Student Life

Today's increasingly diverse students seek our support and resources to navigate an increasingly complex world. Student life represents the pulse and activity of collective learning. Despite rapid advances in technology, pedagogy and learning styles, student interaction remains one of the most significant aspects of campus life. It's the ecosystem of formal and informal services, activities and resources that enhance the holistic intellectual, personal, professional and social development of today's student. At SmithGroup, we've made it our top priority to understand each unique student and appropriately design spaces that meet their dynamic needs. 

University of Texas Dallas Engineering SmithGroup

Designing for the Next Generation of Student Life: Part 1 - Inclusivity

Inheriting a legacy that was not always known for inclusivity, many higher education institutions today are intentionally engaging students of different backgrounds and identities. Inclusivity is so important for the next generation of students and the academic institutions wishing to recruit and retain them, that Equity, Diversity and Inclusion has become its own major topic or department on many higher education campuses. Welcome to the first in a five-part series, Designing for the Next Generation of Student Life, where we explore some of the most progressive ideas impacting the student experience today.


Western Michigan University Dining Hall Student Life Architecture Interiors SmithGroup Lansing

Designing for the Next Generation of Student Life: Part 2 - Digitally and Socially Connected

We can all appreciate the incredible potential of the digital age. Technology has put vast amounts of information at our fingertips and helped level the playing field for personal and intellectual investigation. At the same time, the digital world presents many serious challenges for Generation Z.


Oakland University SmithGroup Oakland Michigan Architecture Higher Education

CampusForward: Testing the Waters

As architects, engineers and planners, we continually strive to understand each client’s perspective and what is driving their business model. To do this, SmithGroup regularly conducts client forums and immersive research programs to investigate current issues and trends affecting higher education. These projects—Advisory Boards—help us to understand the current and projected needs of our higher education clients and enable our planners and designers to accommodate new ways of achieving a client’s goals.



UW Madison SmithGroup Alimni Park

A Thoughtful Master Plan Can Transform Your Campus

The design and implementation of a successful campus master plan is often a decades-long process built upon partnerships, trust, teamwork, talent, and a shared vision. Though changes in administrators, leadership, funding, and a myriad of factors can result in stops, starts and reboots along the way, a strategically crafted master plan is a tried-and-true way for institutions to remain visionary in an evolving marketplace.