July 9, 2020

NBC Boston: CannonDesign Helping Colleges & Universities Prepare for Fall 2020 Semester

A new NBC Boston segment profiles how our education team is helping colleges and universities in Boston prepare for the Fall 2020 semester amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the piece that aired in Boston locally and is available online, Lynne Deninger and Toni Loiacano share ideas and insight for how institutions are responding to this challenging moment.

CannonDesign’s Boston office is working with several higher education institutions to use design, programming and data to adapt existing classrooms, residence halls and campus spaces to promote a safer college experience. The full segment is available online, below are excerpts:

“What we’re seeing, there is a real deep conversation around how do we let students come together in smaller groups and really allow them to flourish, grow and learn together,” Lynne explains.

“People are using design as a way to provide physical cues to new social norms. So for example, having to stay six feet apart, walking in particular directions,” added Toni.

“One thing they’re going to see is less people, so in all of the classes, in terms of design, it’s figuring out how to make people feel comfortable and warm when there are less bodies, and so some simple things are less furniture.”

Lynne added that  some furniture will also be removed from common areas, along with shared equipment like refrigerators and microwaves. Double rooms in residence halls may also be turned into singles and HEPA filters may be used in smaller spaces to increase proper airflow. “It’s really just about trying to keep the students, faculty and staff as safe as they can be.”

CannonDesign’s education team has built resources and living-guides to help colleges and universities Return to Campus and K-12 schools reopen with students this fall. The team’s efforts have previously been documented by NBC Dallas, The 74 and the St. Louis Business Journal among others.