William Nickley

William Nickley

William Nickley

Assistant Professor


125C Hayes Hall
108 North Oval Mall
Columbus, OHIO 43210

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Office Hours

Spring 2023 - Wednesdays, 3:45p–5:00p, and By Appointment


  • MFA Design Research & Development, The Ohio State University (2020)
  • BSD Industrial Design, The Ohio State University (2010)

William Nickley is Assistant Professor in the Department of Design at The Ohio State University. He holds an MFA in Design and a BSD in Industrial Design from The Ohio State University. He researches social design practice as a member of the Ohio State DESIS Lab and teaches courses in the industrial design major. 

Before joining the faculty of Ohio State's Department of Design in 2020, William spent a decade practicing industrial design in consultancy, in-house and freelance settings, specializing in the development of consumer goods. His work has earned several patents and numerous design and industry awards.

William's research lies at the intersection of social design, design methods, and community-engaged design. He is currently employing co-design to include LGBTQ+ youth in an interdisciplinary research effort to develop training simulations for healthcare providers to improve their affirmative care practice (part of a $2.7 million grant funded by the Ohio Dept. of Medicaid). He also explores youth design-based making in out-of-school settings, drawing on conceptual frameworks from Positive Youth Development to understand how design and technology can empower youth to enact positive and lasting change; this includes a grant-funded project with Columbus City Schools, as well as engagement with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Ohio.

William is co-founding board member of Local Tech Heroes, a nonprofit engaging underserved communities in the central Ohio region through design. He serves on the departmental Diversity & Inclusion, Facilities & Technology, and Industrial Design Area committees. He serves as faculty advisor to the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) Ohio State student chapter.

Are you a design practitioner or educator who would like to be involved in our industrial design program as a guest lecturer, critique-provider, panelist? Take our 5-minute biannual survey (Spring 2022)!

Currently Teaching

Autumn 2022

  • Design 3301 | Visual Strategies for Industrial Design I (aka "Sketching")
  • Design 4101 | Intermediate Industrial Design I (aka "Winter Market")

Spring 2023

  • Design 3451 | Design Media for Industrial Design II

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