Public by Design, the fourth Exhibit Columbus exhibition, will open the weekend of Friday, August 25 and Saturday, August 26 in downtown Columbus. Indiana. Exhibit Columbus 2023 will feature 13 outdoor, site-responsive installations that derive inspiration and context from Columbus’ 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.
The two-day opening weekend of Exhibit Columbus 2023 will enliven the city’s downtown and 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.
Exhibit Columbus 2023 theme, Public by Design, explores how collaborations between communities and designers can revitalize and reimagine historic downtowns as equitable, beautiful, 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.
Exhibit Columbus 2023 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. Each has an extraordinary background and represents a tremendous depth of experience in many areas, and has worked with diverse sets of communities to bring meaningful work to life.
Throughout the entirety of the 2022-2023 program, many areas of Columbus have been at the center of every conversation and event— from the Kickoff to the Symposium to the Design Presentations. The designers were responsive to the needs and desires of the local community, while still connecting to a global audience with their installations. Public by Design represents an opportunity for each designer and community member to play a new and transformative role in shaping a public life that is more connected to public places and public institutions.
“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,” the six Curatorial Partners said. “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 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.”
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.
“It has been so interesting to work with the Miller Prize recipients to create designs that activate the space around our town’s public institutions. We are celebrating the artists, this year’s theme, and the community’s own buildings,” the Community Curators said. “In this way, our role as Community Curators speaks to the overarching theme of Public by Design and how it prioritizes the engagement we are seeing from the citizens of Columbus and in turn, the community’s commitment to Exhibit Columbus.”
Opening Weekend Activities
The Opening Weekend of Exhibit Columbus will feature two key events and many opportunities to interact with the participants, curators, and organizations producing the 2023 exhibition.
August 25 Opening Day Celebration Event at the Commons 5:00–10:00 pm. Tickets will go on sale in June.
August 26 A full day of events that will feature conversations and guided tours of all of the installations that will end with a free dance party on 4th Street.
About Exhibit Columbus
Exhibit Columbus is an exploration of architecture, art, design, and community that activates the design legacy of Columbus, Indiana. It creates a cycle of programming that uses this context to convene conversations around innovative ideas and commissions site-responsive installations in a free, public exhibition.
About Landmark Columbus Foundation
Landmark Columbus Foundation cares for, celebrates, and advances the cultural heritage of Columbus, Indiana. To fulfill its mission Landmark Columbus Foundation directs two locally-engaged and globally-connected programs that are interwoven in their impact and networks: Landmark Columbus and Exhibit Columbus.
“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,” Landmark Columbus Foundation Executive Director Richard McCoy said. “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.”