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Inside Look: Student Centers

Visual appeal and flexibility help build culture and community
University Business, May 2013

The campus student center may once have been the place students passed through on the way to their next class. But these facilities have evolved into bustling destinations that foster campus culture and community.

This community even breaches the confines of the campus itself. “Student centers provide an opportunity for the community at large to engage on campus,” says Susan Whitmer, research lead at furniture manufacturer Herman Miller. For this reason, current student center buildings are aesthetically pleasing and modern in their look. “People have a need to be face to face with one another,” she adds. “Student centers support this need.”   

With the heightened use of these buildings for a variety of different functions and activities, it has never been more important for an institution to have a campus center that is visually striking and offers flexibility in the use of its space. They are facilities where students can gather with friends and classmates to socialize and to study, to see others and be seen. Bright, inviting, and open are crucial elements in the interiors of the facilities.

Above are examples of institutions that have integrated these and other trends to the design of their new and newly remodeled student centers to help build community as well as prepare students for post-grad life.     


Submit a nomination for Inside Look: Welcome Centers by June 14.