how to build spaces not around utility-maximizing principles, but rather around being present and with each other?

came across this very real crimson op-ed piece:

Harvard is known for being a networking mecca, but this attitude can often spill over from finance events into the dorms. People are commonly used as social capital, a goal to check off from the to-do list. This makes defining relationships between people tricky—is this a friendship or is this a social stepping stone, a transactional interaction that holds little weight, a meal that will never be grabbed?
— Jessenia C., Robert M

and so what about that meal 

crimson, questionsEssa Li