Design for COVID-19: Rethinking an American Campus and the Dilemma of the Second Wave

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 2020, the presence of COVID-19 forced, among other serious reflections, a reevaluation of how university spaces are used and how higher education may achieve efficacy while protecting public health. This essay presents work from a Fall 2020 graduate studio at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that explores how the campus could adapt to the specifics of social distancing and offer new kinds of outdoor and indoor spaces for learning and living. From the materiality of the ground plane to the layout of campus residences, the projects reimagine the campus at the scales of the site, building, and rooms. While the built environment can be viewed as a passive backdrop (or worse, an active culprit) in public health crises, this studio argues that strategic and thoughtful design, anchored by distancing recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, could also be a remedy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-164
Number of pages18
JournalPlan Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022


  • COVID-19
  • architecture
  • campus design
  • landscape architecture
  • public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Urban Studies


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