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Case Study

Crafting a More Inviting Campus: A Case Study with IUPUI



In collaboration with IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis), Collabo XD embarked on a mission to transform the urban campus into a welcoming hub for the greater Indianapolis community. This case study explores how the IUPUI Welcoming Campus task force, along with Collabo’s support, sought to redefine and enhance the campus experience to reflect the values and expectations of its diverse stakeholders.

Challenges and Opportunities

Creating a Welcoming Campus: IUPUI aspired to become a more welcoming and open destination for the broader Indianapolis community, necessitating a comprehensive understanding of their values and needs.

Defining “Welcoming”: The challenge lay in deciphering what “welcoming” truly meant to the various campus visitors and the surrounding community.

The Collaborative Approach: How might we help IUPUI become a welcoming destination for the greater community?

Collabo was enlisted to facilitate a participatory session that would bring together community members, local organizations, and university deans. The objective was to co-design the concept of a “welcoming” campus, aligning it with the collective perspectives of stakeholders.

Tasks Undertaken

Co-Designing a Participatory Session: Collabo worked closely with IUPUI to create a participatory session that engaged community members, local organizations, and university deans in a meaningful dialogue.

Defining “Welcoming”: The session aimed to establish a common understanding of what “welcoming” meant in terms of feeling, appearance, and experience.

Impact Achieved

The collaborative effort led to significant outcomes:

Policy Changes: Ongoing policy changes were initiated to align the campus experience with the newly defined concept of “welcoming.”

Way-Finding Improvements: Enhancements in way-finding initiatives were set in motion to provide a more navigable and user-friendly campus environment.

Large-Scale Construction Projects: Ambitious construction projects were launched to physically manifest the vision of a welcoming campus.

Comprehensive Understanding: IUPUI gained a comprehensive understanding of their customers’ needs and experiences, enabling them to make informed decisions.

Sustainability and Future Initiatives

The impact of the participatory session continues to reverberate at IUPUI:

Ongoing Transformation: Policy changes, way-finding improvements, and construction projects are ongoing, reinforcing the commitment to a welcoming campus.

Inclusive Design Events: This project exemplifies the power of well-planned, fully-participatory design events that empower those affected by change.


Through collaborative efforts and a commitment to engaging stakeholders, IUPUI embarked on a transformative journey to redefine its campus as a more welcoming and inclusive space. This case study underscores the significance of understanding diverse perspectives and aligning them with the values and vision of an institution. It serves as a testament to the potential of participatory design events to harness solutions that resonate with the community they serve. If you seek transformative change driven by inclusive design, Collabo is ready to partner with you on your journey.

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