Thoughtfully designing education spaces requires a palette of place that supports the rhythm of learning. Students and educators should be offered a range of settings and the choice and control to select the best environment for their needs, while considering building adjacencies, demands for visual and acoustic privacy, and collaboration and user behaviors for each type of space.
As learning becomes more interactive, classrooms must support multiple types of collaboration, including informative, evaluative and generative, as well as peer-to-peer learning and many other emerging modes. These modes depend on equal access to analog and digital information, and the ability for every user, no matter where they’re located, to join in the collaborative process.
COMPUTER | MEDIA LAB
Students and instructors are participating in more online forums, viewing more online lessons and even creating their own digital content.Today’s media labs should be designed to allow educators to leverage technology in entirely new ways and the flexibility to support the ongoing evolution of learning.
The library is the academic heart of a school, but just as education is changing, so too is the library. With information available online virtually any time, housing countless books has become of secondary importance. A reduced emphasis on housing books frees up real estate for individual and group learning. Today’s library should be a broader and deeper resource than ever, a place where traditional and new knowledge resources, instructors and students converge in an ongoing process of learning, teaching and discovery.
CAFE AND LOUNGE
Café spaces are geared for the new types of connections that are expected of today’s students – from collaborative group work to social interactions and solo studying. These spaces must support the learning that happens outside the walls of the classroom.
Faculty offices are set up for private, individual work but often need to function as reception areas, collaboration spaces, storage closets, research centers, etc. It is important to provide space for concentrated work as well as collaboration with colleagues and meetings with students.
Real estate costs are a continuing concern for schools, meaning that leveraging every space is a priority. Administration offices need to be harder working spaces that encourage collaboration and support the institution’s brand and culture while optimizing real estate.
Today’s resident life buildings are designed to foster and support students as they learn and grow. It’s no longer just about sleeping and studying, but about building community and enhancing the overall learning experience.