back to news May 12, 2017

Department of Design Partners with Clintonville Community Resource Center

The Clintonville Community Resource Center (CRC) offers many services, including senior supportive services, children and youth services, family and neighborhood services, and a food pantry. The food pantry provides more than 450,000 meals a year, including weekly fresh produce distribution.

CRC recently received a grant to help combat childhood obesity and make improvements to the children’s education area of the food pantry. That’s where Ohio State comes in. Laura Zimmerman, the grants manager at CRC and an Ohio State alumna, reached out to the Department of Design. Paul Nini, a professor, enlisted interior design and visual communication students to help with the project. Nini explained that the project provided great field experience, along with a human-centered process where the main question aimed to answer, “how might the various people using this space do so more effectively?”

Two graduate and three undergraduate students volunteered to assist with this project. One of the undergraduate students studying visual communication design, Nicole Riemer, explained how valuable it was.

“It was interesting to work with the people from CRC and see the process in action,” Riemer said.

The students visited CRC to take photo documentation at the beginning of the project. The students discovered that they needed to redesign more than just the children’s area. They wanted to do more with the waiting area and offices, because redesigning one area would affect all other areas of the space. “We were not just reorganizing and designing, but also helping to improve the experience for employees and the people who are served by the CRC,” said Adam Fromme, a graduate student studying public spaces.

“The people who are visiting the CRC food pantry are worried that the food will run out, even though it’s never been an issue, so we want to help ease tensions by redesigning the organization of the space,” said Emily Bell, a graduate student studying interior design. The students wanted to provide more transparency and create a more organized and positive experience for the people visiting the food pantry.

The students presented their final plans to CRC at the end of the semester.