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Susan Melsop

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Susan Melsop

Associate Professor, Design


108 Hayes Hall
128 North Oval Mall
Columbus, OH

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Areas of Expertise

  • Interior Design
  • Integration of Human-Centered Design
  • Technology and the Environment
  • Community Design Build
  • Phenomenology of Building and Design Traditions of East Asia
  • Hermeneutics of Sacred Space


  • Master of Architecture, University of Illinois Chicago
  • Bachelor of Architecture, The Ohio State University

Susan Melsop is an Associate Professor in the Design Department at The Ohio State University. She holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Ohio State University. Post-graduate studies focused on East Asian philosophies, hermeneutics of sacred space, and translation of Buddhist principles to implementable practices that affect positive socio-cultural change. Susan’s current research involves interdisciplinary/community-based design pedagogy, transformative learning, co-design processes, environmental stewardship and reflective practices. She creates and develops coursework for Collaborative Design, interdisciplinary Service-Learning, and Sacred Spaces of Asia each of which emphasize design thinking and doing, creative collaboration, and mindfulness awareness. The Service-Learning (community-engaged design and build) coursework dovetails with the focus of her research, which includes social impact design, participatory design methods, and social change theories. Creative place-making and empathic approaches underscore the processes of engagement throughout the courses. The methodologies employed “put into play” democratic principles of social equity and extend education beyond the classroom to affect people toward positive social transformation. Recent awards include a Ratner Distinguished Teaching Award, a Faculty Award for Excellence in Community-Based Scholarship and an Outreach Award from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the Ohio State University.  

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