2021 Exhibition Events

New Middles: From Main Street to Megalopolis, What is the Future of the Middle City? on view August 21–November 28, 2021, Columbus, Indiana. The 2021 Exhibition is powered by support from Cummins Inc. Sign up for our newsletter for latest news and events.

We're excited to host our one-of-a-kind Preview Party under the stars at Mill Race Park on Friday, August 20, presented by MyTruAdvantage, a SIHO product. This is an extraordinary evening of food, libations, and live music, and also a chance to meet the 2021 Exhibit Columbus participants, including architects, designers, and artists, and Columbus residents and visitors from around the world. Join us the following day on Saturday for Opening Day, a day-long series of free events throughout downtown presented by ESL Spectrum.

Short Films at Midnight Palace with Future Firm

Thursday, August 19, 2021
9:30pm EDT
323 Brown Street, Columbus, IN 47201
Free and open to the public

Link to register

YES Cinema and The Night Gallery present Night Owls, a "visual playlist" of short films and animation works which are inspired by the lives of second and third-shift workers and spaces of nighttime, past, present, and future. The "visual playlist" will be screened at Midnight Palace, a temporary installation inspired by the atmospheric qualities of nighttime. Concessions and popcorn will be available for purchase, with proceeds going to YES Cinema, a non-profit organization which provides support for various community programs and services.

Partners

YES Cinema and Conference Center-YCCC (a component of Lincoln-Central Neighborhood Family Center- LCNFC) is a non-profit organization that supports first-run films, independent, foreign and other non-mainstream films and their audiences.

Founded in 2017, The Night Gallery is a nocturnal exhibition space in Chicago. Open from sunset to sunrise, The Night Gallery features film and video works by architects, designers, filmmakers, and artists.

Preview Party

Presented by MyTruAdvantage, a SIHO product

Friday, August 20, 2021
5–11:00pm EDT
Ticketed event

Buy Tickets

Join us at one of the best parties in the state as we celebrate the designers, curators, fabricators, volunteers, and leaders of the 2021 Exhibit Columbus Exhibition! Thank you to the Presenting Sponsor of the 2021 Preview Party MyTruAdvantage, a SIHO product.

A one-of-a-kind opening celebration in Mill Race Park. This is a ticketed event including an extraordinary evening of food, libations, and live music. On this evening, mingle alongside all the architects, landscape architects, artists and designers who created the installations, as well as Columbus residents and visitors from around the world.

Opening Day

Presented by ESL Spectrum

Saturday, August 21, 2021
10am–9:30pm EDT
downtown Columbus, Indiana

On Saturday, August 21, Exhibit Columbus—the annual exploration of architecture, art, design, and community—will open to the public. Exhibit Columbus commissions some of the most creative minds in architecture, design, and art to create new works in dialogue with the iconic buildings, landscapes, and public art of Columbus.

Opening weekend will enliven downtown Columbus, as it celebrates the city’s architecture and design legacy with site-specific installations, photography, and graphic identity and wayfinding. This weekend is the only opportunity during the exhibition’s three-month run to see the exhibition alongside all the architects, landscape architects, artists and designers who created the installations, as well as Columbus residents and visitors from around the world.

The 2021 Exhibition opens to the public with introductions and conversations by the curators and participants, tours, and live music in Mill Race Park.

See below for a complete list of the day's events with links to register!

Guided Tour with
Photography Fellows

Saturday, August 21, 2021
10–11:30am EDT
Location TBA

RSVP required, limited space

RSVP now for a special, guided tour of the Exhibition alongside the 2021 Exhibit Columbus Photography Fellows Virginia Hanusik and David Schalliol! We invite you to view the exhibition through the lens of their work, on display at various locations around downtown. On this tour, hear more from them about their photography practice and documentation of the Mississippi Watershed and Columbus. RSVP is required and space is limited (20 person maximum).

Exhibition Conversations Part One: University Design Research Fellows

Saturday, August 21, 2021
1–3:30pm EDT
First Christian Church
Free and open to the public

Link to register

University Design Research Fellowship Conversation 1

Derek Hoeferlin, Tracing Our Mississippi (Washington University in St. Louis)
Joyce Hwang, To Middle Species, with Love (University at Buffalo)
Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller, Spectral (Texas Tech University at El Paso)
Natalie Yates, Calibrate (Ball State University)

Welcome and Introduction of the 2020–21 High School Design Team

The High School Design Team is made up of students from the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation (BCSC).

