Education Design for Public Spaces

In August, universities and colleges reopened. Some for in person classes, others for distance learning and many with a mix of the two types of learning. Schools in some areas of the country are now beginning to send students home due to the rise in COVID cases. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides guidance for maintaining public spaces to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Education design on campus in 2020 and beyond must plan for the health, safety and welfare of students and staff. That begins with compliance to the guidelines of cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. Here are the common areas on a college campus where specific education design should be focused.

Clean design in the Living/Learning Center

Student suites are becoming the norm on many campuses. Four single occupancy bedrooms and baths situated around a shared common area and kitchen. With a small group of students spending so much time here for rest and study, high-impact and cleanable furniture is key. The solution for high use furniture in the dorm area is Kwalu, with its beautiful wood-like finishes and easily cleaned surfaces.

Clean design for the Student Center

Taking a page from the Healthcare design market, Education design plans are now largely being influenced by the rising concerns of health and wellness in their spaces. Home to much activity, the student center has been the central hub of a college campus. The tables and seating in this space should be placed in smaller pods to allow for social distancing. Even in the smaller group sections, it is important the high touch furniture can withstand frequent and intense cleaning. Solid surfaces on tables and chair arms are the easiest to keep germ free when cleaned with bleach. Kwalu’s education furniture coupled with high performance fabrics provide the durability required for this space.

Clean design for the Library

Education designers understand that they have to take a full account of the occupancy when designing for the Library and then reevaluate it. This is the quiet study and research space on campus and many students use it. Schools are booking space here to reduce touch points.

Clean Dining Area design

Food and conversation flow freely in education dining spaces. Socially distant education design is the new normal. Tables and chairs in this most used of education common areas should be spaced apart. Kwalu has many easily cleaned stools, benches and dining chairs to create interesting spaces from cafes to cafeterias.

Be mindful of clean design in the Sports Center

Sports and other activities are carefully working through the restrictions imposed by the pandemic and providing welcome spirited events for students and staff. Sporting events are some of the most social activities on campus, bringing together current students and alumni. Clean design for the Sports Center includes increased ventilation combined with small group, bleach cleanable seating options.

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