(beyond) Human-centered.

VLab helps make knowledge more accessible and understandable to everyone.

Based in the Department of Design at The Ohio State University, VLab leverages the power of visual communication and prioritizes visualization as a means of knowledge building:

We collaborate with researchers and potential user communities to distill complex data and information into clear insights. With advanced visualization techniques, we transform and translate academic and educational content for the general public. Our goal is to make the 'what, why, and how' of different subjects accessible and understandable to all.

The faculty-supervised, student-staffed design lab is a reliable resource to cultivate the learning-by-doing model in design education, support faculty research in all areas, and build academic and community connections.

Academic Team

Yvette Shen
  • Associate Professor, Department of Design
  • Areas of Expertise: Information and data visualization
  • Website:
  • Contact: shen.1049 "at"
Peter Chan
  • Associate Professor, Department of Design
  • Areas of Expertise: Brand identity and visual symbols
  • Website:
  • Contact: chan.179 "at"
Deb Scott
  • Associate Professor of Teaching, Department of Design
  • Areas of Expertise: Design foundations, materials and experiences
  • Website:
  • Contact: scott.1765 "at"
Shadrick Addy
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Design
  • Areas of Expertise: Visual narrative in mixed reality environment
  • Website:
  • Contact: addy.29 "at"
William Nickley
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Design
  • Areas of Expertise: Concept and model visualization
  • Website:
  • Contact: nickley.3 "at"
Paul Nini
  • Professor, Department of Design
  • Areas of Expertise: Visualization strategies and social practice design
  • Website:
  • Contact: nini.1 "at"

Advisory board

Liz Sanders
  • Founder of MakeTools
  • Associate Professor, Dept. of Design, OSU
Maria Palazzi
  • Professor | Ohio Eminent Scholar, Department of Design, ACCAD, OSU
Oscar Fernández
  • Associate Professor Emeritus, DAAP, U. of Cincinnati
Elizabeth Newton
  • Executive Director of the Battelle Center for Science, Engineering, and Public Policy
  • Associate Professor of Practice, Integrated Systems Engineering, OSU
David Staley
  • Associate professor, History, Design, and Educational Studies, OSU

Current Students

Raven Serenity Glover
Mahkameh (May)Mallah Zadeh
Maryam Alihoseini
Anastasia Allison
  • Second-year Visual Communication Design Undergrad
Kitty Kozlowski
  • Second-year Visual Communication Design Undergrad

VLab is highly experienced in using cognitive foundations, visual and textural mechanisms, information design principles and techniques to create static and interactive infographics, information design, data and concept visualization materials in print, physical, interactive digital and mixed media.

  • All
  • Print
  • Digital
  • Mixed

The key activities of VLab include

  • Research: Conducting user research, data analysis, and other research methods to identify the best ways to visualize and communicate information.
  • Design: Creating appropriate design forms that communicate information in an effective and engaging way.
  • Prototyping: Building and testing various prototypes of graphics, visualizations, and narratives to see what works best and make improvements.
  • Assessment: Assessing the effectiveness of the visualizations and graphics through formative and summative methods.
  • Implementation: Deploying the final visualizations and graphics in various formats, such as print and tangible materials, websites, social media packages, and presentations, and making sure that they are accessible to the intended users.
  • Training: Providing training and support for students and stakeholders on how to create and use visualizations effectively.
  • Community Building: Building and fostering a community of designers, researchers, developers, and others who are interested in visual communication and information design.
  • Learning: Stay updated with the latest design directions, technologies, and methodologies. Assist students in preparing for professional practices.

Want to collaborate or share your thoughts? We’d love to hear from you.

✹ Location:

Department of Design
108 N Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210
Hayes Hall, Room 222