I'm prepping class in a large, luxurious cafe here on campus, called the "Colloquium Cafe." "Colloquium," from the Latin, meaning "to converse." I am in a large booth, alone. Every other table here is just as large, and has exactly one person working. A class change has just taken place, and the place is completely filled with people who buy a coffee, wander around looking for a place to sit, and then leave.

How colleges design spaces: "We think college students should study and socialize in clusters of six people smiling and laughing just like they do in our brochures, so we're going to fill this place with thirty huge booths to encourage that!"

The capacity is one hundred and eighty brochure-caliber students, which is no doubt how they pitched it to justify the cost to build it. "Brochure," from the French, meaning "to stitch together."

How students use spaces: "Gotta write this paper and spread out six books to cross reference. Need the whole table." The real capacity is about thirty students, with lots of other people wandering around cursing under their breaths, because there's not that many decent spaces like it.

The way of the modern university is to pave the walkways first, based on how much concrete they can afford to buy, purchased with money given based on what donors and legislators think the paths ought to look like. Then they wonder why all the students leave the pavement to walk on the grass.