We are excited to announce the launch of our new series about architecture, public space, and the future of cities: DAYLIGHT. 

Please join us this spring and summer, as we host a six-part design-focused speaker series. Each event focuses on a different urban challenge we face as a city, discussing the future of Indianapolis as it relates to design and the community. Hear from local leaders, design professionals, environmentalists, and artists as we discuss the built future of Indianapolis. 


SEASON ONE: The Built Future of Indy

April 17 // Designing the Third Place

May 15 // Inclusive Design

June 19 // Civic Identity through Design

July 17 // Future of Retail

August 21 // Beyond Livability 

September 18 // Connectivity


Episode 4, The Future of Retail:

In collaboration with the Indianapolis Section of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), PUP brings you the next episode in our DAYLIGHT series. During this panel discussion, Catherine Esselman, Mike Gillis, and Nick Strause will explore the potential roles the Circle Centre Mall will play within Indianapolis and how its unique position within downtown Indianapolis offers distinct opportunities to address the connection between the fabric of downtown and the future of retail.

TOnight's schedule

5 p.m. - 6 p.m. – Networking & Brainstorming, Hors D'oeuvres, Beer, Wine, Soft Drinks

6 p.m. - 7 p.m. – Panel Discussion - “The Future of Retail” -  Earn 1 AIA/CES Learning Unit

Meet the Moderator:

Lourenzo Giple, Assoc. AIA, Vice-President of People for Urban Progress (PUP)

Lourenzo was born and raised in Liberia, West Africa.  Since immigrating to the United States as a young boy, he has always made the most of his experience growing up on two diverse continents. Africa exposed him to many things, such as true vernacular architecture, sustainability, and responsibility towards each other’s well-being. These core beliefs learned in Liberia were reaffirmed in the United States through his rediscovery of the need for more sustainable practices here. Lourenzo is an architecture graduate of Ball State University, and currently an Architectural Designer and Project Manager at Rottmann Collier. 

Meet the panel:

Catherine Esselman, Real Estate Director, Downtown Indy, Inc. 

Catherine Esselman serves as the Director of Real Estate for Downtown Indy, Inc. She joined the nonprofit organization in 2014 and her primary focus has been on telling the incredible investment story of Downtown Indianapolis to a wide audience to encourage continued economic development.

At DI, Catherine focuses on the recruitment, expansion and retention of commercial and retail businesses Downtown in addition to managing the Downtown Project List, creating updated recruitment tools as well as presenting development information to key audiences.

Prior to joining Downtown Indy, Catherine spent her career is various roles within commercial real estate. She was vice president of a small boutique brokerage firm, Penn Real Estate, in downtown Indianapolis. Prior to moving back to Indianapolis, she lived in downtown Cleveland, Ohio and worked as a leasing director for shopping malls and lifestyle centers on the west coast for DDR.

Mike Gillis, Co-Founder, WDRFA

After growing up in Northwest Indiana, Mike Gillis moved down to Indianapolis to attend IUPUI. Living and growing into adulthood in Indy led him to explore the different areas of the city. He has worked in traditional retail with companies like Lids Sports Group and local clothing boutiques in Kreme Twenty-Four that was located in South Broad Ripple. After graduating with a Marketing, Supply Chain Management and International Studies majors from the Kelley School of Business and building relationships in the community he became adamant about exposing people to all Indy has to offer a. Now, Co-Owner of WDRFA a lifestyle brand that sells clothing garments and experiences - they aim to build a community within the city that connects people to places and things.

Nick Strause, General Manager, Circle Centre Mall

Nick Strause is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of Circle Centre Mall, Claypool Court and their related entities.  His responsibilities include leasing, strategic planning, budget approval and management, capital expenditures and maintenance, oversight of third-party vendors along with maintaining community, tenant, and public relations.  He has accomplished much in his time at Simon and has gained experience in all areas of center management at properties in South Bend, Indianapolis, Illinois, Louisiana and Washington. In 2017, Strause was named the “Best of the Best: Mall Manager” award, a designation given to exemplary mall managers.  Nick holds a BA in Architecture from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Our next event will be on August 21, 2018, details coming soon. In the meantime, let's continue the conversation #DAYLIGHTindy


AIA Event Credit: 1.0 Learning Units of Continuing Education

AIA Learning Objectives: After attending this program, participants will:

1.   Discuss changing retail climates and their effects on traditional shopping centers.

2.   Explore future attractive and useful roles of traditional indoor shopping centers, focusing on high-density, metropolis shopping centers.

3.   Explain appropriate integration of multiple tenant types, traditional and non-traditional retail tenants.

4.   Explore alternative types of non-traditional shopping like e-commerce and pop-up shops and their effects on the future of retail design.