Considerations of physical space are intrinsically linked to all our thinking and planning for when we open our campuses, underpinning how we are going to be able to conduct our academic, social, extra-curricular, and other activities and deliver on our stated offerings to students. Space is also inextricably linked to health concerns, since social (more accurately physical) distancing is at the heart of COVID-19 management and mitigation. How we use, manage and adapt our space to deliver safe learning and teaching environments, extra-curricular opportunities, and a sense of belonging is complex, and exacerbated by wider uncertainties.
Space and place considerations are further complicated by the fact that they combine the pragmatic and philosophical, both of which need to be integrated into our thinking; space considerations are pragmatic and practical whereas place is more ethereal, encompassing more emotive concepts such as belonging and community. In order to succeed in planning both these aspects, which potentially fuel very different discussions, they need to be considered in parallel.
This report synthesises the discussions from the workshops series of the Socially Distanced Campuses and Education project.