Working with an urban university to create a more desirable campus experience for all visitors.
The IUPUI Welcoming Campus task force was put together to discover how to change their campus in order for it to be seen as a more welcoming and open destination for the greater Indianapolis community. Seeing this as an opportunity to connect with their stakeholders, Collabo was brought in to create a participatory session where community members along with campus leaders shared their perspectives on what "welcoming" really means and how to reflect that in an urban campus.
How might we help IUPUI become a welcoming destination for the greater community?
When IUPUI unveiled their new bicentennial strategic plan, one primary initiative was to make their urban, downtown campus more “welcoming.” Aside from laying out a giant mat at their front door, IUPUI leaders realized there was a lot of ways they could do this, for better or worse—and it all hinged on understanding what “welcoming” meant to those they serve.
With the realization they wanted to improve their understanding of customers and design a “better” campus for them, IUPUI engaged Collabo to help wade through the task at hand. They needed to hear directly from their campus visitors about what would make an urban downtown campus more “welcoming" and connect to the surrounding community. Collabo co-designed a participatory session with community members, local organizations, and university deans. A diversity of views tackled a jam-packed agenda to accomplish a further understanding of their visitors and community values.
The outcomes of the session are already in the works and continuing through ongoing policy changes, way-finding improvements and large-scale construction projects. This project is a powerful example of how a well-planned, full-participation, design event can harness solution plans shaped by those affected by it—we just call that “awesome". If you want that too, we’d love to hear from you!