Mimi Zeiger

Critic, editor, curator and instigator.

For the Fall 2021 Exhibition, co-curators Iker Gil and Mimi Zeiger have invited exhibition participants to create site-specific, future-oriented installations, which will be developed over the coming year in response to the theme: New Middles:From Main Street to Megalopolis, What is the Future of the Middle City?

This 2020–2021 cycle of programming explores the future of the center of the United States and the regions connected by the Mississippi Watershed. New Middles speculates on the heartland, an ecology stretching beyond political borders—from North to South—from the Canadian Border to the Gulf, and from East to West—from Appalachia to the plains. Embracing a long timeline of cities past, present, and future, New Middles builds upon Columbus’ legacy as a laboratory for design as civic investment. In a moment when we most need reflection, creativity, and innovation to envision new ways of being, New Middlesconsiders Columbus a place to destabilize assumptions, and imagine new architectures and landscapes as a way to positively move our cities forward.

The J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize is the centerpiece of Exhibit Columbus and honors the legacy of two great patrons of our community. The 2020–21 J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize recipients represent practices that celebrate design and have a deep interest in research and making. They have been selected for their commitment to the transformative power that architecture, art, and design have to improve people’s lives and make cities better places to live. This year’s J. Irwin and Xenia Miller Prize winners are:

Dream the Combine, Minneapolis
Ecosistema Urbano, Miami and Madrid, Spain
Future Firm, Chicago
Olalekan Jeyifous, Brooklyn
Sam Jacob Studio, London, England

Seven University Design Research Fellowships have been awarded to leading professors of architecture, landscape architecture, and design from American universities who will create installations highlighting their research. University Design Research Fellows were selected for their ability to tackle specific sets of issues germane to the future of the city and the Mississippi Watershed region, such as sustainability and material reuse, non-human habitat, watershed ecologies, emergent technologies, and migration. The University Design Research Fellows for 2020–2021 are:

Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller, Texas Tech College of Architecture, El Paso
Ang Li, Northeastern University
Derek Hoeferlin, Washington University in St. Louis
Joyce Hwang, University at Buffalo
Jei Jeeyea Kim, Indiana University, Lola Sheppard and Mason White, University of Toronto & Waterloo University
Natalie Yates, Ball State University

New Middles introduces two Photography Fellows, who over the course of 2020–2021 will document parts of Columbus, the heartland, and the Mississippi watershed from social, economic, and environmental perspectives and present this work in innovative ways as part of the exhibition.

The Photography Fellows for 2020–2021 are:
Virginia Hanusik, New Orleans
David Schalliol, Minneapolis

Graphic Design and Wayfinding:
Jeremiah Chiu, some all none, Los Angeles

Plus the Columbus High School Design Team