Exhibit Columbus seeks local input

Exhibit Columbus is underway — or at least the architects, artists, landscape architects and other participants have been selected for what has become a unique, multi-faceted, urban design program focused on our city but rippling far and wide.

Key to the program is the selection of the J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize recipients, announced last week, along with the selection of seven university design research fellows. Beginning this month, these visionaries will participate in the fourth cycle of Exhibit Columbus, whose theme this cycle is “Public By Design.”

What will ultimately emerge will be public exhibitions around Columbus in the fall of 2023.

Miller Prize winners and their teams will partner with local institutions. Mexico City-based Tatiana Bilbao ESTUDIO will partner with the Bartholomew County Public Library. PORT, based in Philadelphia and Chicago, will partner with Mill Race Center. Manhattan-based Practice for Architecture Urbanism will partner with the City of Columbus Department of Public Works, concentrating on the public areas around The Commons. Harlem-based Studio Zewde will partner with the Columbus Parks and Recreation Department, concentrating on Mill Race Park.

As the theme “Public by Design” suggests, the local community will play a central role in determining the shape of things that come from Exhibit Columbus. Public by Design, according to Exhibit Columbus, “builds on the legacy of Columbus … to explore how collaborations between communities and designers can revitalize and reimagine historic downtowns as equitable, beautiful, healthy, and joyful places. Public by Design serves as a platform for many communities to become energized about the values of inclusivity, care, and generosity. This cycle celebrates creative methods of collaboration that communities and designers can use to grow a sense of belonging and connection in public spaces.

“We believe this collaborative effort and the process of co-creation will resonate far beyond the city limits of Columbus.”

Those are mighty big aspirations. Are you up for it? Yes, you.

Beginning in a few weeks with the Exhibit Columbus Symposium downtown on Oct. 21-22, the program is being intentional about including local people. In announcing this year’s participants, Exhibit Columbus stated, “Moving away from the traditional format of a symposium, Public by Design will place the many communities of Columbus at the center of the conversations and do this in a public format by creating specific opportunities for engagement between the designers and the citizens of Columbus. As ever, Exhibit Columbus is designed to be responsive to the needs and desires of the community it serves, while connecting with a national audience.”

After the symposium this month, design presentations will be made early next year, leading to exhibitions about a year from now.

You can learn more about Exhibit Columbus at exhibitcolumbus.org, including how you can volunteer or support this program of the Landmark Columbus Foundation. Exhibit Columbus celebrates our distinction as one of America’s great small cities and our reputation as an international giant in the worlds of architecture and design.

We can’t wait to see what great minds working together dream up next.