Café | Dining Spaces

Eat. Work. Learn. Socialize.

The café as study hall is nothing new. Intentional design that encourages active learning is. Schools and universities now view these places as a potent combination of third space and learning lab. The attraction is universal — students, faculty and visitors are all drawn to a café. Students use them to socialize, study and collaborate with classmates. Staff and faculty utilize them for classroom prep, as a meeting space and to socialize with colleagues. To function on this level, they should incorporate a mix of welcoming spaces, large and small, quiet and loud, public and somewhat private. Like other non-traditional educational spaces, cafés and dining rooms are becoming more important as extensions of the classroom. Designing for this purpose is essential.


  • An open café environment that supports dining and work allows for impromptu collaboration between students or with instructors.
  • Encourage users to stay for working, eating or socializing by supporting a range of postures and with space to temporarily set out materials.
  • Include smaller, more private spaces adjacent to larger, open cafés where possible.