Celebrating the Architectural Legacy of Columbus, Indiana

“Exhibit Columbus” is an inaugural bi-annual exhibition that celebrates the design legacy of Columbus, Indiana. Though it is a relatively small city with a population of 45,000, Columbus has a global reputation for more than 80 examples of modernist architecture, art, and landscape designs by internationally acclaimed architects and artists.

On view through November 26, 2017, the exhibition, which was organized by Landmark Columbus, is a citywide art and design festival—similar to the Chicago Architectural Biennial, Prospect New Orleans, and Art Prize in Grand Rapids, Michigan—that includes 18 site-responsive installations. The centerpieces are the J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize Prize installations, which honor the two design patrons. The exhibition also features installations by international designers and students, as well as professors from Midwestern universities and local university and high school students.

One 2017 Miller Prize winner is the Conversation Plinth at Cleo Rogers Memorial Library (designed by I. M. Pei) by IKD. Photo by Hadley Fruits for Exhibit Columbus.


Another Miller Prize winner is the Exchange at Irwin Conference Center (designed by Eero Saarinen) by Oyler Wu Collaborative. Photo by Hadley Fruits for Exhibit Columbus.


Installations along Washington Street—Columbus’s main street—include Playhouse by Snarkitecture, which is inserted into an alleyway. Photo by Hadley Fruits for Exhibit Columbus.


Set near the North Christian Church designed by Eero Saarinen is an installation by Indiana University. Photo by Hadley Fruits for Exhibit Columbus.


Six students from Columbus high schools worked with architecture and design professionals selected by Indiana University Center for Art + Design (IUCA+D) to create the installation Between the Threads at the LHP Historic Post Office. Photo by Hadley Fruits for Exhibit Columbus.


“‘Exhibit Columbus’ was created in part to answer the question, ‘What’s next for Columbus?’” said Mayor Jim Leinhoop. “We want this initiative to become a platform to showcase our historic design heritage and community spirit, while pointing to the future so the next generation continues to experience a community of tremendous vibrancy, just as the last generation did.”

“’Exhibit Columbus will encourage visitors to explore the design legacy of Columbus while reenergizing the community around the potential to realize new designs in Columbus,” said Richard McCoy, director of Landmark Columbus. “This innovative program is a model that talks about the importance of place and community, themes that are globally relevant. Everything we are doing is about honoring the past, while pointing toward the future.”

Rick Valicenti of Thirst designed the graphic identity and exhibition wayfinding for “Exhibit Columbus,” which is aligned with Alexander Girard’s color palette for the Miller House and Garden interiors, as well as Paul’ Rand’s identity program for the Columbus Area Visitors Center.

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