As a community, Ohio State's campus lacks a sense of acceptance and inclusion for minority students; in order to design for all students and create a campus community that doesn't isolate students, my research group - comprised of Learin McHugh, Sammy Lody, Luis Andino, and myself - began with the most important part of the design process: research! We wanted to gather a variety of student perspectives on the current state of community on Ohio State's campus, as well as discover what a diverse group of students believes an inclusive campus looks like and understand how an inclusive campus community can forge relationships among students and faculty.
Research Overview
We first assembled an online survey using Qualtrics, which we promoted to classmates, friends, numerous student organization members, social media followers, and Greek life communities - this allowed us to reach a pretty large and diverse audience of approximately 175 people within just a few days.
During the survey, research participants were kept anonymous and answered an array of questions ranging from basic demographics to personal stories about campus experiences.
Next, we aimed to understand what students believe an inclusive campus community does - and does not - look like, so we organized a set of images using the online application Miro, which represented many different tenets of campus life: people, place, product, projection, and descriptive qualities.
We sought out survey participants who indicated they were interested in being included in the additional steps of our research process, and thus they became the co-designers for the next phase of the campus inclusivity implementation project. Co-designers were asked to sort images into two categories: inclusive campus and exclusive campus, preferably employing hierarchy of scale to determine the importance of each image/word.
After conducting the participant/co-designer Miro sessions, we came together as a research team to analyze which images were used most frequently for each of the categories we asked them to sort into. Using this information, along with the survey results and personal stories, we concluded we had eight key takeaways to lead us into the next step in the design process.
Campus Strategy
Using what we learned from our primary research, my team worked to create six distinct strategies to use when designing four different implementations or "insertions" to be put in place around campus. Our goal was to apply these strategies and provide at least one design insertion at every highly populated outdoor areas on campus so students would have access to them regardless of where they lived on or off campus. 
Campus Inclusivity Implementations
From our strategies, we created a visual positioning board to capture the essence of what our inclusive insertions would do for Ohio State's campus; many images used were drawn directly from the participant Miro boards from the research stages, and others were added to tie up any loose ends and create a cohesive concept. We focused on using colors only from Ohio State's secondary branding color palette so we could infuse the brand without limiting ourselves to only scarlet and grey.
Insertion 1: Diversity + Inclusion Graphics
Using OSU’s secondary color palette - which is much more colorful than the primary color palette of scarlet, gray, white, and black that frequently dominates spaces on campus - two concepts of graphics were created. The first concept showcases a variety of students, while paying close attention to giving a thorough representation of the genders, races, and cultural backgrounds students on campus associate with, through the depiction of different skin tone and hairstyle combinations. Using a wide palette of non-traditional tones, students are given a chance to see some version of themselves within the graphic and feel truly represented.
The second graphic concept replaces the faces of students with a tile-able pattern of the university’s signature Block O, abstracting it with the unorthodox color palette, to be used in spaces where branding may be crucial to the execution of the design concept, but student representation is desired. This particular insertion is also integrated into some of the other insertions around campus.
Strategies employed: 3, 5, 6
Insertion 2: Gathering Stair + Mural Wall
This insertion is a multi-tiered, varying height gathering staircase that invites students of all backgrounds and walks of life, whether traditional, non-traditional, on campus, commuter, or international and makes them feel acknowledged, accepted, and respected. One of the elements that makes up this inclusive space is a mural wall, showcasing the graphic from Insertion 1, which visually represents a wide variety of demographics while drawing students in from afar with its bright, colorful visual cues. Multilevel steps surround the wall creating opportunities for students to sit, stand, and engage with one another. What was once a simple crossing path on the Oval is now an opportunity to pause, take a breath, take a seat and study, catch up before a meeting, or ignite a conversation with a peer. Additionally, the quote placed on the mural is simply a reminder that the differences among individuals in the student body give more of a reason to come together.
Strategies employed: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
Insertion 3: Flexible Seating System
This insertion not only encourages collaboration and community, but allows individualization if needed. Emphasizing third space, this modular furniture is a great place for students to unwind outside, or meet with a group to get some work done. With different seating heights and combinations, each piece is built for students of any kind. The organic shape allows for such a fluid range of seating, rather than harshly sectioning off seats and spaces, which could deter students from wanting to engage with the pieces. This way, students can sit anywhere on the piece depending on their intended use of the space. Each piece is colored from Ohio State’s secondary color palette, and can be moved by students if needed. With multiple shapes and sizes, the pieces can be put together to allow larger collaboration, or moved apart to encourage individual work or smaller meetings. Since this seating system is meant to attract all kinds of students, it can be implemented in several locations all over campus.
Strategies employed: 1, 2, 4
Insertion 4: Multilingual Resource Center
This insertion is a pop-up multilingual resource center that serves as a place where people can come to share books and resources that are inclusive and representative of their culture, as well as a place where students can gather important information about taxes, visas, scholarships and finances, or citizenship information. Within these spaces around campus, there are employment opportunities for students in law, or related fields, who are interested in assisting students. These spaces allow these conversations to be more open and less intimidating, as they are locations that celebrate diversity and capture the many cultures Ohio State brings together. Creating a neutral inviting space gives students support in an open way that empowers them to celebrate their culture and the other cultures that make up the student body. By being able to access these resources, students can have a more successful experience at OSU.
Strategies employed: 1, 3, 5, 6
Design insertion 1 was created by me, using Adobe Creative Suite; insertion 2 was hand drawn by me and rendered in Adobe by Learin McHugh; insertion 3 was hand drawn by Sammy Lody and rendered in Adobe by Learin McHugh; insertion 4 was hand drawn and rendered by Learin McHugh. Each user persona and journey was also designed by myself.

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