Design Team Leaders: Naricyn Andis, Bailey Barker, Isaac Carpenter, Brody Copas, Connor Deaton, Wyatt Frist, Owen Hebert, Angie Hernandez, Team Leader Chase Jones, Miguel Martinez, Eshaan Mehta, Grishma Pitkar, Adam Schwartz, Joshua Taylor;

Build Team: Alexander Arellano Ferrer, Ethan Clark, Cameron Crider, Rocco Duffy, Gavin Frankhauser, Harley Gant, Andrew Krueger, Wesley Lack, Kai Linneweber, Juan Ruiz-Tapia, George Starks, Eric Stavnheim, Jesse Williams;

Instructor: Darin Johnson, C4 Program.

University Design Research Fellowship Conversation 2

Jei Jeeyea Kim, LaWaSoGround (Indiana University)
Ang Li, Window Dressing (Northeastern University)
Lola Sheppard and Mason White, This Appearance Is (University of Toronto & University of Waterloo)

Exhibition Conversations Part Two: J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize, plus Twilight Music in the Park

Saturday, August 21, 2021
7–9:30pm EDT
Mill Race Park Amphitheater
Free and open to the public

Link to register

Exhibition Conversations Part 2: Miller Prize recipients

Join us in our finale series of conversations featuring the 2021 J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize recipients. Including five installations on display, their work represents practices that celebrate design and have a deep interest in research and making. They have been selected for their commitment to the transformative power that architecture, art, and design have to improve people’s lives and make cities better places to live.

Twilight Music in Mill Race Park

Featuring 2021 Exhibit Columbus graphic designer Jeremiah Chiu and Enrique Ramirez, with additional music from sound artists Shawn Chiki and Zach Williams of Onokio.

Next Generation Day

Saturday, August 28, 2021
1–3:00pm EDT
Start your afternoon adventure at Central Middle School with Cloudroom by Ecosistema Urbano
Free and open to the public

Come for a day of family fun and explore downtown Columbus! Created in collaboration with the Council For Youth Development and many other community organizations, this event will be an exciting and engaging way to explore the 2021 Exhibition for kids of all ages. More details coming soon.

Pick up the Exhibit Columbus Activity Guide, meet CYD Youth Ambassadors and Indiana University students at each installation, hear the Columbus Philharmonic Youth Orchestra perform, and more!

Created in collaboration with the Council For Youth Development

Partner Organizations:
Bartholomew County Public Library
Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation
Bartholomew Consolidated School Foundation
Columbus Area Arts Council
Columbus Area Visitors Center
Columbus Park Department
Indiana University J. Irwin Miller Architecture Program
Lincoln Central Neighborhood Family Center
Columbus, Indiana Philharmonic
Su Casa Columbus
Turning Point

Mapping The Middle:
Design Research Conversations

Wednesday, September 15, 2021 (online event)
Wednesday, September 22, 2021 (online event)
Saturday, October 2, 2021 (Columbus, Indiana event)

Created in partnership with Ball State University and Indiana University this series of events highlights the University Design Research Fellowship, featuring several online conversations between Fellows at their home institutions followed by an in-person weekend of events in Columbus including tours, panel discussions with 2020-21 Fellows, and Keynote conversations. More details coming soon.

Watershed Weekend

Friday, October 22, 2021
Saturday, October 23, 2021

Hear 2021 Exhibit Columbus Photography Fellows Virginia Hanusik and David Schalliol in conversation with co-curator Iker Gil; join University Design Research Fellow Derek Hoeferlin and special guests Angie Tillges and Monique Verdin to learn more about the Mississippi Watershed, its past, present, and future; and welcome friends from the Chicago Architecture Biennial! More details coming soon.

Archive of Events

Visit our YouTube page for archived online events, as well as special productions of Exhibit Columbus events and commissioned videography.

Introducing the 2020–21 Exhibit Columbus graphic designer Jeremiah Chiu, in conversation with curators Mimi Zeiger and Iker Gil
Monday, June 10, 2021
4–5:15pm EDT

Exhibit Columbus considers graphic design a key component of the Exhibition, and the 2020–21 cycle of events is connected by a graphic identity and wayfinding system designed by Jeremiah Chiu of Some All None in Los Angeles. For the 2021 Exhibition, Chiu will create a graphic experience that serves to inspire, educate, and connect the public to Exhibit Columbus's mission and New Middles theme.

Check out this archived online event featuring Jeremiah Chiu in conversation with 2020–21 Exhibit Columbus Curators Mimi Zeiger and Iker Gil.



