Summary of Findings for Academic Leaders, Managers and Administrators

The story of the evolution, use, and assessment of the Creativity Centre at the University of Brighton is a valuable resource for campus communities exploring the potential of spaces that nurture creative learning, creative learners.

We invite your attention to their report, sharing here some key summary findings for academic leaders, managers, and administrators. 

  • Develop a vision based on the intended use of the space.
  • Don’t lose sight of the vision.
  • Be involved at all stages of the project to ensure that the vision is maintained and what is delivered meets the learner needs and is not led by building efficiencies. 
  • The nature of learning as personal and collaborative inquiry and individual and group meaning making should be placed at the centre of any process for creativity in teaching and learning. 
  • Learner centred inquiry needs to be at the heart of the design of new learning spaces.
  • If creativity in learning and teaching is to thrive in education institutions, there needs to be active institutional support and tolerance of experimentation and risk taking by staff and students.

  • Creativity is not all about art, the creative process is just as important for all other disciplines. Whilst we saw many tutors using visual and art based approaches to teaching, science based tutors too developed their own, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, in idea generation, assessment, information delivery and conceptualisation.
  • Is there a best approach to creativity in education? In the Centre every activity seemed different. The commonality was variety, experimentation and risk.
  • Can we be creative in our classrooms and lecture theatres? Of course, but our project demonstrates just how effective flexible learning spaces that support creative approaches to teaching and learning can be in comparison with traditional classrooms.
  • Flexible learning spaces are not necessarily expensive to create. Some of the features of our space are easy to replicate on a low budget such as vinyl write on wall coverings, moveable and lightweight chairs and tables and twin projectors. 
  • If students become inquisitive, independent learners, then even the nooks and crannies of buildings, the quiet spaces, places to eat and talk, must be considered as a part of a wider learning environment. Your campus may need redefining.

Paul Martin, Richard Morris, Angela Rogers and Steve Kilgallon. Chapter 17 excerpted from e-book Making Space for Creativity.

Upcoming Events


October 23-34, 2014
Sponsored by the Discovery Learning Research Center at Purdue University (DLRC featured in the LSC Guide)

Sandbox. Learning. Space.

Speakers will introduce the concept of sandboxing as a metaphor for a space designated for exploring approaches to enhance learning that may not be common in a given institutional setting. Sandboxing provides research opportunities to test how space that accommodates a range of pedagogies can improve learning and guide future development of learning spaces.


  • Shirley Dugdale, Dugdale Strategy LLC

  • Jeanne L. Narum, Learning Spaces Collaboratory

  • Nancy Sturm, The Sextant Group 

Fore more information, visit the Transforming Institutions Conference website.


October 27, 2014
3:30 - 5:00 p.m. EDT


  • Jeanne L. Narum, Principal - Learning Spaces Collaboratory


  • Rosarie Coughlan, Scholarly Publishing Librarian - Queen's University
  • Joseph Fennewald, Associate Librarian and Head Tombros McWhirter Knowledge Commons – Penn State University Libraries
  • Lennie Scott-Webber, Director Education Environments Globally - Steelcase Education Solutions 
  • Lee Van Orsdel, Dean of University Libraries – Grand Valley State University



November 20, 2014
3:30 - 5:00 p.m. EST


  • Jeanne L. Narum, Principal - Learning Spaces Collaboratory


  • Elliot Felix, Director - brightspot strategy 
  • Dana C. Gierdowski, Visiting Senior Program Coordinator, Writing Excellence Initiative, Office of the Provost - Elon University
  • Bonnie Sanborn, Department of Design and Environmental Analysis - Cornell University



December 9, 2014
3:30 - 5:00 p.m. EST


  • Jeanne L. Narum, Principal - Learning Spaces Collaboratory


  • Dennis Cuddy, Manager, Administration and Facilities - UMBC
  • Russ Ellis, Lab Coordinator, Integrated Science Program - McMaster University
  • Carolyn H. Eyles, Professor, P.Geo., 3M National Teaching Fellow, Director, Integrated Science Program, School of Geography & Earth Sciences - McMaster University
  • William R. LaCourse, Dean, College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences - UMBC
  • Sarah Symons, Assistant Professor, Integrated Science Program & Department of Physics and Astronomy - McMaster University

Co-sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR)



The Centennial Annual Meeting

January 21-24, 2015
Marriott Marquis Hotel 
 / Washington, DC