Education: Social Spaces


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Social 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 merge academic pursuits with student social life. Furniture may include lightly-scaled tables and benches that make it easy for students to engage in project-based work, while screens can be positioned to create a semi-private space for reading.  Lounge chairs, ottomans and low-profile modular pieces contribute to a relaxed atmosphere that sparks conversation. At the same time, lounge seating combines with a variety of tables and chairs to support both study and socializing in a residence hall, the student union or other social space. Cafe tables offer a place to perch with a coffee or a laptop. The addition of a mobile marker board facilitates interaction among a study group.


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 with Variable stools, Bevy Tables with Kuskoa chairs, mobile Cesto seating and Spectrum Lounge completed with Keele chairs.

A Zones Workshop Table paired with the Zones Bench creates an informal alternative to traditional meeting spaces. Bench seating suggests inclusivity and helps users to feel comfortable sharing space and ideas.

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.

Studio TK Borough Lounge and Kalm collections introduce a casual sophistication to any social setting. When equipped with the Thesis Mobile Markerboard or digital displays, 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.

Café spaces are inherently dynamic. Whether used for personal, social or collaborative work, the communal quality of the space promotes an experience ripe with culture and a palpable energy. Studio Tk offers seating to fit every culture and space. This social setting includes a Bevy table and Teknion Hub tables along with a mix of Nina, Kuskoa, Beso and Pala seating.

Teknion Modular Cabinets provide a built-in custom look wherever millwork cabinetry is desired. Offering endless format possibilities, the cabinets feature a unique wall-mounting rail and metal-tometal connections 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 European-designed stacking chair with a smaller scale ideal for café or cafeteria settings. Nami is also available as a stool for counter- and bar-height applications.

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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.

Borough Screens complement modular Lounge seating to define a perimeter and allow for a variety of planning scenarios. Borough creates an informal gathering area in the library, student union or other campus buildings with lobbies, reception areas and or public in-between spaces.

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