It's been over a year of remote learning and many students aren't ready for it to end. When health concerns subside, colleges that want their students to happily return will need to intentionally design in ways that make coming back more appealing than taking online classes. By taking some principles and inspiration from the hospitality industry, this lofty goal becomes obtainable.
Here are some ways to purposefully design a Higher Ed campus so that students will be thrilled to come back.
Many colleges could benefit from loosening up a little bit. Consider what it would look like to make learning environments a bit more casual than they used to be. While you're at it, you might also look at ways of incorporating spaces that better reflect the personality of your school.
Learning should be fun, inviting, and give room for new ideas. Need some inspiration? Take a look at recent developments in the hotel sector. Lobbies are becoming places for entertainment and immersion – not a means to an end. In some cases, coffee bars are replacing the transactional front desks entirely. The result? People actually want to spend their time there!
Living room style communal spaces aren't just giving students a place to chill, they're giving them something they can't get at home: unexpected human interactions. They also have the potential to serve as alternative workspaces where students can work on a project or collaborate with others.
Make Learning Spaces Unique and Dynamic
Just as boutique hotels are reflective of the cultural fabric of the places in which they are located, the vibe of a hospitality-inspired design should embody the unique nuances of your school culture, the surrounding city context, as well as the students themselves.
By curating more holistic environments that bring together space planning, architecture, lighting, acoustics, materials, texture and even objects, the design of your school can feel like a favorite restaurant or hotel that you want to return to again and again!