By Brian Simanek
In my department recently, there has been some discussion about what modifications we could make to our building to enhance the quality of the department. The conversation has centered around not only cosmetic improvements, but also features that would draw people out of their offices to an environment conducive to collaboration. Some people have proposed some very interesting ideas.
Some people have talked about new space for seminars and new AV equipment. Some people have mentioned more hallway space with chalkboards and furniture to invite collaboration with visitors and outside speakers. Outdoor space and more natural light in offices and hallways also seem to be popular ideas. We also discuss less glamorous topics like sound insulation and new bookshelves. Several building on my university’s campus have been recently renovated, and there seems to be a strong emphasis on natural lighting and large open spaces in the modern designs (though these kinds of designs do not work equally well in all climates).
If you’re reading this and your department or office space has recently gone through renovations, please comment about the changes that you like best and those that you would not recommend.