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Secret Service

Subtle Design Factors Have a Dramatic Effect in Residence Hall Safety
Journal Cover
Published October 1, 2020
By James A. Baumann
Planning Types: Campus Planning

Campuses focus on safety as they welcome students back into residence halls—but it won't be the only thing they consider. The purposeful design of campus housing, from its earliest days, has had to nurture the community and ensure safety simultaneously. When done properly, that sense of shared residence promotes safety as the residents look out for one another both consciously and subconsciously. However, with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new threat has been introduced. What happens now when an instrumental source of protection and fellow students and residents may become the source of the danger? Throw into the mix the fact that features and strategies to keep residents separated flies in the face of generations spent striving to bring them together. In this new normal, the mission of community and collaboration hasn't changed, but the ways in which it is achieved may have to.

Partner: Learning by Design