Higher Ed
August 12, 2021

How Does Architecture & Design Influence Higher Education?

How Does Architecture & Design Influence Higher Education?

If you’ve spent time on a truly well-designed, meticulously constructed university campus, then you’re well aware of just how important architecture is. Not only can architecture inspire imagination and creativity, but it can bring students, teachers, and the community closer together in spaces that feel energized, organic, and magnetic!

There are tons of ways architects can impact the way in which a higher education building is engaged. Considering there are more than 21,000 universities across the globe (and hundreds more currently being constructed), this specific design niche makes a serious footprint in the world’s landscape!

Creative use of vertical spaces

Because plenty of higher education campuses and their buildings are so big, it’s far too easy for designs to focus on the outward, horizontal features. While this isn’t a bad thing in and of itself (it’s often beautiful to look at), there can be a feeling of being “lost in the crowd” that can make these types of buildings and spaces less than conducive to interaction and collaboration.

Instead, higher education facilities can look to find ways to build up – not out. These vertical spaces, when designed for students and staff, become a facilitator for deeper interactions, allowing individuals on campus to feel less lost.

promoting cross-pollination

Most higher education campuses were divided into “schools”, separating each group of students from one another. However, newer facilities are re-thinking this concept. Rather than sectioning people away from each other, new buildings and spaces are being designed so that students and staff from different disciplines have an opportunity to interact!

incorporating natural light

It’s difficult to discuss architecture and design’s impact on higher education without mentioning natural light. The more light you let in, the more successful you will be. Or, at least, that’s what many studies are suggesting. In addition to higher success and productivity, natural light is said to make people feel happier, reduce stress, and combat illness as well! By finding ways to allow more natural light in, higher education facilities can improve the environment for everyone working and learning on campus!

remaining student-centric

Students want to feel like they belong – something that great design can help achieve. When designing, architects should look to develop spaces that are easy for students to enjoy. These environments should offer places to safely store laptops and personal items in between lectures, attractive lobbies with comfortable and flexible furniture, as well as large seating areas where bigger study or friend groups can meet. These features will help bolster the attitude and loyalty of students on campus.

When designed and built with the intention to inspire the next generation, there’s no limit to how beneficial architecture can be on higher education campuses!

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