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CAUS Group Builds COVID-Safe Collaboration Space In Newman Library

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Category: academics Video duration: CAUS Group Builds COVID-Safe Collaboration Space In Newman Library
Students from the College of Architecture and Urban Studies Living Learning Labs applied their architecture skills to build plexiglass barriers that will allow small groups to safely collaborate in Newman Library.  
Well, we were closed in the summer, like just about everyone else. So when we reopened in August, we went from about 2,210 seats down to barely 500. So about a 75 percent reduction in seating. The library looked like libraries looked 25 years ago. Lots of people sitting by themselves quietly reading. What was missing was collaboration. And I read an article in the VT news about what the School of Architecture had done in Cowgill and Burchard. And I thought this might be something we might be able to replicate in some way here at Newman. So, we're at Newman Library, and we are installing these pods made out of acrylic and 3-D printed parts to help create group workspaces. Basically, the goal is to have a COVID friendly group working environment. The goal of the School of Architecture's Living Labs is to start to branch out and work on projects that engage students and help other colleges or other areas within the school. So in this situation, the library came up to us and they needed help. So we started to design the 3D printed parts and how the tables would go together. So we did that through drawings, started a 3D printing, took two weeks to 3D print out the pieces. And during that time we were ordering plexiglass, cutting plexiglass, all that other stuff. I'm also a construction major so I'm double-majoring in both (Architecture and Construction) and so just seeing, like yeah a designer will hand you plans, but until you're going from the plans, to the fabrication of it, there is a big gap. You don't think about all the details of the project in the drawings. And then when it comes to the actual site and having to put everything together, it's completely different. Nothing is ever square, like it should be. Tables that are all built by the same company are not the same height. And it gets frustrating. But, through that, I think we learn a lot about how things come together and how things are actually built.