Exhibit Columbus “Public by Design,”
Community Artworks  – Opening Weekend
August 25 & 26, 2023

Known for everywhere public art and architecture, Columbus hosts the Exhibit Columbus exhibition, every other year. This year, from August 26 – November 26, the event is a free showcase of new outdoor public art, created by today’s freshest artists, architects and designers throughout downtown.

This year’s theme is “Public by Design.”  The installations are inspired by existing landmarks, enhancing their beauty and function, while coexisting in aesthetic harmony. Thirteen participants have been chosen as J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize Recipients, University Design Research Fellows, High School Design Team and Communication Designer participants.

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2023 Opening Weekend Celebration

On Friday and Saturday, August 25 and 26, the Columbus community welcomes and celebrates the designers, artists and architects with an opening weekend schedule full of events. All are open to the public and most are free.

Friday, August 25 – Opening Celebration at The Commons

During this ticketed event, attendees can welcome and rub elbows with the artists, architects and designers along with sponsors, partners, donors and special guests. Tickets are on sale now.

Saturday, August 26 – Exhibit Tour with Curators and Participants

From 9 – 11am, take a guided tour of these fascinating art installations with the artists, architects and designers as they present their pieces. The tour begins at Hotel Indigo in downtown Columbus.

Saturday, August 26 – Curatorial Conversation

From 2-3:30pm, hear from the Exhibit Columbus curatorial team as they discuss the origin and meaning of the theme, “Public by Design,” and how the chosen installations bring the theme to life. While it is free and open to the public, registration is required.

Saturday, August 26 – Rock The Block

Come celebrate summer and party with your neighbors at Rock the Block! This event is free and open to the community; no tickets required. At the center of downtown, at the intersection of 4th Street and Washington Street, we will enjoy dance performances and live DJ entertainment. Beer and wine will be available for purchase.

Once the opening weekend festivities come to a close, we invite you to spend time exploring the exhibition this fall.

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Below is an introduction to each “Public by Design” piece, by location.

View an exhibition map and more information.

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signals wayfinding

Wayfinding and Signage System


Designer:  Chris Grimley, Winner of Communication Designer
This collection will visually direct visitors from site to site, as they explore Exhibit Columbus.

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Exhibit Columbus presentation for 2023 by Pau

4th Street and Washington Street


Designer: PAU, Winner of the J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize
This canopy structure is inspired by nearby Zaharakos ice cream sundaes and by the wigwams of the Miami and Shawnee people who settled in Indiana. The canopy will feature a ceiling for projected images and an oculus that resembles the circular opening in the North Christian Church’s roof. This installation will be the center piece of the opening event, Rock the Block, on Saturday, August 26.

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Side Effects installation concept - Exhibit Columbus 2023

The Commons

Side Effects

Designers: Molly Hunker and Greg Corso (Syracuse University), Winner of the University Design Research Fellows
This project breaks down the boundaries between interior and exterior with two large, brightly colored and patterned 3-dimensional shapes installed at The Commons entrance.

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Ovation Plaza

A Carousel for Columbus

Designers: Joseph Altshuler and Zack Morrison (University of Illinois), Winner of the University Design Research Fellows
This piece uniquely combines function and art. Supergraphics inspired from the city’s architecture will animate the walls and ground surfaces of this plaza. The centerpiece is a carousel that spins in place and will be used as a performance stage.

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Cummins Office Building Headquarters

Ground Rules

Designers: Jessica Colangelo and Charles Sharpless (University of Arkansas), Winner of the University Design Research Fellows
Adding recreation to beauty, this installation floats an elevated playing court and seating under the concrete colonnade of the Cummins Corporate Office Building.

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Hotel Indigo

Pipe Up!”

Designers: Halina Steiner, Tameka Baba, Forbes Lipschitz and Shelby Doyle (The Ohio State University and Iowa State University), Winner of the University Design Research Fellows
This project brings the subterranean water infrastructure above ground visually, using a standing field of 150 charlotte pipes topped by 700 feet of undulating tile drains.

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Mill Race Park

Echoes of the Hill

Designer: Sara Zewde of New York City’s Studio Zewde, Winner of the J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize
Spotlighting the large slope of the park, Zewde’s installation features a series of red frames mirroring the hill and encircling an area for activities.

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the plot - port

Mill Race Senior Center

The Plot Project

Designer: PORT, based in Philadelphia and Chicago, Winner of the J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize
Providing seating, function and depth, The Senior Center will be enhanced by 12 plot plantings in the dramatic 1.5-acre arc in front of the building.

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Cummins Parking Garage, West


Designers: Esteban Garcia Bravo and Maria Clara Morales (Purdue University), Winner of the University Design Research Fellows
This interactive and immersive light installation uses a rectangular prism as a foundation. Creating an open-air tunnel, visitors will walk through a free-flowing, animated lighted experience.

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Cummins Parking Garage, East


Designers: Eighteen students from four Bartholomew County high schools, Winner of High School Design Team
In Japanese, machi means a busy downtown area. This installation will be constructed of steel tubing and colorful awnings, defining a large space. Providing maximum functionality and flexibility, various movable pieces allows visitors to design their own gathering spaces using provided chairs, tables and other objects.

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Bartholomew County Public Library


Designer: Deborah Garcia (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Winner of the University Design Research Fellows
Recordar means “to remember” in Latin. This project uses sounds, and even our own voices, to remind us of history, from Modernism to ancient times.

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Columbus Area Visitors Center

Sylvan Scrapple”

Designers: Katie MacDonald and Kyle Schumann (University of Virginia), Winner of the University Design Research Fellows
Combining surplus from landscaping projects and construction demolition, this architectural assembly will use curving timber panels and bricks built upon the existing planter wall. The structure will offer a wooded oasis for reading, dining and play.

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Library Plaza

Designed by the Public

Designer: Tatiana Bilbao from ESTUDIO of Mexico City, Winner of the J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize
This piece is based on the concept to allow people to determine their own way of unwinding and playing. It will encourage visitors to use provided objects and their imaginations to build their own purposeful space. The broad scope of objects will include furniture, equipment and other items.

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The Exhibit Columbus “Public by Design” Opening Weekend will be a community-wide celebration. Join us to celebrate these talented artists, architects and designers and welcome them to our proud city.

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