Reimagine evidence-based environments for Higher Ed classrooms,
faculty spaces and social and innovation hubs.
The pandemic has had a profound impact on Higher Education and the needs of the academic community. This is an
opportunity, to leverage a time of great change and disruption to re-imagine the Future Campus in a way that promotes
wellness, equity and better serves the needs of students and faculty.
By engaging students and faculty in a dialog about their experiences over the past year, it became clear that those
experiences have varied greatly. Through surveys and conversations, we were able to understand unique individual
experiences and discover emerging needs, issues and expectations that will need to be addressed in the coming years. We
must design for future learners and educators, the uncertain world they will inhabit and the issues that are most important to
The college experience is about so much more than academics. In a time when students are questioning the value of
higher education and have increased economic, health and social hardships, every space on campus should be leveraged
in a way that supports the full college experience and that creates opportunity for memorable and meaningful experiences.
There will be lasting impacts. And the issues are complex. The effects from campus to campus are widely different and
there is no, “one size fits all solution.” Through our discussions and research we identified 6 trends that served as a
framework for our discussions.
Building from our research and discussions, we engaged field thought leaders to think beyond the current challenges and
re-imagine a new vision of Higher Education. These ideas have been crafted into a toolkit for designers and educators
including ideas, considerations and resources organized in 5 strategies:
• Design for Connection
• Design for Wellness
• Design for Agency
• Design for Needs
• Design for the Future
Our goal is to share what we learned, spark ideas and to generate a dialog.
Putting our toolkit into action, we created a series of new space typologies to explore emerging needs and reimagined a
“21st Century Classroom Building”. While this study is removed from the opportunities and context of people and place, it
is meant to provoke a dialog about how classroom buildings could be re-imagined to better support students and faculty
and create more meaningful and effective learning experiences.
The challenges are staggering, but our conversations have revealed a shared sense of hope and desire to leverage this time
of great change as an opportunity for lasting positive change for the future.
Lindsey Quinones, NCIDQ
Associate Interior Designer
San Francisco State University
Bachelor of Interior Design
Bachelor of Architecture
Mary Lee, CID, IIDA, LEED AP
Associate | Senior Interior Designer