In my mum’s village in India, my grandfather would find scraps from fallen coconut trees and carve them into abstract shapes, announcing them as “elephant”, “dancer”, or “serpent”, and forcing my mind to squish and stretch and see possibility in the unknown.

Hi! I’m Varsha Vinod. I study Communication Design with a minor in Political Science at the University of Cincinnati and am interested in how design affects the human experience—for people from all backgrounds, especially those who have been historically underrepresented.

I moved about twelve times growing up. I live in Chicago, am from India, and was primarily raised in Australia and Singapore. I now attend the University of Cincinnati DAAP. Moving a lot as a child made me sensitive to a multitude of cultures and practices, and since I moved to a new environment each time, it made me a people person­—I am also very invested in linguistics, and how communication impacts empathy. My experiences growing up inform a lot of my identity and there is much intersectionality with who I am as a designer and who I am as a person.

When I’m not designing, you can find me playing just about any sport, singing, reading a mystery novel, playing the violin in my orchestra, giving tours of my college, or solving problems with my studio leads at Design for America.  

Most recently, I wrote and published a short poetry book titled “An Abundance of You” :)

Demonstrating a prototype during a design sprint at the Design For America Midwest Meetup Conferece at University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign
In 2023, I wrote and published a poetry book titled “An Abundance of You”! As a language lover, it’s been a dream of mine to write a book and I look forward to writing more in the future