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Casual Eating Areas

Casual Eating Areas

Casual Eating Areas


Across cultures and around the world, food brings people together around a shared ritual. However, large institutional cafeterias aren’t designed with the eating experience in mind. Instead, they tend to be loud, crowded places that are designed to efficiently feed hundreds or even thousands of students in one confined space within a short timeframe.


Small casual eating areas distributed throughout a school can have a tremendous impact on a student’s daily experience. By embedding eating areas within each learning community, students would have more autonomy over when, how, and where they eat and can provide them with a cozy, welcoming place to gather. Just as coffee shops are popular places to work, when not being used for eating, these casual spaces can also be ideal workspaces for both individuals and small groups.

Related Patterns Learning Community, Agile Spaces, Variable Seating, Indoor-Outdoor Connections, Outdoor Cave Space

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  • Benefits of Sharing Food

    While not specifically focused on schools, this article demonstrates why coming together around a shared meal is so important.