City’s design inspiration 8th best

A new study says Cincinnati is the eighth best city for design inspiration.

The study comes from Rugs Direct, a nearly 25-year-old specialty online retailer of decorative area rugs.

By designing a quantitative, data-based mathematical modeling system, Rugs Direct pinpointed America’s top centers for innovative design, based on this set of parameters:

a)    The number of important architectural landmarks;
b)    The number of art museums;
c)    The TripAdvisor ratings for these two elements;
d)    and the number of university programs offering majors in Interior Design as listed by

To be considered for the list, a city had to have at least 100 landmarks total, and at least five art museums and five architectural landmarks.

This information was used to produce a ten-point scoring system narrowed down to the 25 top-scoring cities.

Some of the results, including Cincinnati’s ranking, were surprising.

While naturally, New York City ended up in the number one slot – with a score of 8.728/10 – the top results also included San Antonio at No. 6, Cincinnati at No. 8, Milwaukee at No. 12 – cities that might not automatically come to mind for most people when it comes to having a rich architectural and art scene.

Cincinnati Museum Center

Here’s what the report said about Cincinnati: “Cincinnati’s cityscape features quite a few structures that are known for their unique or interesting architecture. This includes a number of iconic skyscrapers, like Carew Tower, the Great American Tower at Queen City Square, and Fourth and Vine Tower. Throughout Cincinnati’s major historic neighborhoods and districts, you’ll find a variety of 19th and 20th century architectural styles. Greek, Renaissance, and Gothic revival styles are common. Along with its distinctive architectural landmarks, Cincinnati is also home to the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Taft Museum of Art, and the Contemporary Arts Center. If you’re feeling kitsch, there’s also the American Sign Museum – the largest museum dedicated to commercial signage – and the Lucky Cat Museum, dedicated entirely to Japanese maneki-neko figurines.”

Said Chris Ritter, co-founder of C-90 Creative Agency: “Our city has embraced something that I’ve been active with for a number of years — street art. You won’t find our city littered in casual graffiti, but you will find large-scale artwork from internationally-known artists across Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. The number of murals in the city are impossible to count, but the most inspiring murals for me are from D-Face, The London Police, Vhils, FAILE, and Faith XLVII. It’s always impressed me how the city, despite how conservative it can be at times, embraces these kinds of public artwork.”

Read the full report here: The Best Cities for Design Inspiration: Quantitative Analysis | Rugs Direct (

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