Well-being through physical spaces

Well-designed spaces have the ability to positively impact mood, social connectedness, and learning. We work with a variety of partners to enhance the physical spaces on campus to support well-being.

Learn how to enhance well-being through the design of new or existing physical spaces:

For more background on this award-winning initiative, please read: 

“Ancillary Services has used the Principles for Well-being through Physical Spaces resources to inform and enhance many of our projects since 2014. These principles have influenced the re-development of our Dining Hall into a spacious and bright Dining Commons, The SFU Community Vibrancy Project, the Study Pub, the Student Union Building and various other projects. These principles align with our goal of creating an engaging and vibrant community at SFU, one that is inclusive and environmentally sustainable. We appreciate the vision and leadership of SFU Health Promotion in creating and sharing these resources”.

Mark McLaughlin, Chief Commercial Services Officer, Ancillary Services.

Connect with us

Enhance well-being at your desk or departmental space by connecting with the Health Promotion team.

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The Global Student Centre (GSC) is an example of a well-designed space that supports student well-being by fostering inclusivity, social connectedness, and community at SFU.

Examples of Spaces Developed for Well-being:

“It’s brighter, cleaner and makes me feel happier and better able to study effectively”

- SFU Student

“Spaces like these encourage me to spend more time at school and socialize here”

– SFU Student

“SFU Health Promotion were one of the departments we consulted with during our planning stages for the FHS Student Commons. We used the Well-being through Physical Spaces framework to delineate individual study space versus collaborative space. For example, we used appropriate furniture to support a multi-functional design that allowed for individual study, group work, presentations and even research conferences, thus enhancing the accessibility and functionality of the open space layout of the Student Commons. SFU Health Promotion was invited to the open house where we presented the proposed concept and we met and discussed any other feedback and suggestions that could be incorporated in the final space design. Students have been very pleased with the results and the space is well utilized by FHS students.” 

- Luciana Rad, Director, Administration & Strategic Planning, Faculty of Health Sciences

The following spaces have been developed at SFU with well-being in mind:

  • SFU Community Vibrancy Project Spaces
  • Student Union Building (SUB)
  • Public lounges in the Academic Quadrangle, Applied Sciences Building, Blusson Hall, Maggie Benston Centre, Saywell Hall Atrium, Shrum K. building and South Science Building
  • The Learning Hub (EDB 8620)
  • Faculty of Health Sciences Student Lounge
  • Dining Hall and Residence and Housing Expansion
  • Lounge spaces and the Wellness Studio at SFU Vancouver
  • SFU Burnaby 2065 Campus Master Plan 

Learning Environments

Health and well-being are essential elements for effective learning. In partnership with the Teaching and Learning Centre, we work with instructional staff to create conditions for well-being within learning environments.

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Policy & Settings

Academic departments and faculties strongly influence students’ experiences at university and provide a core setting for enhancing student well-being.

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Graduate students have unique academic, research, and life experiences as well as various roles and demands at SFU. Cultivating capacity for resilience and skill building is important to manage commitments and adversity.  

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