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Adam Fromme

Adam Fromme

Adam Fromme

Assistant Professor of Teaching
Name pronunciation: Frō mē


124C Hayes Hall
108 North Oval Mall
Columbus, Ohio 43210

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Office Hours

Please email to schedule appointments.

Students, check syllabus for walk-in hours.

Areas of Expertise

  • Design Education
  • Design Thinking
  • Participatory Design
  • Design for Public Life
  • Aging and Accessible Design
  • Environmental Graphic Design
  • Visual Communication Design


  • MFA, Design Research and Development, The Ohio State University, 2018
  • BSD, Visual Communication Design, The Ohio State University, 2006

Select Recognition

  • Shared appointment in the College of Nursing (Master of Healthcare Innovation program)
  • Producer and Host of the Thinking through Design podcast
  • Work featured on Adobe Creator Spotlight
  • Co-facilitated the construction of the (World Record-setting) largest useable LEGO structure

Current CV [pdf] Google Scholar Research Gate

Adam Fromme is a designer and educator. He started in the late 1990's as an apprentice at a graphic design firm in his hometown. From that introduction, he was hooked. He was fascinated by design and driven to understand the creative spark. This pursuit is still ongoing. Today, Adam's research aim is to increase the role of design within the workplace, believing that design skills are necessary to everyone. He sees the increasing demand for curious critical thinkers and seeks to equip those who can influence workplace decisions with a designer's mindset.

Adam worked through the ranks from his early apprenticeship to founding his own design firm. Along the way, his specializations in corporate branding, environmental graphics, retail, hospitality, and healthcare design all began to merge. His work—for the likes of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, L Brands, Cardinal Health and McKesson—focused to how public spaces address essential needs as healthy-supportive environments. Adam was driven to understand people's experiences in the shared spaces and how those design decisions were made. This work motivated his graduate research thesis, Co-designing with Older Adults to Create an Age-friendly Evaluation Tool for Public Places. Work on the underlying framework of this research continues today.

Adam joined Ohio State as a Lecturer in 2014 and has maintained teaching roles since. Adam was appointed as a full-time faculty member in 2022. Now, his work focuses on the student's development into curious critical thinkers, so they can add value to workplace projects by efficiently and effectively addressing complexity (that surrounds unmet or unrealized needs of people). Ultimately, this helps them become smart decision makers. Because design is used to solve complexity, it too can feel complex—and confusing and overwhelming. To put these feelings to ease, he leverages his prior experiences and instructs from practical strategy-led approach. This empowers students to know how to move across wicked problems.

His educational research extends beyond the classroom. Adam hosts the Thinking through Design podcast (available on Apple Podcasts). Each episode brings to light how designers think through their problems. And in 2021 he began working with companies to train employees on creativity, participatory design and design thinking. He co-developed the Innovation Experience Program, a 6-month program providing office teams a way to incorporate creative problem-solving methods in the workplace. He also writes about design. Some of his work can be found on Medium, and he serves as a periodic guest writer for the design blog Brand New.

Active Community and University Service and Leadership

  • University: Member of the Council on Student Affairs, University Senate subcommittee
  • Department: Undergraduate Studies Committee
  • Department: Communications and Visual Identity Committee
  • Department: Exhibition and Events Committee
  • Department: Design Thinking Minor Committee (Chair)

Selected Publications

  • Fromme, Adam. "Goldilocks and three other stories about Design Thinking-and how being creative can change how you do what you do." Big Ten Development Conference. Columbus, OH. 8-10 August 2022.
  • Fromme, A. "Student Mental Health and the Design Curriculum: Student-led Solutions for Creating a Culture of Care" Design Principles and Practices (DPP) Sixteenth International Conference: Back to Life: Seeking Vision and Purpose in Principles and Practice. Newcastle, Australia. 19-21 January 2022.
  • Proulx, S., Fromme, A. et al... "Rethinking User Experience of Parking Garage. Exploring Innovative Suicide Prevention Strategies Through Motivational Design." Di Lucchio, L, & Imbesi, L. (Eds.) Proceedings of the Design Culture(s), 2020 Cumulus Conference. Rome: Sapienza University. Link to Paper (see, Volume #2, Design of Culture: Proximity Chapter, pages 3014-3030)
  • Fromme, A.. "The Four Pillars of Age-friendly Design" Southeastern Association of Area Agencies on Aging (SE4A) Annual Conference. Louisville, KY. 30 September-3 October 2018.
  • Bell, E.; Bryan, M.; Eyink, K.; Fromme, A. and Matheney, R.. "Engage Place to Engage People" 7th Annual Innovate Conference: Forward. Columbus, Ohio. 11 May 2018.
  • Fromme, A.. "How to Use Universal Principles to Support Older Adults in Public Places" Universal Design Summit 6- Inclusive Communities: Housing and Public Spaces. St. Louis, MO. 13-14 November 2017.
  • Fromme, A. and Chan, P... "Driving Home Design Research: A Collaborative Design Case Study for Developing Positive Parking Experience on a University Campus" International Association of Societies of Design Research (IASDR) Conference-re: research. Cincinnati, OH. 31 October-3 November 2017.
  • Fromme, A.. "Why Motivations Matter More than Measurements: How Design Thinking Can Inform Future Experiences for an Aging Population" 2017 Society for the Study of Human Biology (SSHB) joint meeting with the International Association of Physiological Anthropology (IAPA) Symposium: Human Biology of Climate Change. Loughborough, UK. 12-15 September 2017.
  • Fromme, A.; Alexander, G.; Allen, C.; Moore M.; Roth, B.; Willard, J.; Ardiyanto; and Shah, T.. (2017). How to Start a Conversation on Driving, Mobility, and Aging. (Self-published)
  • Fromme, A. and Haase, J. "Exploring the Next Urban Condition," 12th European Academy of Design Conference-Design
    for Next. Rome, Italy. 12-14 April 2017.

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