urban planning, arranged the partnership when the college’s urban planning department transitioned to a four-year undergraduate program, plus a one-year graduate degree program aligned with the city’s decennial update to its plan for downtown.
Under the agreement, we provided graduate assistants pursuing the fast-track graduate degree in urban planning the opportunity to work on the plan and operate the storefront office. The R. Wayne Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning began offering several courses at the center and gradually grew its outreach and advocacy offerings.
The center was housed by the City of Indianapolis for over three years at 26 West Washington Street. In 2004, we relocated to a suite a block east at 22 East Washington Street before joining the new Ball State Indianapolis Center at 50 South Meridian Street in 2006. In 2016, we realized a need for increased space and during July, moved to The Platform at 202 East Market Street. Our new INDY Connector allows us the flexibility to create the spaces we need for charrettes, guest lectures, community meetings, alumni collaborations, and anything else we dream up.
Currently the INDY Connector will be the home to the master of urban design program and continue to partner with community organizations and work alongside professional groups striving to make Indianapolis a world-class city. Future plans call for expansion in course and program offerings.