Thesis Studio 07
Post-COVID Campus

MGS Architects Place Lab

Studio leaders: Elliet Spring, Tahj Rosemarin and Toby Woolley


Universities have always been intertwined with place. We go to university. We travel the world to experience historic colleges, to picnic in the cloister, to graduate in the quad. We protest outside the union, we mingle in the library, find solace in quiet carrels. Some of us even live in colleges, eating dinner with our peers every night. We all come together to learn, to challenge, to be challenged and to meet our life-long friends. Our lives can pivot on the people we encounter at university.

Even as digital learning has grown in popularity, the campus has remained at the core at the university experience. Until now. With COVID-19 shifting your lives away from face to face learning to screens in your bedrooms and living rooms, you are living through a fundamental shift in the role of the campus. Your own lives are at the heart of this studio.

Together, we will explore how COVID-19 has changed role of the campus. We will look at the history of the campus, and consider possible futures. We will explore how physical distancing might affect the spaces we inhabit, how online learning is changing the classroom, and how the campus can support wellness. Each student will pose a question about the post-COVID campus, and seek to address it through plans and built form.

We will consider the following questions (and many others):

  • When/if a vaccine is found, how will the increased role of online teaching and learning affect the campus?
  • How can the campus support physical and mental wellness (considering physical distancing and salutogenesis)? How might this change the structure of the campus in the future?
  • Given the continued collapse of ecosystems, and the associated increased likelihood of future zoonotic diseases, how can the campus be more resilient? How can we protest? How can we create long lasting intellectual and emotional bonds with our teachers and our peers?

Students will be asked to work at a number of scales – from urban design to architecture and even to details. We will work together to develop the final design, with Melbourne as our testing ground, which could be a campus plan, a precinct plan, a public space, a building or an series of interventions. We will meet with industry experts, and our work will form the basis of a new consolidated publication.

Architecture 2020_summer