We are the DAAP ID class of makers and creators, dreamers and schemers, thinkers, designers, and oddballs.

Ari Ashpis


Ari Ashpis is a curious problem solver and creator.



Design Research



Ari grew up in Beachwood, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. He showed an interest in art as a child, encourage by both his mother and grandmother. Ari's grandmother was lover and collector of art, a passion his mother inherited, which then was passed on to Ari. He took his first art classes at the Cleveland Museum of Art, beginning his journey into design. Not only a visual artist, Ari wrote many notable short stories as a child, most notably, the zebra who played soccer, inspired by his passion for soccer. When he entered middle school, every student was given a personal laptop as part of a technology education program. Having this laptop led Ari to discover Adobe Photoshop and the world of graphic design. He began to teach himself how to use Photoshop through online tutorials and from online communities.

In high school, his interest in arts and technology continued to grow, which lead him to apply to the E-media program at the University of Cincinnati. While visiting UC, a tour guide suggested DAAP after learning about his interest in graphic design. After getting an impromptu tour of DAAP, Ari decided to apply and eventually attend DAAP as a graphic communication design major. During his first year in DAAP foundations, Ari was introduced to industrial design and was captivated by the field. During that first year, he decided to switch majors, beginning his journey as an industrial designer.

Ari has had an eclectic mix of co-op experience, ranging from a two-man design consultancy to multi-national corporations. His first co-op at The Launch Werks in downtown Cincinnati taught Ari about local design and manufacturing. The next co-op took him to Illinois, outside of Chicago, working in the innovation and design center at The Chamberlain Group. Ari learned about design within a large corporation and how a single entity manages different brands. Ari returned home to Cleveland for his third co-op at Nottingham Spirk: Business Innovation Center. Nottingham Spirk showed Ari the power of interdisciplinary collaboration and teamwork. Ari then traveled to southern Massachusetts for his first medical industry experience at Mitek Sports Medicine on the front-end design and innovation team, designing surgical tools and early intervention devices.  He participated in cadaver labs, conducting user-research with surgeons, and learning how to design within very specific and technical specifications and regulations. His final co-op brought him full circle back to Cincinnati at the Live Well Collaborative, working with student led and staffed teams for Proctor and Gamble front-end innovation and Pfizer.