It is hard to believe that ten years have passed since we changed our name from The Tannery to IdeaBase. Since 2013, many things have changed, from the types of projects we work on to the technologies we work with. We have even changed locations, moving from downtown Kent to a newly renovated space on campus in Franklin Hall. One thing that has not changed is the collaborative team of talented students I have the distinct privilege of working with. Students from the various majors in the College of Communication and Information such as PR, Advertising, Journalism, Digital Media Production, Visual Communication Design, Emerging Media and Technology, and Communication Studies as well as Computer Science and Marketing help make IdeaBase a success. Our motto is “Powered by Kent State Students” and it is as true today as it was ten years ago.
One of the largest advantages of being on campus is that we are much more accessible to students. Even if students do not want to work in one of our paid staff positions, they can still gain professional development experiences in a project-based class environment. These experiences are where IdeaBase collaborates with community partners, faculty, and students to execute a project while adhering to the IdeaBase process. Our community partners allow us to experiment in the classroom setting while students get a feel for what it’s like to work with outside constituents.
The clients who work with IdeaBase tend to be businesses that value the educational process as well as the research that we do on projects. We have worked with amazing people over the years and have formed many lasting relationships with clients who are part of Kent State University as well as clients who are outside of the university.
We added a class in the spring of 2021 called IdeaBase Tools where students learn more about the IdeaBase process and how we work with clients and projects. For most of the students in the class, it was their first or only in-person class since the spring of 2020. IdeaBase also welcomes faculty who want to hold summer workshops or have students do final presentations in the flexible office space. IdeaBase has also been collaborating with the College of Communication and Information Interdisciplinary Projects class where students work in groups on projects in partnership with “clients” following a process similar to IdeaBase. Students have successfully designed and developed several websites, web applications, social media plans, a visualization tool and more. We are so excited to be a part of these class experiences.
Between our office space(s) and classroom settings, students around the entire university are gaining experience in their fields before graduation. Fostering student design and excellence has been at the forefront of IdeaBase’s mission from day one, even as The Tannery. I am so proud of where we started, where we have been and where we are going. At IdeaBase we stand by three truths. Discover, design and refine. These words could not be more true today than ten years ago thanks to our talented students and dedicated staff university-wide.