top of page
  • Writer's pictureBritney Heerten

Should Windowless Dorms Be Allowed?

Updated: Jun 7

There is a recent controversy over the dormitory building at the University of California, Santa Barbara where most of the bedrooms were designed to have no windows.

The Daily Breeze says, "UCSB, like other universities, is facing a housing crisis. The Daily Nexus reported in August that UCSB ran out of spaces in university housing and had a waitlist of over 1,000 students who were searching for a place to live." - Daily Breeze

Charles Munger sees his design for Munger Hall as a solution for creating extra space for additional students to live on campus and an environment where students will be motivated to gather in the common areas to collaborate and socialize.

Some students, parents, and architects do not see it this way. Architect, Dennis McFadden went as far as to step down from a University of California committee in protest at the design.

Munger says that having glowing screens in each room, inspired by virtual windows on Disney's Cruise Ship, will be helpful. Many students use sun lamps that help them to keep up with what time of day it is.

This is not the first Building Munger has built with windowless dorms. Munger dorms have been built at both the University of Michigan and Stanford. So why has this one gained so much attention? Mark Lamster from The Dallas Morning News says, "The UCSB project has achieved so much more notoriety than those previous examples because it eclipses them in scale by several orders of magnitude. It is a gargantuan thing, an immense block with nine identical floors of dorm rooms, each arranged in pods of eight single-occupancy rooms flanking a common space. Meeting spaces, lounges, a gym, and other communal spaces do have windows, but the dorms do not. Instead, they come with adjustable LED panels that, theoretically, mimic the effect of natural light."

You can find accounts of the students who live in Munger's windowless dorms on the internet, and while some don't mind having any windows, others do not like it at all.

In 2017, a student-run publication wrote an article about students that have lived in windowless rooms at Humboldt State University, in California. These students reported issues with their circadian rhythm, depression, irritability, overheating from lack of ventilation, and other negative effects. Check out the article below that interviews students and parents of students living in windowless rooms at HSU.

What do you think? Should this be allowed? Is it a hazardous situation?

I know that I wouldn't want to live in a windowless room. Would you?

Other Sources:

Pros and Cons of Windowless Bedrooms:

8 views0 comments


bottom of page