Formal places have their role, of course. But more relaxed spaces foster the social exchanges that are such an important and memorable element of student life.
Inspiration Without Intimidation – The Crucial Role Of Social Design
For sure, the signature buildings of a campus are a source of real inspiration and pride. Yet the higher education learning environment has to work on a more intimate scale too. There needs to be incidental spaces where individuals can meet informally in smaller groups, spend quiet time reading a book, watching the rest of the college world go by, talking with a friend, or simply indulging in that necessary, and on occasion inspirational, pastime of doing absolutely nothing at all.
The Schmidt Associates’ Higher Education team understands this need. That’s why, no matter how expansive the wider design may be, we always ensure that there are areas of shade for lingering and niches for restful contemplation and meaningful conversation. Of course, some social encounters are on a bigger scale. That’s why we also make sure our designs take into account people’s need to gather. After all, we are highly social animals. Access to high quality spaces in which to do our socializing can only increase the pleasure and sense of community we derive.
“Sticky” Doesn’t Apply Just To Websites
The online generation is highly familiar with the idea of “stickiness” – web sites and social media platforms that attract and retain visitor attention. We believe this characteristic carries over into the three dimensional environment too. There is a need for certain spaces that foster accidental interactions, not overly formalized but great places simply to “hang out”.
We believe that incorporating such “sticky spaces” is fundamental to the success and overall health of campus life. They complement the lecture hall and the auditorium. They are the decompression zone after the lecture and the laboratory. Without them, any campus is the poorer. With them, the whole higher education experience is immeasurably enriched.
To discover more about how our designs foster those accidental and enriching moments of college life, talk to our dedicated Schmidt Associates’ Higher Education team.