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Mapping Lesley

Junior Design students participate in an assignment that reaches beyond the classroom and across campus.

Student design teams were tasked with redesigning one of Lesley’s campus maps (Doble, Porter and South Campus) for individuals with physical, sensory and/or visual impairments. The assignment was developed in consultation with the Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD) and Ruth Bork, former Director of Access Services for Students with Disabilities.

Design students teamed up with User Experts from Lesley’s Threshold Program to experience navigating campus with them. This process enabled the design teams to identify specific challenges and pain points the User Experts encountered on campus. But more importantly, the design students were able to empathize with the Threshold students as individuals by witnessing first hand the difficulties associated with our built environments.

student in wheelchair accessing first-aid kit on wall


The design students were required to create a prototypical solution that addressed the specific needs and challenges experienced by their Lesley User Expert. During the development phase of the project, Willa Crolius from IHCD gave a talk on Universal Design, and Ruth Bork also provided a brief history on the American Disabilities Act.

students with service dog walking up steps outside of bulding on campus.


The project concluded with each team presenting their prototypical design solutions, to Ruth Bork, and Lee Cusack (Lesley Design alumnus) for feedback and assessment. Prototypes were not limited to any specific medium and proposed solutions included printed maps, signage and wayfinding, sound devices, and mobile applications.

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