Public plazas are the community’s place to gather for dialogue, performance, and exchange. Untitled transforms Cleo Rogers Memorial Library Plaza with an elevated garden terrace designed for exploration, improvisation, and play. Using the rigid geometries of Pei’s design as a formal point of departure, interlocking metal curves form an organic puzzle-piece-like landscape that encourages conversation and relaxation. As native grasses and wildflowers change over time, the public too will adapt and discover new ways to experience this installation.
After the exhibition, metal components that make up the installation—the steps and the curved bench—will be reinstalled inside the library as functional interior elements providing further activation of its communal spaces. Similarly, the plants will be donated to the Columbus Parks Department, and seeds from the native grasses, plants, and flowers will be harvested to form the foundation of the library’s new seed library documenting Indiana’s native flora.
Materials - Powder coated steel, Indiana native plants, potting material
The J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize Profile Films are a partnership between Exhibit Columbus and filmmaking collaborative Spirit of Space. Five short films offer a behind-the-scenes look at the stories and inspiration behind the Miller Prize installations in the 2019 Exhibition: Good Design and the Community.
Frida Escobedo Studio – 2019 Exhibition from Exhibit Columbus on Vimeo.
Frida Escobedo Studio is an architecture and design studio that operates within a theoretical framework that addresses time not as a historical calibration, but rather a social operation. Principal Frida Escobedo produces work that ranges from art installation and furniture design to residential and public buildings around the world.
The firm’s projects include “You know you cannot see so well as by reflection,” a summer pavilion designed for the central courtyard of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 2015, and “A very short space of time through very short times of space,” an art installation commissioned by Stanford University in 2016. Frida Escobedo Studio has just completed the 2018 Serpentine Pavilion in Kensington Gardens, London. Escobedo is the youngest designer—and only the second woman—to receive this prestigious commission. Like many of Escobedo’s projects, its sophisticated form is created from simple materials.
The Carnegie Foundation funded Columbus’ first library building on this site in 1903. In the 1950s the growing city sought to completely redesign the area, which would be named in honor of Cleo Rogers, who served as Library Director from 1936 to 1964. Completed in 1969, Cleo Rogers Memorial Library was one of I.M. Pei’s earliest major designs. The library sits adjacent to the Irwin Sweeny Miller family home and across from Eliel Saarinen’s First Christian Church with Henry Moore’s sculpture, Large Arch, framing views of the surroundings. The dialogue between library and church, art and architecture, provides a panoramic view of Columbus history through the dynamic public plaza known anecdotally as “the community’s living room.”
Untitled can be experienced from a variety of levels that are accessible via ramps on either side leading up to the library's main entrance.