From the Field

PROCESS: What makes a good client

Here is one story from the field about the role of leaders in focusing on the future in planning learning spaces, captured in the 1995 Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) Report: Structures for Science. The setting is the office of the relatively new President. The purpose of the meeting was to present a vision of the future for the sciences at this undergraduate institution drafted by a faculty leadership task force. The problem was that this task force really had nothing to report. They had spent months trying to address all the “yes, but’s” responses from individual people and departments about the need for information about current practice and future visions. There were competing visions of the future, excuses of “too many existing commitments” to take on new responsibilities relating to planning new spaces. As a result of that meeting, this memo was sent to all faculty who would be using the new spaces, with an admonition that this information would be needed before moving forward.

This story resonates with one of the more persisting themes emerging from the 2016-2017 roundtables—that attention must be given to the yardstick for planning



We need information for our architect and consultant.

One of our most urgent priorities in moving the science facilities planning along is to get the best information we can about our needs to our architect. Various departments have prepared statements of need in response to earlier, in-house requests. We now need to work that material into a form that the architect, and our consultant, can use to prepare a program for the facilities we are planning. Please work as a department to prepare your material in the following format.


About the LSC Roundtables

About The Learning Spaces Collaboratory Roundtables

The Learning Spaces Collaboratory Roundtables are designed to focus on the future of planning 21st century learning spaces for 21st century learners. Their design reflects research in social creativity:       

Social creativity is based on the assumption that the power of the unaided individual mind is fundamentally limited. Although creative individuals are often thought of as working in isolation, much human creativity arises from activities that take place in a social context in which interaction with other people and the artifacts that embody collective knowledge are important contributors to the process.

Because the fundamental problems of the 21st century are systemic, complex, and open-ended, they require the ongoing contributions of many minds, particularly from the people who own the problems and are directly affected by them. Unique new opportunities and challenges to enhance social creativity are facilitated by cultures of participation. (Gerhard Fischer. Social Creativity: Making All Voices Heard: Learning, Social Creativity, Cultures of Participation.


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