The return to on-campus instruction in the fall 2020 semester has required LSU administrators to collaborate to ensure that social distance measures are enforced in classrooms across all disciplines. This has presented a unique challenge for the College of Art & Design, where physical creation and interaction are central to studio courses.
“Designers think critically about spaces,” said Alkis Tsolakis, dean of the College of Art & Design. “So we as a College have been approaching the pandemic restrictions from a creative standpoint: how do we transform existing spaces to be safer for our faculty and students?”
All spring and summer, LSU Art & Design administrators prepared for the return of students, faculty, and staff to campus in the fall semester, adapting art & design facilities to be safer to protect against COVID-19. Interior design and architecture faculty worked on strategies to modify existing building interiors, and designers created solutions in house, such as plexiglass shields and partitions constructed in the Design Shop.
Each building was assessed individually by architecture, art, landscape architecture, and interior design faculty so that particular needs could be met for the respective schools. Studios were enlarged to give design students more space to more easily socially distance. Desks and workspaces were adapted with clear barriers so students and faculty can interact in person more safely. Furniture was moved carefully, to ensure safe distances are maintained.
“The goal is always to keep us all safe, so we can continue to work and learn,” said Tsolakis.