“Public by Design,” the fourth Exhibit Columbus exhibition, will open the weekend of Aug. 25 and 26 in downtown Columbus.
The exhibition will feature 13 outdoor, site-responsive installations that derive inspiration and context from Columbus’s architectural heritage, while responding to the needs of the citizens and highlighting the visionary community’s role in creating a vibrant, sustainable, and equitable city, organizers said.
The opening weekend will be the only opportunity during the exhibition’s three-month run to see the designs alongside the curators, architects, landscape architects, artists, and designers who created the installations, as well as Columbus residents and visitors from around the world.
This is the fourth cycle of Exhibit Columbus, which was first launched in 2016 as a program of the nonprofit organization Landmark Columbus Foundation, and an internationally recognized exploration of community, architecture, art, and design.
This year’s theme, “Public by Design,” explores how collaborations between communities and designers can revitalize and reimagine historic downtowns as equitable, beautiful, healthy, and joyful places.
There is a belief that this collaborative effort and the process of co-creation will resonate far beyond the city limits of Columbus, and that the installations can serve as prototypes for permanent change in the urban core of this city as well as for other communities to consider, organizers said.
This exhibition features designs by the four J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize recipients, seven University Design Research Fellows, High School Design Team, and Communication Designer.
“We are building on the legacy of Columbus, Indiana with this fourth cycle of Exhibit Columbus, Public by Design, by exploring how collaborations between communities and designers can revitalize and reimagine historic downtowns as equitable, beautiful, and joyful places. We also recognize that Columbus is more than one community—it is many vibrant communities—and Public by Design serves as a platform for all of the city’s citizens to connect around 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,” said the six Curatorial Partners.
This year, for the first time since Exhibit Columbus began, the organization has appointed a group of Community Curators. Each Miller Prize site has an associated Community Curator who is responsible for being the liaison between the designer, the site, and the community.
“I am thrilled that people are starting to see that Exhibit Columbus extends way beyond the traditional art festival or biennial structure to deeply engage our community to create a more meaningful place where people feel they belong. We are interested in a society that grows through art and design, while also preserving and advancing the city’s iconic modern legacy,” said Landmark Columbus Foundation Executive Director Richard McCoy. “This year’s cycle is doing this more than ever, as our diverse communities have been a key part of the conversations and design plans from the start of this cycle of Exhibit Columbus. We have such a thoughtful local connection in each of this year’s installations because of this close and respectful collaboration. We hope that this community engagement and experimentation can act as a blueprint for connection and advancement for other communities across the globe.”