2022–23 Exhibit Columbus University Design Research Fellowship Competition

Architecture Competition: 2022–23 Exhibit Columbus University Design Research Fellowship Competition

Welcome to the 2022–23 University Design Research Fellowship Competition. Thank you for your interest in our program, Exhibit Columbus, and your willingness to be a part of the extraordinary modern design legacy in Columbus, Indiana. This year, University Design Research Fellows (UDRFellows) will be awarded to full-time university/college professors in any area of design, architecture, art, and landscape architecture. UDRFellows will be shortlisted by the 2022–23 Curatorial Partners and then selected by a local team of Community Jurors based on the Request for Qualifications process. Upon application and acceptance, participants are able and required to participate in the 2022 Symposium, 2023 Design Presentations, and ultimately, in the 2023 Exhibition to design/ build a public installation that showcases their research. Follow along to apply.

Questions? Reach out to jamie@landmarkcolumbus.org. Please send all questions by July 15, 2022—our team will review and publish responses on July 21, 2022.


About the University Design Research Fellowship

Entering the fourth cycle of Exhibit Columbus, LCF is proud to launch the University Design Research Fellowship (UDRF) as an open competition in an effort to attract the most innovative and thoughtful ideas that are connected to the emerging concerns of this cycle.

UDRFellows have consistently been outstanding participants in Exhibit Columbus that together create a unique showcase of current design research at a scale that is rarely seen in the United States. In their projects, leading professors have provided excellent educational opportunities for university students that have translated into inspiring installations through every exhibition.

This year UDRFellows will be awarded to full-time university/college professors in any area of design, architecture, art, and landscape architecture who are able to participate in the 2022 Symposium (21–22 October, 2022), 2023 Design Presentations (24–25 February, 2023), and ultimately build a public installation that showcases their research in the 2023 Exhibition (Opening Weekend 25–27 August, 2023). During the exhibition, UDRFellows will also be invited to participate in the UDRF Colloquium that will be produced in partnership with the R. Wayne Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning at Ball State University and Eskenazi School of Architecture, Art + Design at Indiana University. UDRFellows will be shortlisted by the six Curatorial Partners and then selected by Community Jurors based on this Request for Qualifications process.

Professors whose work explores community-based urban design and the challenges facing activating historic downtowns are invited to apply for a design/build stipend of up to $10,000 to support the realization of an installation during the three-month exhibition in downtown Columbus (applications for smaller amounts will also be accepted). Modest travel stipends will be provided to winners to attend the 2022 Symposium and the 2023 Design Presentations (required). Projects may include existing research, work that has already been fabricated, or new projects created specifically for this cycle. LCF recognizes that the award amount is not often sufficient for a new commission and therefore is open to showcasing projects that have already been exhibited. Exhibit Columbus is partnering with the City of Columbus for this cycle in an effort to enhance its downtown corridor and further the City’s goals of creating a more diverse, accessible, and active city. In 2021 James Lima Planning + Development was commissioned to envision strategies that could enable downtown activation. For this competition, potential UDRFellows are invited 408 Sixth Street Columbus IN 47201 812 657 0995 5 to respond to, enhance, and/or critique the propositions of these strategies to generate discussion about the possibilities for the future of downtown Columbus. Through this process, it is believed that themes connected to larger issues in downtowns will emerge.

The University Design Research Fellowship is a key part of Exhibit Columbus. Goals for this cycle’s UDRF component are:

  • Goal 1 Respond to recommendations provided in the Downtown Activation Study by James Lima Planning + Development;
  • Goal 2 Grow interest in the Midwest as a place where design connects with innovative and community-based ambitions;
  • Goal 3 Create singular opportunities for university students (and others) to engage with and learn through the process.

Additional support will be provided that will allow UDRFellows to participate in the UDRF Colloquium in fall 2023. The UDRF Colloquium is a unique way for UDRFellows to showcase their work in an academic setting and discuss their processes of making and teaching.

