UW’s Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity

Client: The University of Washington’s Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity, Seattle, Washington Design Team: Principal: Kristine Matthews / Project Lead: Matt Cole / Student Designers (concept design): Christen Miyasato, Monica Niehaus, Angela Piccolo, Samantha Spaeth (concept: Tearing Down & Building Up); Dana Golan, Eva Grate and Jazmine Hoyle (concept: Celebrate/Absorb/Reflect) Photos: Ben Benschneider

The University of Washington’s Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity (OMA&D) was born in May 1968 after members of the Black Student Union and their supporters occupied the office of UW President Charles Odegaard, demanding greater diversity in the UW’s student body, staff and faculty. This iconic student protest led the UW to create one of the nation’s first office of minority affairs. When OMA&D approached Studio Matthews to design an exhibition to celebrate their 50th anniversary, Kristine Matthews incorporated the project into her advanced Exhibition Design class at UW, and involved OMA&D representatives and Studio Matthews designers in class critiques. Design seniors worked in teams to develop exhibition concepts, and the final design, developed by Studio Matthews, represented a combination of two of the strongest student design solutions.

Read more about the unique collaboration between classroom and studio in this feature article on