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Exhibit Columbus Announces Prize Winning Centerpieces

mass-design-group__press-image-01.jpg

The installation sites include Central Middle School, where the design concept proposes growing a corn maze. (MASS Design Group)

Exhibit Columbus recently awarded five design studios with the J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize for their design concepts. The five designs will serve as the centerpieces of this year’s exhibition. The Miller Prize is awarded to studios that believe architecture and art can transform communities.

J. Irwin Miller's 1986 exhibition at the Washington D.C. National Building Museum inspired this year’s exhibition. Exhibit Columbus' Director of Exhibitions Anne Surak says the event will focus on honoring Miller’s legacy, as well as the city itself.

“We’re taking this idea of Columbus, not just what is here as in the buildings, but why it’s here," Surak says. "And so celebrating that community building process that was really integral to creating the city that’s here today.”

The exhibition will connect the town’s past and future with displays at sites already known for their architecture, including at the county courthouse, North Christian Church, and the community library.

“Adding this layer of temporary installation onto that and allowing another, new architect to continue that story is really what we want to do with this project," Surak says. "Take the past, and propel it into the future.”

Perhaps the most unusual design in this year’s exhibition will be growing a corn maze outside the local middle school. Surak says the local architecture tradition started off with creating interesting and well-constructed educational facilities. As a result, 14 out of the 17 schools in Columbus were designed by famous architects. To honor this tradition, this year’s exhibition will have a piece created by local high school students.

 “We wanted to take that legacy of investment and highlight how important it is to educate people about design, so we wanted to give a voice to the students,” Surak says. 

The exhibit will start at the end of August and last through the end of the year.  

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