For this Inclusive Design studio, each student came up with a design proposal for a new residence hall on University at Buffalo’s North Campus as part of UB’s recent comprehensive physical plan.
Before beginning the design process, the studio was tasked with finding appropriate precedents in architecture periodicals. The focus was on larger-scale projects that incorporated any combination of study, classroom, commercial, and recreational facilities into residential buildings or complexes, creating living-learning environments for students. The studio also conducted literature reviews to discern what scientific research has discovered about the influence of the physical environment on residence hall occupants. As part of this initial research, the studio also went on tours of three vastly different on-campus housing options available to University at Buffalo undergraduates; Greiner Hall, Ellicott Complex, and Governors Complex.
To complement what was learned from the scientific studies, the studio also conducted focus groups with residents of the Governors Complex on UB’s North Campus. As the Inclusive Design research group, the studio is focused on the users of buildings and strives to design to improve human performance, health and wellness, and social participation. As occupants of on-campus housing, these students provided valuable information about what works and what needs improvement in their environment, and their concerns were addressed in our design proposals.
The knowledge gathered from precedent studies, tours, literature, and focus groups was synthesized into a design that meets both the studio’s goals of Inclusive Design and the university’s expectations for a living-learning environment for UB’s comprehensive physical plan.