Environments designed for hybrid work appeared as a new reality following the global pandemic. As many colleges and universities embrace the permeance of adaptability and hybrid or hyflex learning, designers have found themselves rethinking how to best support the user in a collaborative environment.
Engaging with Student Communities: Open communication with student bodies is crucial. Institutions should actively seek feedback from students about their experiences and needs, shaping policies and practices accordingly. Student input can be invaluable in creating an inclusive and supportive campus environment.
Collaboration in Public Space: To encourage students to remain in person and on campus, colleges and universities must adapt by providing the tools, resources, and environments that cannot be found elsewhere. Well-designed collaborative spaces are now more than ever sought-out and incredibly utilized areas on campus. It is important to promote a sense of belonging and well-being throughout support services spaces.
Don’t forget the Tech: Noted by Allsteel®, as they work on furniture solutions to meet evolving students, “any interior within a college also needs to account for the technology students bring to the space.” Furniture selections should take ergonomic design for device uses into consideration and environments must provide adequate access to power and outlets. Campuses should also look to provide students and staff access to tech tools not found in everyone’s home.
We are excited to see this shift in recent years to focus on creating new healthy and flexible spaces for students and staff alike on campuses. As colleges and universities continue to reshape their approach to student life, we advocate for the enduring prioritization of wellness and human-centered design.