Columbia Joins AIANY Panel on Designing Campus Residences for a New Generation

On Thursday, June 1, Scott Wright Vice President of Campus Services at Columbia University joined a panel discussion “Changes in Campus Residential Life: Designing for a New Student Generation” at the Center for Architecture. 

June 06, 2023

The panelists were asked the central question: “How does student wellness impact the design of campus housing today and how are institutions using housing to attract applicants?”  

The discussion covered how campus residence halls are changing to meet student needs and creative design solutions architects should consider, ranging from amenities and sustainability to diversity, inclusion, and safety. 

Although amenities are often a focus of campus space discussions, Wright underscored their place in a campus portfolio: “I am not in favor of residence halls having an obligation to deliver missing campus amenities. I want the lenses for common space [in residence halls] to be focused on enhancing student connection.”

More specifically on the question of student wellness and design needs, Wright reflected on the importance of bathrooms in residence halls. “Offering single occupancy bathrooms speak volumes about our concern for privacy, comfort and inclusion in a place where students are at their most vulnerable. Students have been making housing decisions based on bathrooms for decades without even knowing it.”

The event was hosted by the Committee for Education at the American Institute of Architects New York (AIANY) and the Center for Architecture. Video of the event will be available on the AIA website. 

Alongside Wright were panelists Delmy M. Lendof, Ed.D., Vice President for Student Affairs, Pratt Institute; and Kate Baier, Executive Director, Residential Life and Housing Services at New York University.