In a lead up to its second exhibition, Exhibit Columbus
hosted a free and public program, the 2019 Design Presentations, on Saturday, January 19 in downtown Columbus to an audience of more than 350 people. All five of the J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize Recipients presented their design concepts for the 2019 exhibition, which opens August 24 and runs through December 1. The University Design Research Fellows also presented how they will translate their research into installations and experiences.
This was one of the most exciting days in the history of Exhibit Columbus, said Anne Surak, Director of Exhibitions. The narratives that the designers are exploring place our unique community in the context of global concerns being addressed through architecture and design today. Individualized themes in the 2019 exhibition are beginning to emerge around issues related to humankinds dynamic relationships between living and static systems.
Mayor James Lienhoop attended the presentations with other political and civic leaders. We know that Columbus is a special place, and we are very excited about the design concepts, said Mayor Lienhoop. I am particularly glad to have an installation this year on the front steps of Columbus City Hall. Its clear that all of the designs embody the kind of positive civic engagement and participation that has been the bedrock of this community for decades.
Exhibit Columbus is an annual exploration of architecture, art, design, and community that seeks to celebrate Columbus heritage while making it relevant to new communities through symposia and exhibitions.
Following the inaugural symposium in 2016, Foundations and Futures, a critically acclaimed exhibition in 2017, and the groundbreaking 2018 National Symposium, Design, Community, and Progressive Preservation, the 2019 Design Presentations launch this years exhibition cycle by introducing 11 design concepts. While the first exhibition in 2017 centered around site-responsive installations in dialogue with Columbus modern design icons, the 2019 exhibition adds a layer of thematic participation by inviting designers to consider what good design and the community means today and spark conversations about the context of Columbus and its legacy.
Exhibit Columbus looked to the 1986 exhibition, Good Design and the Community: Columbus, Indiana, created by the National Building Museum when local businessman and philanthropist J. Irwin Miller became the first inductee in their Hall of Fame. When profiled by The Washington Post in 1986, Mr. Miller chose to emphasize the communitys process and involvement in building, rather than the architecture itself, as a source of his hometown pride: Architecture is something you can see. You cannot see a spirit or a temperament or a character, though, and there is an invisible part of this community of which I am very proud because, in a democracy, I think that the process is more important than the product.
In the coming months, as the design process continues, the Miller Prize winners and University Design Research Fellows will refine their concepts in preparation for the August 24 opening weekend. Additionally, the five Washington Street Civic Project Leaders, Environmental and Graphic Designer, and High School Design Team will finalize their unique responses to the curatorial theme, and together with these 18 installations will create an exhibition experience unlike any other, one that is free and open to the public.