originated from the vast gulf I perceived between what institutions of higher learning are claiming they do and the physical environments they often provide. Here are the places that are supposed to educate “future generations to face tomorrow’s challenges” (to pick up some of the lingo bandied around frequently): The quality of the education might be good, but to what extent can thinking and creative thrive in environments that can only be designed as hideous, environments that often are badly maintained.
I remember working on a press release for research I had been involved in, with my computer propped up on milk crates because the ceiling was dripping water. I remember the windowless offices of graduate students. I remember fire alarms going off for no reason whatsoever frequently because building management was unable to figure out their electronics. And I remember raw, untreated concrete, a lot of it.