Exhibit Columbus Photography Fellows Virginia Hanusik and
David Schalliol in conversation with Jasmine Benyamin
Monday, June 10, 2021
4–5:15pm EDT

2020-21 Exhibit Columbus Photography Fellows, Virginia Hanusik and David Schalliol have each been documenting parts of Columbus, the Heartland, and the Mississippi watershed from social, economic, and environmental perspectives. The Photography Fellows' work will be presented in innovative ways as part of the 2021 Exhibition opening August 21, 2021.

Check out this archived online event where Virginia and David talk about the work they've been developing over the past year, in conversation with special guest Jasmine Benyamin, Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.


2021 Exhibit Columbus Design Presentations

For the second event of the two-year Exhibit Columbus cycle, New Middles: From Main Street to Megalopolis, What is the Future of the Middle City, Exhibit Columbus hosted the 2021 Design Presentations on March 19 and 26. During the four sessions, attendees heard from thirteen participants discussing their design concepts with community stakeholders, curators, and design experts. Following this event, participants will begin building their concepts into installations for the 2021 Exhibition in downtown Columbus, Indiana.

Event attendees will hear from New Middles curators about the 2021 Exhibition’s core themes and sites; meet the 2020-2021 J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize recipients, University Design Research Fellows, and High School Design Team; and view design concepts for the thirteen installations. This event is a rare opportunity for the attendees to experience the design process and see how special guests respond to the presentations. Each session is organized conceptually around sites.

Design Presentations: Possibilities (4/4)
Friday, March 26, 2021
2–4:00pm EDT

Presentations by:
High School Design Team, Central Middle School
Ecosistema Urbano, Central Middle School
Olalekan Jeyifous, Cleo Rogers Memorial Library Plaza

Special Guests:
Jason Hatton, Library Director, Bartholomew County Public Library
Jay Payne, Principal, Central Middle School

Presentations: Visibilities (3/4)
Friday, March 26, 2021
10–12:00pm EDT

Presentations by:
Sam Jacob Studio, Washington Street
Lola Sheppard and Mason White, University of Toronto and Waterloo University, 600 Block of Washington Street
Ang Li, Northeastern University, The Commons Entrance
Future Firm, Sears Building Plaza

Special Guests:
Maite Borjabad, Neville Bryan Assistant Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design, Art Institute of Chicago
Jia Gu, Director, MAK Center for Art and Architecture
Dave Hayward, Executive Director of Public Works, City of Columbus
Shanda Sasse, Manager, The Commons
Dave Wissman, Director of Facilities, Cummins Inc

Design Presentations: Geographies (2/4)
Friday, March 19, 2021
2–4:00pm EDT

Presentations by:
Jei Jeeyea Kim, Indiana University, First Christian Church
Natalie Yates, Ball State University, Franklin Square
Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller, Texas Tech University, Crump Theatre

Special Guests:
Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher, Helen Hilton Raiser Curator of Architecture and Design, SFMOMA
Rick Herman, Facilities Director, First Christian Church
Hutch Schumaker, Site Representative, Crump Theatre
Tracy Souza, Executive Director, Heritage Fund of Bartholomew County
Irene Sunwoo, John H. Bryan Chair of Architecture and Design, Art Institute of Chicago

Design Presentations: Ecologies (1/4)
Friday, March 19, 2021
10–12:00pm EDT

Presentations by:
Derek Hoeferlin, Washington University at St. Louis, Columbus Pump House
Dream the Combine, Mill Race Park
Joyce Hwang, University of Buffalo, Mill Race Park

Special Guests:
David Brown, 2021 Artistic Director, Chicago Architecture Biennial
Mark Jones, Director, Columbus Parks Department
Gavin Kroeber, Curator and Writer
Tony Moravec, Owner, Columbus Pump House
Rhiannon Sinclair, Senior Urban Planner, Agency Landscape + Planning


2020 Exhibit Columbus Symposium

Symposium Week 4 – Thematic Conversations: Indigenous Futures and Radical Thinking
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
2–3:00pm EDT

Thematic Conversation: Indigenous Futures and Radical Thinking was a roundtable event between designer Chris Cornelius, The Land Institute Founder Wes Jackson, artist/architect Joar Nango, and speculative artist and designer Ash Eliza Smith. A long timeline is central to this conversation, which asks: What are lessons, past and future, of this land and indigenous design? How might alternative voices and perspectives in relation to land, agriculture, and ways of making reimagine North American narratives? This conversation was moderated by Mimi Zeiger, 2020-21 Curator, Exhibit Columbus.


