From Parking Lot to Purposeful Community:

The Evolution of Gravity

Client Kaufman / NBBJ

Project Gravity

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Today, Gravity is the world’s largest conscious community — designed with intentionality, creativity and purpose. A few years ago, Gravity was a parking lot in Franklinton, which is the oldest neighborhood in Columbus. Kaufman Development and NBBJ engaged Lextant to provide transformative user experience research and design insights that helped Gravity organically mesh into the vibrant fabric of Franklinton. 

01 The Challenge

Aligning business goals with community needs.

Our research unveiled a stark misalignment between the proposed development and the ethos of Franklinton — an oversight that necessitated a complete overhaul of the design approach. Drawing on our expertise in human experience research and design, we embarked on a journey to realign Gravity with the core values and desires of the community. Through extensive engagement with residents, businesses and stakeholders, we uncovered a wealth of insights that informed a new vision for the project.

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Defining and embodying the right core values.

Central to our findings was the realization that Gravity needed to be more than just a physical structure; it needed to embody the values of connectivity, inclusivity and sustainability. We identified the need for an environment that is not only welcoming and safe but also empowering, active and accessible to all residents. Guided by these principles, we worked hand in hand with NBBJ to shape Gravity into a dynamic space that serves as a catalyst for positive community engagement.

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03 The Impact

Setting a new standard for excellence.

From its inception, Gravity has continually surpassed expectations, evolving from a singular vision to a multi-faceted community hub that sets new standards for excellence. The successful completion of Gravity’s second phase, aptly dubbed Gravity 2.0, stands as a crowning achievement. This phase introduced a range of new amenities and facilities, including a 12-story apartment tower, a six-story office building, two additional five-story apartment buildings, an expansive parking garage and multiple retail spaces. The grand opening of Gravity 2.0 in summer 2023 was met with widespread enthusiasm and excitement, further solidifying Gravity’s status as a beacon of innovation and progress in urban development.

Moreover, the ripple effects of Gravity’s success extend beyond Columbus, with developers now exploring the possibility of replicating the project’s groundbreaking design model in other cities. This ambitious expansion underscores the project’s influence and potential to shape the future of urban living on a broader scale.

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Images by Arqui9 © NBBJ

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