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2021 Exhibit Columbus announces design concepts
Future Firm, Ann Lui and Craig Reschke (Chicago, IL) Midnight Palace. Site: Sears Building Plaza (Cesar Pelli of Gruen Associates, 1973) Image credit: Rendering courtesy of Future Firm.

COLUMBUS IN.- Building upon themes presented in last year's Symposium, the 2021 Design Presentations introduced 13 site-specific design concepts, launching the third exhibition of Exhibit Columbus. Officially opening August 21, 2021 and on display until November 28, 2021, this year's continuing theme New Middles: From Main Street to Megalopolis builds on Columbus' legacy as a laboratory for design as civic investment. Co-curators Mimi Zeiger (Los Angeles) and Iker Gil (Chicago) have invited participants to explore the future of the center of the United States and regions connected by the Mississippi Watershed. In response, architectural designs range in theme from tending ecologies, transfiguring nighttime places, and transforming words into material.

As the design process continues in the coming months, participants will refine their designs in preparation for construction this summer. In addition to the J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize recipients and University Design Research Fellows, the exhibition will also highlight two Photography Fellows (Virginia Hanusik and David Schalliol), Environmental Design and Wayfinding (Jeremiah Chiu of Some All None), and High School Design Team.

The exhibition will be unlike any other, and as always, is free, outdoors, and open to the public.

2020-21 J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize Design Concepts

The J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize is the centerpiece of Exhibit Columbus and honors two great patrons of the Columbus community. The Miller Prize Recipients are international leaders in their field(s) that bring unique perspectives in connecting people to place and community.

This year's Recipients are Dream the Combine (Minneapolis, MN), Ecosistema Urbano (Miami, FL and Madrid, Spain), Future Firm (Chicago, IL), Olalekan Jeyifous (Brooklyn, NY), and Sam Jacob Studio (London, England).

2020-21 University Design Research Fellowship Design Concepts

Showcasing current research, the Exhibit Columbus University Design Research Fellows are leading professors of architecture and design. Their projects will tackle issues germane to middle cities like sustainability and material reuse, non-human habitat, watershed ecologies, emergent technologies, and migration.

This year's featured fellows are Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller (University of Toronto & Waterloo University), Ang Li (Northeastern University), Derek Hoeferlin (Washginton University in St. Louis), Joyce Hwang (University at Buffalo), Jei Jeeyea Kim (Indiana University), Lola Sheppard and Mason White (University of Toronto and Waterloo University), and Natalie Yates (Ball State University).

2020-21 High School Design Team Design Concept

Inspired by Miller’s vision that innovative education facilities lead to a forward-thinking educational system, the High School Design Team, comprised of students from the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation (BCSC), was also commissioned to create an installation, Tunnel Vision, for the 2021 Exhibition at Central Middle School (Perkins&Will, 2007). Tunnel Vision considers how rivers, foundational waterways to middle cities like Columbus, shape how cities are formed and how they develop into the future.

Students on the team attend Columbus North High School, Columbus East High School, and Hauser High School.

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