Columbus, Indiana is known as the “Athens of the Prairie”: a mecca of midcentury modernism in an idyllic, small midwestern town. Featuring eight national historic landmarks, it is a well-preserved glimpse into the transformative power of architecture when implemented citywide.
Recently, a new wave of young designers and supporters are aiming to reinvigorate this design heritage for the 21st century. A newly formed advocacy and action group called Landmark Columbus, led by Richard McCoy, has announced plans for Exhibit Columbus a biannual design exhibition to start in fall 2017, with an inaugural symposium “Foundations and Futures,” September 28-October 2, 2016. Featured keynotes will be Deborah Berke, Will Miller, Robert A. M. Stern, and Michael Van Valkenburgh.
Dubbed “a biennial exploration of architecture, art, design, and community,” Exhibit Columbus will repeat the symposium in even years and the exhibition of site-specific installations in odd years. A competition will be held between ten selected designers, and five will be selected to build their installations for the 2017 event. These proposals will be on public view at the Indiana University Center for Art + Design. The winners will receive the J. Irwin Miller and Xenia S. Miller Prize.