Living-Learning Research

Understanding the behavior and communication patterns of students is critical to designing residence halls that foster a stronger sense of community, as well as individual development.

Living-Learning Research

Intentional learning communities foster a more successful student experience.

University of Michigan North Quad

Colleges and universities are looking beyond traditional planning strategies – including expanding technology, reimagining buildings, and engaging the community – to get the most out of their campuses. Emerging technologies – such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence – will eventually shape what the physical campus of the future will look like, but not replace it. We'll also likely see an increase in conversations between campus planners and off-campus developers and city councils, maximizing the future of college campuses. More

Girl Studying

The design of Alumni Hall at Pace University embodies what EYP has learned from previous research on how students use space, and how that space can influence outcomes. More

Duke University, Wannamaker Quad

Students today live a 24/7 lifestyle, so residential life and campus dining teams are adapting to improve student services, wellness, and opportunities for community engagement. An increasing number of campuses are integrating food into the residence hall – not only in apartments and suite-style units, but also as focused community spaces that serve residents in a variety of ways. Vibrant social spaces with soft seating, flexible furniture, and a kitchen or food-prep area are popular with good reason: food has always served a cultural function – at the center of social occasions and even unifying regions. In a residence hall, integrating community kitchens and/or a food-service function can highlight the importance that food plays in wellness, education and culture. A kitchen can support residential life programming, enable students to share their culinary heritage, and logistically complement somewhat limited weekend or late-night food service elsewhere on campus. Our recent projects with Trinity College, Duke University, and Pace University integrate food service in varying ways to enhance residential life programs and enrich the student experience. More

We systematically investigate the impact of the spatial environment itself on student engagement, perceived experience, and sense of community. Our investigations at Michigan State University build on our living-learning research at the University of Michigan to provide evidence to how the architectural design of college residence halls impacts student engagement and development. More

University of Michigan North Quad

As American colleges and universities increasingly recognize the value of educating the “whole student,” the effect of campus residential life on various student outcomes – campus engagement, peer interactions, etc. – has been the subject of ongoing study. EYP is one of the first to systematically investigate the impact of the spatial environment itself on student development, attitudes, and outcomes. Our Living-Learning research findings offer colleges and universities, as well as architects and builders, key insights into how space types and usage impact student learning and development, so that they can maximize resources to enhance student experience. More

North Quad Student Space

The purpose of this study is to assess how key spaces in residence halls (i.e., living-learning spaces vs. traditional residence halls) create environments that are conducive to student learning. More

Living-Learning Research Partners

North Quadrangle Housing & Academic Complex

North Quadrangle Housing & Academic Complex

University of Michigan

Student Life

The Media Gateway and Space 2435 are changing expectations for living-learning communities.

Well-designed community spaces affect students' perception far beyond just the social and academic factors, and result in greater student safety and satisfaction.

sara stein Sara Stein, AIA, LEED AP BD+C Academic & Student Life Planning & Design