UB architect Joyce Hwang invited to Exhibit Columbus program to explore future of America’s “middle cities”

Image courtesy of Exhibit Columbus.

Image courtesy of Exhibit Columbus

Published October 29, 2020

UB architecture professor Joyce Hwang will explore the future of cities in America’s heartland as one of 12 designers selected to participate in the prestigious Exhibit Columbus program.

The annual Exhibit Columbus symposium and exhibition convenes leading architects and artists in Columbus, Indiana, to explore the city’s historic integration of design into the social fabric and aspirations for the future of Columbus.

The 2020-21 program, New Middles: From Main Street To Megalopolis, What Is The Future of The Middle City?,invites participants to create site specific, future-oriented installationsthat consider the center of the United States and its cities and regions connected by the Mississippi Watershed.

“New Middles” speculates on the heartland, an ecology stretching beyond political borders, from the Canadian Border to the Gulf, and 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.

Hwang, an associate professor and associate chair of architecture at UB, is one of seven University Design Research Fellow participants – scholars and design researchers from universities across the U.S. – each invited to develop an installation design that engages their respective university community. Additional participants include five winners of the J. Irwin and Xenia Miller Prize, which recognizes top architecture and design practices.  

Hwang will develop her installation with research assistance from architecture students at UB. Providing support are several UB student leadership organizations: AIAS (American Institute of Architecture Students), NOMAS (National Organization of Minority Architecture Students), and AASAP (African American Students of Architecture and Planning). Hwang will also base her spring 2021 graduate architecture studio on Columbus, Indiana, and the theme of “New Middles.”

According to the exhibitions curators Mimi Zeiger, a Los Angeles–based architecture critic, educator and curator, and Iker Gil, founding director of Chicago-based MAS Studio: “In a moment when we most need reflection, creativity, and innovation to envision new ways of being, ‘New Middles’ considers Columbus a place to destabilize assumptions, and imagine new architectures and landscapes as a way to positively move our cities forward.”

The exhibition will open in August 2021.

The six other University Design Research Fellows are:

  • Agency, Texas Tech, El Paso
  • Derek Hoeferlin, University of Washington St. Louis
  • Jei Jeeyea Kim, Indiana University
  • Lateral Office, University of Toronto and University of Waterloo
  • Ang Li, Northeastern University
  • Natalie Yates, Ball State University.

The five Miller Prize participants are:

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