UC’s DAAPworks showcases next generation of creative innovators

DAAP celebrates second virtual exhibition, a new fine arts studio annex and the return to campus

Like many events and experiences in the last year, DAAPworks — the annual showcase of the graduating class from UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning — went virtual for the first time ever in 2020.

One year later, with in-person events still on hold, DAAP continues to embrace the virtual medium for DAAPworks while ushering in a new chapter for the college.

The DAAPworks exhibition opens at 6 p.m., Tuesday, April 27, at www.daapworks.com, where student works will be on view indefinitely.


While DAAP leaders are excited for a return to campus and in-person events, the benefits of having a digital program as opposed to having just an exhibit and showcase in a gallery are numerous enough to become a permanent fixture of the event.

Collage of art, graphic design, photography, models

A sample of the student projects on view in DAAPworks. Photo/provided

“Out of necessity last year, we did a virtual DAAPworks,” says DAAP Dean Timothy Jachna. “We discovered a lot of elements that we’re trying to optimize this time to set ourselves up for a future in which we have a hybrid presence: physical and virtual. Very future-oriented.”

Typically celebrated as a live event in the DAAP building on campus, DAAPworks’ digital format has increased the reach and longevity of the exhibition — last year’s event garnered an audience from every continent besides Antarctica.

Director of DAAP galleries Aaron Cowan is even working with 3D-scanning software to better recreate DAAP’s iconic physical spaces and experiences virtually.

DAAP currently offers 3D walkthroughs of exhibits in UC’s Reed and Meyers galleries, and Cowan is exploring the possibility of scanning next year’s DAAPworks exhibition as a true blend of the physical and the digital.

“The technology opens up a lot of opportunities for people to really be able to expose themselves to DAAP and its environment and creativity, whether they’re in driving distance or on the other side of the globe,” he says.

Students first

Cowan points out that some students’ work lends itself better to a physical presentation while others thrive in a digital medium. To offer both in the future levels the playing field for everyone.

Digital image of a limo covered in pink checked sheet

Digital book, “I Heard God's Voice in a Pink Stretch Limo,” created by fine art student Hannah Kast, will be exhibited in DAAPworks. Photo/provided

“Having this broad approach to DAAPworks makes it so that all students, regardless of their practice, school and program, have the opportunity to present their work in the way that best suits it and can be experienced in the manner that it would be in the professional world,” he says. 

New this year, projects will be categorized based on DAAP’s five strategic focus areas:

  • urban systems
  • health and well-being
  • digital culture
  • creative entrepreneurship
  • sustainable living

“We’re celebrating the schools and the programs, but also the themes that link them,” Dean Jachna says.

DAAP Fashion

Two models wear black work dresses

Je Travaille | I Work Collection by fashion design student Tiara Jones | Photo/Quincy Allfree

For decades, DAAPworks was capped off with the highly anticipated DAAP Fashion Show, a runway exhibition fit for Fashion Week.

While in-person events like this are still on hold, senior fashion design students will display their collections alongside all other design disciplines in the virtual DAAPworks event. 

Later, in May, DAAP will present a virtual fashion event featuring graduates’ work in a unique and exciting video experience that will bring viewers to the front row, right in the comfort of your home. Learn more.

DAAP Studio Annex

With virtual experiences from DAAP on the rise, there is a new opportunity for the public to engage with students’ work in person. 

Exterior of DAAP Studio Annex building

Photo/Emersion Design

Graduate students from DAAP’s School of Art will be showcasing their work at the new DAAP Studio Annex located near campus at 429 Riddle Road, just west of the Clifton Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive intersection.

A longtime passion project for DAAP Dean Emeritus Robert Probst, the new studio annex is a crucial dedicated space for students to practice art and a research facility for the fine arts department.

“Our idea was that it would be a destination to see the next generation of working artists in Cincinnati in action,” Probst says.

Monitored group visits are available by appointment.

“This is a new venue in the Cincinnati arts scene that the community has not been introduced to before,” Dean Jachna says. “It’s almost a soft opening for all of DAAP — a preview of us reopening into the fall semester.”

Interior of a warehouse-like art studio space

The DAAP Studio Annex is a dedicated space for fine arts students. Photo/Emersion Design

Master plan sketch for a city greenway

Master of architecture student Jordan Sauer's thesis —a master plan for Lick Run Greenway in Cincinnati's South Fairmount — is on view in DAAPworks. Photo/provided

Colorful design concepts for Pop-Up Playscapes

"Smart Start Pop-Up Playscapes" created by interior design student Callie Forsythe | Photo/provided