Landmark Columbus launches ambitious program: Exhibit Columbus


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By Richard McCoy

This spring Landmark Columbus announced a big, ambitious program: Exhibit Columbus, a biennial exploration of architecture, art, design, and community.

With an inaugural symposium in fall of 2016 and a first-of-its kind exhibition of temporary architecture and art in fall of 2017, Exhibit Columbus seeks to honor our design heritage and spark new enthusiasm for design excellence. The initial biennial program will be followed by another symposium and exhibition in 2018 and 2019, creating a new, aspiring cycle of events in our city that continues to show the world that good design and the continuous pursuit of excellence can create an exceptional place to live, work, learn, and play.

The inaugural symposium, “Foundations and Futures,” set for September 29 to October 1 in downtown Columbus, will kick off with a keynote session highlighting the return of many design legends such as Deborah Berke, Will Miller, Robert A. M. Stern, and Michael Van Valkenburgh. Daily sessions will include presentations and conversations with international experts in architectural history, community members who built and maintain many city landmarks, manufacturing and fabrication leaders, and discussions with all ten of the artists and designers selected to participating in the J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize Competition.

To view the full line-up and purchase tickets ($60.00 for both days) follow this LINK. We are working to make most of the sessions available for continuing education credits for members of American Institute of Architects, American Society of Landscape Architects, and the American Planning Association. If you have not visited Columbus, this is the reason you have been waiting for: a once in a lifetime chance to be part of the next big thing.

J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize Competition

The symposium will serve as the kickoff for the J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize Competition, the central component of the 2017 exhibition of Exhibit Columbus. Through a juried competition, Miller Prizes will be awarded to five artists and designers who will get the opportunity to design, build, and install temporary projects in response to one of five sites, each of which is a Columbus icon located on Fifth Street. The competition’s name honors the legacy of two of twentieth century’s greatest patrons of architecture, art, and design, and a family whose visionary commitment to community remains unparalleled.

Focusing on site-responsive installations that connect with and comment on Columbus’s design legacy, programming for Exhibit Columbus will occur downtown in the “Columbus Arts and Entertainment District” and attract world-renowned designers, historians, and fabricators, while at the same time re-energizing the community around its historic design heritage and the potential to realize new designs.

In response to the upcoming events, Jim Lienhoop, mayor of Columbus said, “Exhibit Columbus was created in part to answer the question, ‘What’s next for Columbus?’ We want this initiative to become a platform to showcase our historic design heritage and the great work we are doing today while pointing to the future so the next generation continues to experience a community that is as strong as the last generation’s.”

Exhibit Columbus graphic identity by Rick Valicenti of Thirst

In addition to the Miller Prize Competition, projects will be completed by students from Columbus primary and secondary schools, some made in collaboration with the Indiana University Center for Art+Design (IUCA+D). There will be five installations along or near Washington Street and five installations designed, built, and installed by students in programs of architecture and design (Ball State University, The Ohio State University, University of Cincinnati, University of Kentucky, and University of Michigan). Additionally, IUCA+D will host a designer-in-residence to create an installation with IU students at North Christian Church.

We believe Exhibit Columbus will challenge today’s designers (architects, artists, landscape architects, city planners, furniture and graphic designers) to think deeply about Columbus and create new ideas that have the power to transform a space and impact a community. At the same time Exhibit Columbus will encourage artists and designers to explore the history of making in the Midwest and to use fabricators and material resources from the Columbus area to create their work. There is no other place in the world like our community and no city as well positioned today to host an internationally relevant conversation about the future of design, fabrication, and design education.

Exhibit Columbus will appeal to a broad community of stakeholders, including tourists, designers, engineers, university students, primary and secondary students, and builders and makers of all kinds while creating a path to re-establish a global conversation about design in Columbus.

Exhibit Columbus graphic identity by Rick Valicenti of Thirst