I thought I would curate some things I read recently about learning spaces and their design. My first encounter with this was during the pomp on the Building Schools of the Future programme, when I was a National College Facilitator on the BSF Leadership Programme for head teachers.
Several years on, I’m left wistfully looking abck and thinking that we rather missed the point. The problem was in the title. We were building SCHOOLS for the future. The problem is that the very term school is of the past. It has cultural baggage and we only succeeded in building luxury versions of the same thing we have always built.
To redesign a learning space, one must redesign the nature of learning.
Here follows a list of useful resources and sites to enable thinking about the design of learning spaces:
- Futurelab developed a workshop series on Thinking Spaces .
- Marcus Orlovsky has some films about his Socrates’ Tree package on his website.
- This NCSL visioning tool is of use to prompt a discussion.
- A film about a future thinking school in Australia.
- Five things to think about from Gerald Haigh
Here are some lovely articles and thinking from Kenn Fisher:
Building Excellence – Linking The Curriculum for Excellence to the Design of Learning Environments – this last one is hugely thorough and useful. the most significant part is in the the section following page 38, where there is an analysis of the spatial needs of children of different ages.
I think the approach taken by Canterbury Christchurch University in their design of Augustine House is interesting.
What questions are we seeking to answer when designing a learning space?
- What is the purpose of a multi purpose space?
- How do we manage the impact of noise?
- How do we future proof the space?
- How should colour be used?
- What is the purpose of Outdoor space?
- What does constructive alignment bring to the design process?