To Middle Species, With Love amplifies habitat conditions for urban wildlife in Columbus—our co-inhabitants of the built environment. These bats, birds, amphibians, and reptiles—which we call “middle species” in contrast to “flagship” species—are common in our communities and ecosystems, yet often remain invisible in our imaginations.

Made out of Indiana hardwood, the installation provides bird perches and functions similarly to the bat houses used by the endangered Indiana Bat—one of 13 bat species in Indiana. Boulders offer habitat for smaller creatures.

Click here to listen to bat recordings taken on-site, and music made purely from mixing bat sounds. Click here to explore Joyce Hwang's Ecological Practices Research Studio at the University of Buffalo.


Joyce Hwang

University at Buffalo Students

Nicole Sarmiento
Isabelle Dabrowski
Anh Shavindya Seneviratne Do
Bethany Greenaway
Petreen Thomas
Rosanna Valencia
Yukta Satpute
Sneha Arikapudi

UB Faculty and Staff

Greg Delaney
Wade Georgi


Mark Bajorek, Structural Engineer, WSP
Wade Georgi, UB School of Architecture and Planning Fabrication Shop
Timothy Shier, Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Sound Artists

Shawn Chiki
Zach Williams (Onokio)

Additional Advisors

Jonathan Townsend, UB Department of Geography, Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History
Rachel Kavathe, Ball State, Loci Creative, Friends of Pollinator Parks
Ray Moistner, Indiana Hardwood Lumberman’s Association
Kevin Klinger, Ball State
Stuart Hyatt, TEAM Records M12 Studio

Material Sources and Support

Estes Materials
Indiana Hardwood Lumberman's Association
Alp Steel
Custom Millwork Supply
Nut and Bolt
Wade Georgi

Design Presentation Video

Randy Fernando

UB Architecture Graduate Studio

Nick Blackwell, Cristian Copete, Bethany Greenaway, John Henning, Samantha Kalinski, Marietta Koeberle, Mitchel Mesi, Gabrielle Morales, Madelaine Ong, Yogesh Ravichandar, Ayushi Vora, Ben Wemesfelder

Fabrication Supporters

City of Columbus
Columbus Parks Department
Katahdin Engineering
University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, Department of Architecture

Mill Race Park
MVVA with structures by Stanley Saitowitz, 1993

Michael Van Valkenburgh and Stanley Saitowitz’s Mill Race Park is located in the floodplain that was the site of the Mooney Tannery in the 19th century and later the area was known as “Death Valley.” The area first became a park in the 1960s. In 1993, landscape architect Van Valkenburgh completed a redesigned park that honored the site’s heritage and ecology while looking to the future. The Round Lake acts as the visual center to the water-dominated composition. Saitowitz designed the architectural elements, including an Observation Tower offering a view of Columbus’ downtown architecture.

Joyce Hwang is Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Architecture at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, and the Founder of Ants of the Prairie, an office of architectural practice and research that focuses on confronting contemporary ecological conditions through creative means. She is a recipient of the Architectural League Emerging Voices Award, the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and the MacDowell Fellowship. Hwang received a M.Arch degree from Princeton University and a B.Arch degree from Cornell University, where she was awarded the Charles Goodwin Sands Memorial Bronze Medal.

"My work is dedicated to developing creative approaches in confronting the pleasures and horrors of our contemporary ecologies."

— Joyce Hwang

Watch this ten-minute video by Joyce Hwang, who presents and describes the design concept for her installation, To Middle Species, With Love. Hwang is a University Design Research Fellow, a participant in the 2021 Exhibit Columbus Exhibition New Middles. This is a previously recorded and archived event, view more on our YouTube channel.

"We'd like to invite you to consider the world through the perspective of the animals that live among us in our urban environments. ... With our site in Mill Race Park, adjacent to Flatrock River, the observation tower, and the Columbus People Trail, we are excited about the possibility of providing possible habitat for aerial, terrestrial, and amphibious animals."

— Joyce Hwang,
2021 Design Presentations