New Mexico has a lot in common with Disney World — in that seemingly every detail of the environment is intentionally designed. From crosswalks to bridges, signs, highway barriers, ceiling beams, and overall architecture, it all seamlessly blends together to create a profound sense of place. You know you’re in New Mexico when you’re there as even the McDonald’s or banks follow the zoning regulations and contribute, rather than detract, from the atmosphere.

Why can’t every state be like this — using bridges as art galleries rather than ugly concrete structures? Adding symbolism to decor instead of leaving things plain? Creating community standards that define an area instead of letting randomness run rampant?

It would be hard to retrofit a place to achieve the sense of continuity that New Mexico has fostered, but maybe you can achieve it in your own space. Think about every decision and every inch — does it tell a story in addition to serving an architectural function? Opportunity lies in every beam.

Ceiling beams inside the Albuquerque “Sunport” (aka airport)
Crosswalks in Taos
State’s Zia symbol on all their highway signs

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