Trends Shaping Higher Education: Campus Planning and Design

Trend Toward Integrating and Extending the Impact of Spaces

Impact of SpacesEroding are the days of single-purpose, dedicated, one-user campus spaces. As higher education resources constrain and institutions look to revitalize or expand their physical footprint, an emphasis on multi-use, flexible, shared and applied space is emerging to meet new expectations in form and function. The physical must provide more than space; it must bring together, extend the reach and advance the institution’s impact.

Multi-use, flexible, shared space provides a platform for the integration of disciplinary work supporting multidisciplinary education, research and scholarly and creative pursuits. Collaboration labs, informal learning spaces and maker spaces provide rich opportunities for integration and application of diverse knowledge, skills and abilities.

Emerging space designs support greater institutional engagement with their communities and provide a valuable outreach and partnership opportunity. General use and informal spaces are further designed to be open, flexible and accessible, and conveniently located for access, as well as to embrace community interaction. High-cost, high-tech, specialized learning and research facilities will be increasingly leveraged through multi-institutional and industry/organizational partnerships.

The design of space that supports integration of function and extension of engagement will advance applied learning environments where knowledge and application will foster innovation, discovery, entrepreneurship and creation with impact.

About the Author

Lynn D. Akey, Ph.D. is assistant vice president for Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment at Minnesota State University, Mankato, and SCUP At-Large director.