The 2019 exhibition featured 18 site-responsive installations by architects, designers, academics, artists, and graphic designers. These designers created outdoor installations and experiences that use Columbus’ built heritage as inspiration and context, while highlighting the role that visionary community plays in growing a vibrant, sustainable, and equitable city.
For inspiration, Exhibit Columbus looked to the 1986 exhibition, Good Design and the Community: Columbus, Indiana, created when Columbus business leader and philanthropist J. Irwin Miller became the first person inducted into the National Building Museum Hall of Fame in Washington. Mr. Miller chose to emphasize the community’s process and involvement in building, rather than the architecture itself, as a source of his hometown pride.
Elaborating on the connection between the tangible and intangible culture that Mr. Miller described, the 2019 exhibition explored the idea of “good design in the community,” and what it means today.
“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.”
– J. Irwin Miller
The Washington Post, 1986
Installations and exhibits are located in iconic sites throughout Columbus and many are designed with an interactive element. The aim is for individuals of all abilities to have an equitable experience at the exhibit. Due to occasional site limitations, structures may be located on uneven ground or raised levels without complete access.
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