Education: Common Spaces


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Common spaces like the student union, campus cafeteria and residence hall lounge, have evolved and diversified in response to new student behaviours and  priorities—as well as the expectations of students’ families. As a result, the design of these hubs of activity must now serve a wider range of programming needs than ever before. Furniture should offer a high level of function, as well as a design language and finish and textile options that add up to attractive, dynamic settings that express the quality and vitality of campus life.


Student Lounge

Student lounges are social spaces that merge student life and academic pursuits. Furniture may include low-back chairs that make it easy for students to interact and engage, while ottomans, benches and low-profile modular pieces contribute to a relaxed atmosphere that sparks connection and conversation in an open setting. Lounge seating can be combined with a variety of tables and chairs for play or study in the student union, a residence hall  or other common space. Cafe tables offer a place to perch with a snack or a laptop, desks paired with task chairs are suitable for long stretches of study alone or with a partner and single-sided tables provide a place for students to charge a personal device or text a friend.

An array of seating and table choices allows students to choose where and how to work. Furniture for this diverse collaborative setting includes: Thesis Hub Tables, Cafe Tables, Fractals lounge chairs with a low upholstered back and Teknion dna lounge seating.

Create a warm, welcoming ambiance in a café lounge with Infinito and Metropolitan ’14 seating, furniture that brings the comfort of home into a university setting. Modular Cabinets provide complementary functionality.

Teknion dna seating provides structure in a lounge space design for interaction. When equipped with the Thesis Mobile Markerboard, digital displays and video-conferencing, the space is outfitted for presentations, as well as co-creation.


Cafés, coffee bars, small kitchens and snack areas are often scattered across the campus from the student union to the library and athletic facilities. Durable furniture is a primary consideration. Where a café welcomes parents, alumni and campus visitors, as well as students and faculty, comfort and aesthetics are critical in order to project an impression of quality. Finishes and textiles in colors and patterns that retain their integrity with heavy use create  an attractive space for lunching with colleagues or visiting family members. In terms of efficiency and flexibility, modular cabinets and lightweight tables and chairs that can be easily re-arranged as well as cleaned, stacked and stored are essential.

Teknion Modular Cabinets provide a built-in custom look wherever traditional millwork cabinetry is required. Offering endless format possibilities, the cabinets feature a unique wall-mounting rail and metal to metal connection that allow for reconfiguration in response to change.

The Teknion portfolio comprises a broad range of tables suited to café settings, including Thesis tables, Casual Tables and other products from the Tables and Collaborative Spaces collection. Nami is a contemporary, European-designed stacking chair with a smaller scale that makes it ideal for café or cafeteria settings. Nami is also available as a stool for counter- and bar-height configurations.

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Hallways and Gathering Spaces

Spaces once considered transitional—hallways, lobbies, atriums—are ideal for mentoring, study or socializing. A long workbench can anchor a large space, and when equipped with access to data/power, the bench becomes a magnet for students who want to charge a device, complete homework before class or huddle with their project team. As an alternative, extended lounge seating yields a different dynamic, but still acts as a natural place to gather. Juxtaposed high-back lounge seating offers a cocoon for one or two. Ideally, a variety of furniture provides a range of choices, postures and degrees of privacy, while preserving pathways that maintain free circulation throughout the space.

A spacious lobby is transformed into a highly functional space for study or interaction. The Interpret worktable, together with low-back Fractals settees, establishes a communal setting. Small tables with Nami stacking chairs on the perimeter of the space create a place to continue a conversation.

In-between spaces are ideal for impromptu meetings, offering greater intimacy than a large, open public space. A standing-height Thesis table mixed with Fractals high-back seating creates alternative formats and varied levels of intimacy.

Modular Spectrum sofas and tables complemented by the Keele chair create an informal gathering area in the library, student union, faculty and administrative office and other buildings with lobbies, reception areas and other public or in-between spaces.

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