Higher Ed Design Trends: A Chat with Fabie Derbigny of Tipton Associates

There are so many things happening in the higher ed space today. Dorms look like luxury apartments, student unions boast state-of-the-art movies theaters and bowling alleys, and cafeterias have morphed into dining meccas filled with any food you can possibly imagine. With those changes, we wanted to get an expert opinion on what's next in the ever-changing world of higher education design. So, we turned to lead interior designer Fabie Derbigny of Tipton Associates to learn the trends of higher ed design.

A Cafeteria Design That’s Full of Pride

College cafeterias aren’t what they used to be—and I’m only five years out of university. Within the last few years, gigantic multi-purpose (and well-designed) student centers and cafeterias have become the norm. So long are the days of glum lighting, stale french fries, and bad furniture, these new cafeterias offer diverse cuisines and areas for multiple activities. Case in point: University of Kentucky Student Center.

Inside a Dreamy, Modern Food Court

Featuring a bright white industrial space, the Charleston food court, Workshop, could feel sterile or even hokey—but it doesn’t.

Restaurant Design Makeover: Food Courts

You may already have experienced the new style of food courts, but didn’t recognize it at the first glance. That’s because it’s masked in unique decor, delectable dishes, and visual interest like never before. Gone are the days of the stiff, white trays and servers in hair nets—a new day has dawned in the cafeteria and food court world, and it’s known as a food hall.

Microsoft’s Newest Corporate Cafe

When Microsoft decided to redesign their employee cafeteria, Cafe 36,

5 Tips to Modernize Your University Cafeteria

1. Specify furniture with clean lines and modern finishes
2. Integrate power into your tables for connectivity
3. Create purposeful breakout zones
4. Be bold with color choices
5. Use furniture pieces with flexible uses 

finishes and options

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