OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

How might minoritized students achieve a sense of spatial justice & belonging on college campuses?

We are prototyping campus placemaking for spatial justice with design thinking approach.

Photo of Ilya Benjamin Washington
4 2

Written by

Universities and Colleges have never been more“diverse.” Yet, some students report lack a sense of belonging primarily among first-generation (working-class) & non-white graduate students. In classrooms, residence & community town halls, students voiced feeling unwelcome on campus and attributed these feelings issues related to  Race, Class, Gender, Sexuality & Ability.  How might we use art & design thinking to better prepare all learners for the need of tomorrow by reimagining higher education? Inspired by a desire  to achieve, what Harvey & Soja (2010) coin  spatial justice, minoritized students at an elite institution use design thinking to (re) imagine campus culture through community driven placemaking. Our work tells the story of how students at an elite graduate school of education began to (re)-claim space through the production & prototyping of artifacts & community engagement to (re) define spaces of belonging. What can we learn from students about  campus culture, belonging, and the reinvigoration of student activism?

2016 International Education Week Conference @Teachers College, Columbia University

The students

Powered by Human Centered Design Thinking, we examine Campus Culture, Diversity & Belonging in Higher Education by engaging students in the process of Social Practice Placemaking  for campus spatial justice. Human Centered Design posits that problems can be solved and that those closest to the problem possess unique insights into its solution. Social Practice Placemaking is a community driven multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces & emphasizes art & community engagement. 

www.wearewelcomehere.org

4 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Rob

I like the Idea, the concept of the of such way for campus culture development. But a flipside of the coin is in the fact that most of such things remains only as a plan and never become a reality. A few years ago I read about a new approach to homeschooling, but then I never heard about the results of the approach. I can't find the original article, but an essay linked here https://essayshark.com/blog/argumentative-essay-sample-on-home-schooling/ has the similar message. There also some tips for writing papers at the college.
Sorry for my pessimism. But anyway I wish this project to be successful. We need such initiatives in this evil world!

Photo of Laura Yvonne Bulk

I am excited to find this very cool idea!
I'm working on my PhD right now, and my focus is on blind (and partially blind) peoples' experiences of belonging, and how this impacts participation - and I think it'll be with a focus on educational or higher educational contexts. And I really want to incorporate creativity/arts/media into the work.
I'd be interested to keep hearing about your work.

Photo of Ilya Benjamin Washington

Laura Yvonne Bulk  I'm glad you like our work! We are doctoral students from Columbia University experimenting with an idea. Let's talk! ilya@wearewelcomehere.org would you be willing to invite us to your campus in Vancouver?

Photo of Laura Yvonne Bulk

Yes, I'll email you. or you can try me at laurabulk@gmail.com