Learning Environments: Future-Proofing our Education Spaces

Tuesday 1st July 2014, 10:00 - 16:00
Central St Martins, Granary Square, London, N1C 4AA

Our theme for 2014 was how to produce learning spaces that are suitable for current needs but also flexible enough to meet the demands of future, perhaps unknown, changes in technology and teaching methods. We looked at results from recent research and also examined recent case studies which have attempted to meet these demands.

Our programme

Moderators – Our thanks to Fiona Duggan, fid ltd and Nigel Oseland, Workplace Unlimited, as our chairs for the day.

Venue's welcome and case study for CSM

Steve Howe, Director of Estates, University of the Arts London

The Granary Complex, which once held Lincolnshire wheat for London’s bakers, is now a creative warehouse - the new home of University of the Arts London and our venue for this year's conference.The Granary Complex won the Mayor’s Award for Planning Excellence in 2012 and last year's speakers Stanton Williams won gold at Building Design’s Architect of the Year Awards for its design. We are delighted that Steve Howe will welcome the conference to CSM and take us through the journey to bring six London colleges together as UAL.

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The next generation of learning spaces

Mark Kelly, HASSELL

When experts talk about the next generation of learning spaces they talk more about cafés, parks and lounge rooms than lecture and tutorial rooms. Mobile technology means students can now study anywhere, anytime – so why would they bother to come to the university campus at all? HASSELL Principal and education and science sector design expert Mark Kelly will discuss what universities must do to keep attracting students to their learning space.

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The future of learning landscapes

Richard Barrett, Coventry University and Wendy Sammels, Jamtree

Wendy will present the results of very recent research in collaboration with Coventry University which

  • Examines the current landscape of learning spaces and their suitability for different types of learners
  • Assesses how learning spaces and teaching will adapt in the future to changes
  • Explores challenges and barriers to changing learning landscapes, financial, physical and logistical restraints
  • Develops typologies of space that are realistic and relevant to the modern learner
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Case study: Teaching and Research Centre, Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead

Rupert Cook, ArchitecturePLB

The RVC had an unusual and complex brief as it has to act as both the main campus arrival and reception as well as a research and teaching laboratory building. The brief required the building to be flexible enough to support both research or teaching activities and to be able to flex between these to support future changes in focus. Rupert will take us through the project for this innovative science building.

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The search for a new Functional Suitability

Tim Oldman, Leesman Index

It's functional. It's suitable. They sound like excuses or apologies. But what can functionality and effectiveness tests tell us about the role of workplaces supporting work? And what can HEI's facing pressures to move administrative staff off campus to create more educational spaces, learn from commerce to help improve the learning experience? Tim Oldman, CEO of Leesman will show how universities are using data from the commercial sector to build socially cohesive environments, while commerce looks at education for inspiration on how to build internal knowledge networks.

Tim Oldman Bio

Tim Oldman, Leesman

Tim is co-founder and CEO at Leesman, the leader in measuring workplace effectiveness, providing a business intelligence and benchmarking tool that measures how workplaces support the employees that use them. Leesman offers no other services and thus holds the largest independent collection of workplace effectiveness data.  

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The impact of new learning spaces on collaborative pedagogic practice in higher education

James Rutherford, London College of Fashion

What types of physical environments do we need to create to enable effective teaching & learning, particularly in respect of the constructivist paradigm of active and collaborative learning? It is argued that UK Higher Education Institutions should be supporting a student-focused pedagogy that is collaborative and engaging. James examines the impact of this approach on the learning environment by understanding the views of students and staff in order to inform the development of future learning spaces that will meet the accepted goal of effective group-based learning.

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What lessons learned can we apply from outside the UK in the design of our learning spaces

Eleanor Magennis, University of Strathclyde

Based on attendance at recent learning spaces conferences in San Diego and Vienna, Eleanor will bring an informed view of the key issues in designing successful learning spaces in the context of a growing number of students with ever-increasing expectations, changing pedagogy and less money.

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Practise what you preach: BK City as a test case for international trends

Alexandra den Heijer, TU Delft

Managing contemporary campuses and taking decisions that will impact on those of tomorrow is a complex task for universities worldwide. It involves strategic, financial, functional and physical aspects as well as multiple stakeholders. Alexandra will take us through her experience at the recently rebuilt BK City, enriched with lessons learned in the aftermath of a fire in 2008 which destroyed her department's workplace. The construction of the replacement building allowed her to put many of her theories and concepts into practice. The Faculty of Architecture had a new home in less than half a year after the fire, which is still considered unbelievably quick, given the 32.000 m2 gross floor area of BK city.

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