From the Field
Loose Fit – Long Life
This catchphrase is becoming a maxim for planners responsible for physical environments for learning in the undergraduate setting. In the architectural portfolios for the 2016 Spring LSC Roundtables, registrar-assigned, formal learning spaces (classrooms) are receiving particular attention.
One set of questions addresses the challenges of designing such spaces in a time of pedagogical evolution:
- How can we design classrooms with the flexibility to serve the growing diversity of pedagogical practices now on our campus and accommodate pedagogical changes over the lifetime of the building?
- Could flexibility built into the design of the classrooms be used to leverage wider adaptation of research-based pedagogies?
- How might furniture, in conjunction with technologies, support facile transitions between modes of learning/teaching?
Snapshots from the Portfolios: Classrooms—Examples of transforming existing spaces:
- Before and After: Da Vinci Center: Virginia Commonwealth University
- Before and After: Interactive Studio Classroom/Boston University
Snapshots from the Portfolios: Classrooms—Examples of how planning happens
From the Archives
Outdated or Prescient?: Questions about the Future Asked in 2005
In 2005, a group of architects connected to Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) convened in Boston to step back to respond to this question: what question do you wish your clients and/or prospective clients should be asking you? Some of their responses were unexpected more than a decade ago but resonate now in the conversations at the 2016 Spring LSC Roundtables.
We wish our clients would ask us where we look outside—beyond the traditional undergraduate settings—for environments that can help expand our concept of how human behaviors are served by physical spaces, and thus help us achieve our institutional goals. How can determine (in our planning) the cultural, technological, and design benchmarks that are meaningful in the lives of our students?