Symposium Week 4 – Columbus Conversations: Indigenous Futures and Radical Thinking
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
12–1:00pm EDT

Whose voices shape an equitable future for Columbus? Miller Prize recipient Olalekan Jeyifous joins Whitney Amuchastegui, Executive Director of Su Casa Columbus and Carolina Castoreno-Santana, Executive Director of the American Indian Center of Indiana in a discussion that addresses how collaboration, alternative histories, and multiple narratives might play a role in the design of an inclusive future. This conversation was moderated by Scott Shoemaker (Miami Tribe of Oklahoma), Eiteljorg Museum.


Symposium Week 3 – Columbus Conversations: Arts and Community
Thursday, October 15, 2020
12–1:00pm EDT

How might community-led cultural initiatives bring people together today and meaningfully improve tomorrow’s civic life? Featuring Miller Prize recipients Ann Lui and Craig Reschke of Future Firm and Sam Jacob of Sam Jacob Studio in discussion with community members Jadon Darnell, Austin Lewis, Jessica Schnepp, and Kate Thomas in a conversation highlighting the ways that grassroots creative networks, Friends of the Crump Theater and NOMAD, are at the front lines of preserving cultural arts spaces, and creating platforms that amplify voices and foster creativity as community assets. This conversation was moderated by Bryony Roberts, Bryony Roberts Studio.


Symposium Week 3 – Thematic Conversations: Arts and Community
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
2–3:00pm EDT

Thematic Conversation: Arts and Community was a roundtable conversation between architect and urban designer Paola Aguirre, artist-writer-researcher Matthew Fluharty and artist and design strategist De Nichols. These experts will explore how arts spaces and cultural organizations are shaping the future of the middle—rural, urban, and points in-between. As communities across the middle reckon with legacies and presents marked by white supremacy and structural racism, including Jim Crow-era monuments, how can speculation through art and design help people envision equitable civic spaces? How have in the past and how will in the future diverse groups of neighborhoods, communities, and individuals come together through art, design, and creativity? This conversation was moderated by Anne Surak, Director, Exhibit Columbus.



Symposium Week 2 – Columbus Conversations: Resiliency and Climate Adaptation
Thursday, October 1, 2020
12–1:00pm EDT

What is Columbus’ past and future relationship with its own ecology and resiliency? Miller Prize recipients Belinda Tato and Jose Luis Vallejo of Ecosistema Urbano join Heather Pope, City of Columbus Director of Redevelopment, landscape architects Rachel Kavathe and Randy Royer, and CORE project manager Jason Larrison in a dialogue that looks at Columbus’ historic relationship to its waterways and future ecological initiatives through the Riverfront Redevelopment Plan, and the introduction of pollinator parks to our community. This conversation was moderated by Janice Shimizu, Associate Curator, Exhibit Columbus / Ball State University.


Symposium Week 2 – Thematic Conversations: Resiliency and Climate Adaptation
Tuesday, September 29, 2020
2–3:00pm EDT

Thematic Conversation: Resiliency and Climate Adaptation asks designer Iñaki Alday and landscape architect Kate Orff to reflect on how their practices are responding through landscape architecture and research to local and planetary climate crises. The conversation stems from the question: How are the Mississippi Watershed and the plains ecosystems and habitat impacted by a changing climate? The COVID-19 pandemic raises issues of how might middle cities and landscapes address global health challenges? What future-oriented ecological strategies will serve middle city landscapes and communities moving forward? The conversation was moderated by Iker Gil, 2020-21 Curator, Exhibit Columbus.


Symposium Week 1 – Columbus Conversations: Futures and Technology
Thursday, September 17, 2020
12–1:00pm EDT

Columbus has long been a place of invention, but how are shifts in technology and manufacturing changing our city’s future? Miller Prize recipients Jennifer Newsom and Tom Carruthers of Dream the Combine join Columbus leaders in a dialogue about how innovation drives designs of the future. This conversation was moderated by Donna Sink, Rowland Design.


Symposium Week 1 – Thematic Conversations: Futures and Technology
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
2–3:00pm EDT

Thematic Conversation: Futures and Technologies brings together futurists Dan Hill and Radha Mistry to discuss how strategic foresight and storytelling influences design. The conversation is premised on an idea attributed to science fiction writer William Gibson: the future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed. What new normal realities from education and equity to mobility and manufacturing will shape what’s next? Whose voices are represented? How might we extrapolate emergent technologies and contemporary conditions facing the Midwest into a speculative future of the middle? The conversation was moderated by Marcus Fairs, Editor-in-Chief, Dezeen.