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Snarkitecture and Formafantasma are among five studios who have created interventions in the US state of Indiana as part of an annual event that explores architecture, art, design, and community. Opening on august 26, and running until late November 2017, Exhibit Columbus is an ongoing initiative that celebrates the small city’s noted reputation for innovation and creativity.

For this year’s edition, Exhibit Columbus worked with five international galleries to create installations along Washington street, Columbus’ main artery. Each of these galleries selected one designer from its stable to develop an object or experience that ‘enhances human interaction and connection, and that inspires community conversations about the role of design in daily life’.

Chosen by Chicago’s volume gallery, New York-based practice Snarkitecture inserted a white ‘playhouse’ structure in an alleyway between two buildings. Due to its diminishing scale, where the space decreases in size the farther it gets from the street, the volume is only able to be fully explored by children. The scheme uses forced perspective to create the illusion of unexpected depth, a sensation reinforced by continuous seating.

For its installation, Formafantasma — the design studio led by Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin — created an monument of glazed volcanic brick that aims to reconnect the local community with the city’s unique architectural heritage. Selected by London-based gallery dzek, Formafantasma’s scheme serves as a mini-museum whereby a window shares rarely seen documents, architectural models, and other local historical artifacts.

An installation by Brooklyn-based designer Cody Hoyt — who works with NYC’s Patrick Parrish gallery — seeks to transform the corner of seventh and Washington streets by replacing more than 2,500 existing monochromatic sidewalk bricks with new and brightly colored concrete bricks. Fabricated in Columbus, the individual bricks take their colors from the Alexander Girard-designed seat cushions at the nearby miller house and garden — the mid-century modern home designed by Eero Saarinen. the vibrant motif invites visitors to imagine new ways to use this corner as a platform for events.

Copenhagen-based gallery Etage projects tasked Danish studio Pettersen & Hein with creating a series of concrete benches that — their expression, colors, function and material — engage with Columbus’ design history and physical setting. ‘pause’ is a series of spatial sculptures, whose appearance relates directly to Alexander Girard’s original 1964 color scheme for the street. As many of the buildings have since been repainted, the furniture has been realizes as an ode to girard’s plans.

Mexico City-based architecture firm Productora has inserted nine circular elements that, once attached to building façades along Washington street, provide individual places of rest. Developed alongside Brussels-based gallery Maniera, each element of the scheme will interact in a different way with the surrounding context, highlighting different narratives of the social and spatial history of the streetscape.

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