After studying student behaviors, this framed the way in which Grand Valley State University (GVSU) went about renovating its Mary Idema Pew Library. In essence, the university identified a range of activities and the types of spaces students desired to support those tasks. “When they are really heads down on a project, or a test, or some other creative endeavor, they often expect and demand almost total silence and stillness,” relates Van Orsdel. On the other end of the spectrum, students seek group settings, whether it is comfortable lounge seating or a table with a whiteboard or a large screen for sharing digital images or data.
Beyond having a space to support group interaction, people also seek the buzz and excitement of being inside a larger space where other groups are engaged in similar activities. In order to create these types of spaces, the university turned to Steelcase who ultimately supplied a variety of solutions including lounge chairs, desk chairs, tables, free stands and Steelcase’s media:scape system, integrating technology and furniture in a meeting/conference setting.
“The new library offers students a number ofcommunal and private seating options, greater access to power and multiple ways for displaying ideas,” says gvsu student Tylee Bush, who interns with Steelcase in brand communications.