Date of Award

Spring 4-2023

Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

B.S. in Interior Design


Design and Innovation

First Advisor

Dustin Altschul

Second Advisor

Kim Buchholz


Throughout history, inclusivity and exclusivity were both common in all areas of society. Inclusive civilizations like Mesopotamia laid the groundwork for an inclusive society where women and men were nearly equal, getting to own land, file for divorce, and own their own businesses1. However, the societies within Mesopotamia soon broke off into smaller communities1, the previous equality dwindled as civilizations formed across the world. As time went on, inclusion was revived. In the United States specifically, slavery was abolished2, women were granted the right to vote3, same-sex marriage was legalized4, and so much improved. Yet, with all the inclusive changes in our history, interiors and organizations are behind on how to properly develop an inclusive environment.

Historically exclusivity and exclusion have largely been seen as either negative or financially unattainable. The hierarchy of first- class plane seats, the rejection of women in the workplace, segregation, and so much more have been the reason for this negative outlook on exclusion. Exclusivity in space design and use, however, can be positive. For example, gay clubs and LGBTQ+ cafes create a safe place for people in that community to come together and share experiences. The same applies to women-only spaces where women can safely walk alone at night without their keys between their fingers5.

Throughout this body of research, inclusive and exclusive spaces will be compared and examined on five levels: safety, access, escape, community, and identity. This results in the identification of where inclusive design falls short in serving people who use space, and how exclusive design strategies can be used to better advance the design of inclusive spaces. Once this is identified, three exclusive spaces are designed to showcase exclusive attributes that can be utilized and studied by any designer, business owner, or anyone wanting to create an inclusive space.

The spaces showcased are an LGBTQ+ Cafe, a Plus-Size Cafe, and a Women’s Cafe.

  1. Mark, Joshua J. “Mesopotamia.” World History Encyclopedia., November 27, 2022.

  2. “13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Abolition of Slavery.” National Archives and Records Administration. National Archives and Records Administration. Accessed November 29, 2022. https://wwwar

  3. “19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Women's Right To Vote (1920).” National Archives and Records Administration. National Archives and Records Administration. Accessed November 29, 2022. https://,decades%20of%20agitation%20and%20protest.

  4. “Milestones in the American Gay Rights Movement.” PBS. Public Broadcasting Service. Accessed November 29, 2022.

  5. Videos and stories by Jake Allen, photos by Carly Geraci. “Give Us Back Our Study Lounge.” The State News. Accessed November 29, 2022.