5 Trends in Higher Education Design

IAIA Center for Lifelong Education
IAIA Lloyd Kiva New Welcome Center
IAIA Lloyd Kiva New Welcome Center

Working within the fabric of college and university campuses is complex, and requires an understanding of trends in higher education as well as current use of existing space. The Dyron Murphy Architects (DMA) team is highly adept at working with our academic clients to translate their needs into comprehensive master plans, simple or complex renovations, and innovative new facilities. We have worked with top-tier research institutions as well as community colleges and fine arts schools to develop exceptional facilities that advance their academic missions.

From specialized laboratory environments to exemplary welcome facilities, conference centers to dormitories, multipurpose gymnasiums and theaters to traditional classrooms, our team is well versed in navigating an array of project types and ensuring the final facility keeps with current trends, and is readily adaptable to future needs.

Our designs account for small and large group learning, spontaneous student interaction, and private study areas by providing flexible classrooms and connective spaces. We carefully evaluate the needs of students, staff, and administration to provide our clients with exceptional designs.

Click through the gallery to learn more about design trends in higher education.

1. Flexibility

Shared space is highly valuable on university campuses. Allowing multiple users to reconfigure classrooms and meeting areas extends the lifetime of these spaces, saving costly renovations in the future. Space shared among departments also fosters collaboration, more effective learning, and increases innovation.

2. Integration of Technology

21st Century learning environments are supported by access to technologies that create inspired educational experiences. The increase in personal tech devices- smart phones, tablets, and laptops- can mean a decrease in demand for computer labs and television screens in classrooms. Technology integrated into designs that support dynamic learning environments is much more successful at engaging today’s students.

3. Student Life & Connectivity

From housing to study space and recreation to restaurants, student life plays a pivotal role in building the “campus brand”.  Being involved encourages and progresses student development creatively, intellectually, physically, and socially. Being connected to fellow students and to the campus helps students gain experience in leadership, critical thinking, problem solving, communication, group development, and public speaking.

4. Health & Wellness

A new generation of health-conscious students are increasing the need for gym and multipurpose space, health food choices, and increased walkability on campus. Providing safe, high performing facilities that include efficient, effective, and comfortable spaces is a necessity for improving overall campus health and wellness.

5. Sustainability

High quality educational programs are complemented by highly efficient and comfortable learning spaces. Sustainably designed facilities and more than energy and resource efficient; they often have reduced operating and maintenance costs and provide healthy environments for student living and learning experiences.

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