PolyPods Latest Addition to i²e Campus Transformation

New furniture groupings, nicknamed PolyPods, have been installed throughout NYU-Poly’s campus in an effort to inspire spirited, impromptu collaboration among faculty, students and staff and brighten up underused spaces.  

The groupings, which include ottomans, lounge chairs and sofas in modern designs and bright colors, have been installed in the lobby of Rogers Hall, the first floor of the Dibner Building and on the 4th floor of the Jacobs Building, while smaller groupings of furniture, nicknamed mini pods, are sprinkled throughout campus in locations including the 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th floors of Rogers Hall. 

The furniture installations add color—in this case, reds and blues—and a brighter, more comfortable feel to a campus that was mostly gray, black and white. The lively, inviting PolyPods also will help in recruiting and retaining students and faculty, said Bethany Jankunis, assistant vice president of administrative planning and initiatives.

“We wanted to create pretty places where people can informally meet and exchange ideas,” she said. “Some of the best ideas occur at the water cooler, not necessarily in a formal meeting room.”

Expanding the Campus Transformation

Members of the Poly community had been talking about the need to liven up the campus for about a year, and the Capital Transformation space committee took up this challenge, investigating furniture choices, color schemes and prices. This was the second such project for the committee, comprised of faculty, staff and students. This committee was also responsible for the recent upgrades to Poly’s main corridor and café. 

In making decisions about the PolyPods, the committee wanted input from the larger campus community, so the pod finalists were displayed in the main lobby of the Jacobs Building as part of a formal kick-off event in February, hosted by President Jerry Hultin and Provost Dianne Rekow.  

Faculty, students and staff were invited to sit on and touch the furniture and then vote—either by casting a ballot there in the lobby or by completing an online survey—on which options they found most comfortable and appealing. More than 250 members of the NYU-Poly community weighed in. 

“These kinds of small projects are the things that make a difference,” Jankunis said. “They are a low-cost way to enliven our campus.”