The “Faculty Lounge Network” is an inventory of Vassar College’s departmental faculty lounges and a digital toolkit for the school’s faculty to understand and take advantages of those spaces.
In 2010, Vassar received a grant to bolster informal community life among faculty, who had become more atomized under the pressures of academic labor. One initial thought by the grantees was to create a new gathering space for faculty to gather and enjoy coffee. Then students, the members of Outwith Studio researched the existing informal faculty spaces on campus, determining that many such spaces existed but were often hidden from view and were universally under-programmed.
Outwith catalogued all the faculty lounge spaces on campus, with photos, diagrams, and a listing of available assets. Lounge spaces were paired with potential ideal uses. We then proposed a process by which faculty could assess and book the spaces for one-off or recurring events. Vassar contracted with Outwith members to implement the proposal, and Outwith worked with the grant administrators and the Academic Computing Services department to create the digital catalogue and hook it into the exisitng campus booking system.