Most nights you can find Abby Bouton steadfastly working in Hayes Hall, home of the Department of Design. Bouton is a second-year Design major here at Ohio State, minoring in Theater, and is a member of the Arts Scholars program.
Bouton identifies as non-binary—identifying with neither male or female, rather lying on a spectrum of gender—and uses they/them/their pronouns. They are also a new member of the communication and marketing team at the University Honors & Scholars Center as a student graphic designer.
Ohio State's design program is highly competitive and a small niche that allows Bouton and their peers to work very closely with one another and create artistic and invaluable relationships with professors. "We all know each other and are always bouncing ideas and concepts off of one another. My classmates always inspire me creatively."
Through their first year as an Arts Scholar, Bouton discovered their love for interior design and was introduced to the idea of production design for both film and theater—especially Broadway in New York. During the last spring semester, Bouton, along with the troupe of friends they met through scholars, went to New York City where students were able to meet with OSU Alumni, explore the city, as well as get an up-close look at off-Broadway theater sets. The latter is what sparked Bouton's interest and set them onto their path in the design world.
Bouton made it very clear that their scholars' program, friends, and classmates have been and continue to be influential in their experience at Ohio State and as a designer and artist. During their first year in design, Bouton innovated projects and structures that bent and distorted space, as well as made statements on duality and communication between people and society. "We did this project where we basically altered a space and witnessed how the experience of people changed after the space was altered. It blew my mind and I switched to Interior. I choose OSU because they have a competitive design program and because Columbus is full of the people I want to surround myself with." Bouton laughed remarking the time they had worked at the design studio for two full nights with other classmates and rested briefly in hammocks they'd hung in the middle of the studio.
Outside of academics, Bouton loves to explore Columbus with friends, photography, and being an active member in the LGBTQ+ community. For the near future they hope to acquire at least two internships, one ideally in New York City, and continuing to create and recreate the spaces that surround them and their peers.
By Audre McDowell, Honors & Scholars Media Team Member