Following COVID-19, what lies ahead for post-secondary campuses? Institutions across North America are planning upcoming online semesters and distancing measures that will be taken for in-person classes, if any. 

Last year, Craig Applegath (DIALOG principal and architect) authored a white paper on how various colleges and universities can adapt to the future of learning called Futureproofing 101. Well, as you’ve heard countless times, the pandemic has turned the world of higher education upside down. Now, Craig, along with Chen Cohen (DIALOG principal and interior designer), John Souleles (DIALOG principal and architect), and institutions across Canada, are re-writing the playbook as they’re living it. 

 

MacKimmie Tower exterior day 03

With more insights to come, three common elements keep coming up in conversations with post-secondary leaders: 

  1. Undoubtedly, virtual education is here to stay in one way or another, whether that’s to keep up with institutions that have mastered this platform through covid-19, or students seeking flexibility in the delivery of their classes.  
  2. Important for the success of education, and a question being contemplated across every industry, is whether this future state can help support a new form of work/life balance. What flexible options can be made available for students, faculty, and staff to help “balance” new ways of learning, working, and personal lives? 
  3. Things you used to only see in hospitals will start to show up in post-secondary environments. For example, drinking fountains may be replaced with hand washing stations for instance. Common design considerations made in healthcare design, which we have a great handle on, will help make public spaces like schools more resilient and safer post-covid.  

Our experience within DIALOG—turning 5 studios into 600 WFH offices—is already helping post-secondary clients work through their planning. We’re all doing this together, so let's share with and learn from each other.  

If you’re from a school navigating the post-covid future, we want to talk. The more people we can bring to the conversation, the better the solution will be for everyone. Please reach out to Craig, Cohen, or John to share your thoughts.

You can also catch Craig Applegath on an upcoming Buildings Canada panel discussing economic recovery with design and construction industry peers. Register here for the June 9 event.