Marion Design Co. Share

Nov 9, 2023  |  Layla Price-Bodkin

Mar­i­on Design Co. was born in 2016 from a need iden­ti­fied by the City of Mar­i­on to guide the com­mu­ni­ty in shar­ing an authen­tic sto­ry deeply root­ed in research, told by res­i­dents. Through months of in-per­son meet­ings, lis­ten­ing to sto­ries of love, ded­i­ca­tion to the city, and some­times the painful past, they devel­oped a new brand iden­ti­ty reflect­ed in the cur­rent logo and web­site. In 2021, Mar­i­on Design Co. embarked on a new chap­ter by estab­lish­ing an LLC as a self-sus­tain­ing busi­ness with con­tin­ued com­mit­ment to revi­tal­iz­ing the community.

Mar­i­on Design Co. is a social design stu­dio com­prised of both pro­fes­sion­als and interns. Some design deliv­er­ies include ren­o­va­tions, new inte­ri­ors, brands, and mar­ket­ing mate­ri­als. They have con­duct­ed work­shops, think­ing ses­sions, strate­gic plan­ning, col­lege instruc­tion, and most recent­ly, guid­ed tours through their new home in the Kennedy Art Cen­ter. We’ve inte­grat­ed more hos­pi­tal­i­ty into our offer­ings through our new loca­tion, for instance, curat­ing art exhibits and craft­ing immer­sive din­ing expe­ri­ences that leave a last­ing impres­sion,” said Wendy Puffer, CEO.

Mar­i­on Design Co. ini­tial­ly began as a sum­mer project with an antic­i­pat­ed lifes­pan of three months, but after years of suc­cess and grow­ing part­ner­ships, they envi­sion a promis­ing future in Mar­i­on. One sig­nif­i­cant part­ner­ship has been with Chris Kennedy, for­mer own­er of Hart­son-Kennedy,” said Puffer. From 2018, Kennedy worked with Puffer to estab­lish an art gallery and expand MDC’s vis­i­bil­i­ty. Fol­low­ing our move, our reach has expand­ed, and we plan to con­tin­ue grow­ing.” She added, Estab­lish­ing rela­tion­ships with­in and beyond state bor­ders has ampli­fied Marion’s recog­ni­tion, while our part­ner­ship with the Kennedy Art Cen­ter has empow­ered mean­ing­ful con­ver­sa­tions through the medi­um of art.”

In the fall of 2023, Mar­i­on Design Co. host­ed a holis­tic learn­ing ses­sion and inter­ac­tive exhib­it sur­round­ing the sub­ject of race in Mar­i­on through the lens of design. Their expan­sive work cen­tered on soci­ol­o­gy has attract­ed the atten­tion of neigh­bor­ing com­mu­ni­ties. Mar­i­on Design Co. is wit­ness­ing a grow­ing appre­ci­a­tion for design evi­denced by repeat busi­ness and uplift­ing sto­ries. MDC has been rec­og­nized by Pat­tern mag­a­zine, inter­na­tion­al web­site Brand New, and Indi­ana Arts Com­mis­sion. In 2023, MDC wrote an Arts Project Grant received by the Mar­i­on Arts Com­mis­sion to sup­port three exhibits to enhance com­mu­ni­ty engage­ment through art.

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