Soft spaces – figuratively and literally.

March 25, 2010 at 10:21 pm Leave a comment

According to Ian Adamson, AIA, “Soft space holds it all together.” His article in Contract Magazine (Feb 11, 2008) focuses specifically on the soft spaces, or multi-purpose spaces, in academic buildings. They include libraries, lounges, and atria, and they allow for valuable forms of spontaneous interaction and learning that can’t always happen in formal classrooms.

Adamson clearly means “soft” in the figurative sense, but it made me think about how important soft spaces (literally) are in academic buildings as well. Lots of people nap all over the place in college, though the spaces never seem designed for this purpose. I’m definitely not a fan of students having to sleep in the library because they can’t afford housing, but I do think it would be great if napping could be included in the multi-purposes of soft space.

March 25’s design idea is how can an academic space successfully promote rest in addition to study and social interaction? And what would this space look like?

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