Exhibit Columbus Launches Academic Design Research Fellowship Competition

Just over a month after the official launch of the fourth cycle of Exhibit Columbus with a community kick-off event titled Downtown reconsidered, the next major component of the 2022-2023 iteration of the Landmark Columbus Foundation’s flagship program has been announced: the University Design Research Fellowship (UDRF) competition. Now in the Request for Qualification stage until August 22, the competition, presented by Archinect X Entertainerwill award more than $70,000 to full-time, U.S.-based university and college professors working in a variety of disciplines, including architecture, landscape architecture, art, and design.

Although the UDRF is not a new component of Exhibit Columbus, this is the first time that Fellows have been selected via an open competition and judging by a cohort of community members.

Winning scholars can apply for a budget of up to $10,000 to support the design and construction of a public university research facility that explores improving Columbus’ downtown corridor, rich in Modernist architecture, during the three months of the exhibition phase of the exhibition. Columbus. Alongside the exhibition, which opens on the weekend of August 23 to 25, 2023, the winners will also be invited to participate in the UDRF colloquium. This event is produced in partnership with the R. Wayne Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning at Ball State University and the Eskenazi School of Architecture, Art + Design at Indiana University.

Travel stipends to attend both the exhibit and the two previous events, the Exhibit Columbus 2022 Symposium (October 21-22, 2022) and the Columbus 2023 Exhibit Design Presentations (February 23-24, 2003 ), will also be provided to winning UDRFellows.

(Courtesy of Columbus Exhibit)

As detailed in a press announcement, contest participants are invited to “react, improve and/or critique” the downtown activation strategies recommended by James Lima Planning + Development as part of the activation study. from downtown commissioned by the City of Columbus. Winning projects are envisioned as those that will spark conversations about the future of downtown Columbus. Through this process, it is believed that themes related to larger issues in inner cities will emerge,” explained Exhibit Columbus.

“The University Design Research Fellowship component of Exhibit Columbus is unlike anything else in the United States,” said Richard McCoy, executive director of Landmark Columbus Foundation. “Over the past six years, we have seen how more than twenty professors have been able to leverage their research on UDRFellowship as a way to advance and explore within the unique context of our community. We are very excited to see who is interested in participating this year and to develop this component as a unique and highly visible platform that showcases design research and education.

As noted at its launch, the Columbus 2022-2023 exhibit blends elements from previous cycles. In addition to selecting UDRFellows through a competition, the event places greater emphasis on community empowerment as well as a revamped curatorial approach. While the 2020-2021 cycle introduced the event’s first-ever Curatorial Fellowship program (Mimi Zeiger and Iker Gil served as co-curators), a six-person team of curatorial partners was assembled for this edition. The multidisciplinary curatorial team will shape the event, while working with leaders from four Columbus organizations to focus on “social infrastructure at the heart of the community,” explained Exhibit Columbus. Conservative partners were also tasked with compiling a shortlist of UDRF candidates.

The final selection will be made by a panel of community jurors. Winners of the 2022-2023 Columbus UDRF Exhibition will be notified in early September.

“Giving our community jurors the final say in the process will lead to a new set of connections for Exhibit Columbus that will help create greater impact for everyone,” said Jamie Goldsborough, Creative Director of Landmark Columbus. Foundation, which also serves as the coordinator for the competition.

The community jurors are: Esther Afolayan, Anuja Chandra, Jackie Combest, Mary Ferdon, Mary Harmon, Erin Hawkins, Anakarina Hurtado, Grace Kestler, Andres Nieto, Jasmine O’Conner, Catie Rix, Shanda Sasse, Kim Wadholm.

As announced last month, the curatorial partners are: Paola Aguirre, urban designer and founder of collaborative research and design practice BORDERLESS based in Chicago and Texas; Chris Merritt, founding director of Indianapolis and Pittsburgh-based landscape architecture studio Merritt Chase; Lauren M. Pacheco, a cultural and civic artist who is founding director of the Steel Studio Foundation based in Gary, Indiana; Bryony Roberts, designer, writer and educator (and former Miller Prize winner) whose eponymous design and research practice is based in New York; Raymund Ryan, general curator of the Heinz Architectural Center at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh; and Holly Warren, assistant director for the arts at the Economic and Sustainable Development Department for the City of Bloomington.

The Application for Proposal for the Academic Design Research Fellowship competition can be downloaded and viewed in its entirety here.

Abdul J. Gaspar