I observed the Kalamazoo College Quad. Its purpose is to act as a social area where students can go and relax under the shade of a tree and read a book or do various outdoor activities. I made my observations on 11/16/08 at about 4:00PM.
The Quad is a large open area in the middle of the campus with seating arrangements from anywhere on the grass to under a tree to ledges, benches, tables, and stairs. The area is very inviting and friendly and you can almost always find someone out on the Quad when the weather is nice. Floors concrete or brick pavers with concrete sidewalks and stairs and ground cover is grass and landscaping. The sound level is moderate--ranging anywhere from quiet to loud. The materials used to construct the place are brick pavers, concrete, plant materials, steel, and other various materials.
This area projects a natural, relaxing image where students can take a break from everything and hang out with friends. There is very little concrete--only the sidewalk and steps--and there is a lot of landscaping and open grass with large trees. It is a very relaxing setting and it can be reflexive to the person who feels connected with nature when they are there. I think this is the image that the school wants to project.
People socialize all over the quad, whether they are standing in the middle of the grass or off to the side on the stairs, ledges, or benches. Students use the trees to provide shade and often relax in the chairs and benches all over the Quad.
I liked how the Quad was centrally located on campus so all of the students and even faculty and visitors interact with it on a daily basis.