The 2022–23 Curatorial Partners are Paola Aguirre (Urban Designer, BORDERLESS), Chris Merritt (Landscape Architect, Merritt Chase), Lauren M. Pacheco (Civic and Cultural Artist, Steel Studio Foundation), Bryony Roberts (Designer, Writer, Educator, Bryony Roberts Studio), Raymund Ryan (Curator at Large, The Heinz Architectural Center at Carnegie Museum of Art), and Holly Warren (Assistant Director for the Arts, Economic and Sustainable Development Department, City of Bloomington). This group forms the core of a large and engaged team that will shape this cycle. They have extraordinary backgrounds and have each worked with diverse sets of communities to bring meaningful work to life.

Request for Qualifications 

To apply, please visit www.exhibitcolumbus.org/udrf-competition-application. There, you’ll find two steps to the application process:

  • Step One Complete a form through our website to collect standard information and unique Q&A responses;
  • Step Two Email individual files for qualifications.

Applicants must be

  1. Full-time university or college professor(s);
  2. Person(s) who can showcase a body of research that will form the basisof their concept and eventually an installation proposal for the 2023


  3. Interested in connecting with a community that loves the modernlegacy of Columbus.


  1. Lead professor resume (8.5 x 11, Maximum two pages)
  2. Up to 3 work examples of built projects including associated budgets(8.5 x 11, Maximum three pages, 150 word project descriptions
  3. Biography for team member(s) (Maximum 100 words each)

Project Prompts

  1. Describe what you would like to bring to Exhibit Columbus University Design Research Fellowship (please don’t create or submit a drawing);
  2. Describe your vision/process for engaging students and others in yourproposed project;
  3. Is there a specific part of the Downtown Activation Study that yourproject will address, if so please describe?;
  4. Will your project be able to be disassembled/be removed at the closingof the exhibition (could it go to another community)?

Project Budget and Timeline (1 page)

1. Include budget concept that explains costs to cover materials, fabrication, shipping, installation, and other associated expenses. (If applicable, list information about existing or matching funds that would be used. If you have plans to apply for other funds, please note that the total budget for the project should not exceed $25,000.)

Evaluation Criteria

  1. Applicants must present a body of innovative, research-based work that relates to and addresses recommended strategies for creating a more diverse, accessible, and active downtown presented in the Downtown Activation Study by James Lima Planning + Development;
  2. Work and ideas presented must address audience engagement that is broadly accessible both physically and conceptually;
  3. An opportunity for student involvement that is meaningful for university students who may participate in the project, as well as students of all ages that visit the exhibition.

About the Jury Process

The 2022–23 University Design Research Fellowship Competition will be juried by a committee of Community Jurors. The members of the Community Jury are individuals who are invested in downtown Columbus and live, work, and/or study there. They know what activities are going on, and of the various existing community ambitions to enliven downtown. This group represents a diverse audience in regards to age, accessibility, and ethnicity, and a positive, active relationship with the downtown community. Applicants are highly encouraged to thoughtfully consider how they will communicate about their work to ensure that intent and language is accessible for a wide audience to comprehend and become engaged with.

2022–23 UDRF Community Jurors 

Esther Afolayan, Anuja Chandra, Jackie Combest, Mary Ferdon,  Mary Harmon,  Erin Hawkins, Anakarina Hurtado, Grace Kestle,r Andres Nieto, Jasmine O’Conner, Catie Rix, Shanda Sasse, and Kim Wadholm


  • July 7, 2022 — Request for Qualifications Announcement
  • July 15, 2022 — All questions received
  • July 21, 2022 — Answers to questions released
  • August 22, 2022 — Request for Qualifications Due
  • September 7, 2022 — UDRF Winners Notified
  • Oct. 21 & 22, 2022  — 2022 Exhibit Columbus Symposium
  • Feb. 24 & 25, 2023  —  2022 Exhibit Columbus Design Presentations Installation Fabrication
  • July–Aug., 2023  —  Installation Completed and Installed on Site 2023 Exhibit Columbus
  • Aug. 22, 2023  —  Exhibition Opening 2023 UDRF Colloquium
  • Aug. 25–27, 2023  —  Installation Completed and Installed on Site 2023 Exhibit Columbus
  • Fall 2023  — Exhibition Opening 2023 UDRF Colloquium
  • Nov. 23, 2023  —  Exhibition Closes
  • Nov.–Dec., 2023  —  Installations Decommissioned

To learn more, click here.

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