Of Special Note

LSC National Colloquium

  • Does attention to learning spaces require attention to inventing imaginary futures for our campus community
  • Does attention to learning spaces require attention to preparing our graduates to respond creatively to the complexities of the modern world?

Yes. There is solid evidence of how attention to the future transforms the process of planning and resulting spaces.

  • Can attention to permeable design allow our single spaces, our buildings, an entire campus to evolve incrementally—to realize goals that planning teams of yesterday and today have not yet imagined?

There is emerging evidence that the answer to this question is also “yes.” The LSC Colloquium is an opportunity to explore and discuss existing and emerging evidence about spaces that work

Registration Information

Snapshots of Architectural Posters

** Additional snapshots will be added throughout the fall.


The Lens of Permeability
A prism through which to design holistically

Transparency is a critical aspect of permeable space allowing one to see from the outside in and the inside out – expanding the scope of ones’ vision. Think of the entirety of the design space as being viewed through a series of transparent sheaths – each layer of space as a window into the next.

Think not of permanence and how long this building or plan can serve current purposes. Think of how buildings can be constructed in a manner facilitating their being shaped and reshaped by new users and uses, some of which will arise even before current construction is completed. If truly permeable, design should be able to evolve incrementally to realize goals we have not yet imagined, and throughout this evolution, the features of permeability will stimulate partnership in achieving ongoing educational, research, and technological innovation on campus and beyond.

Reflections by Tom Hickerson, Vice Provost & University Librarian (University of Calgary [retired] to be explored at the LSC National Colloquium, November 1 – 3, 2019.

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LSC COLLOQUIUM Agenda Overview

Plenaries present stories from four different campuses about the process of planning four different institutional spatial types—beginning with the end in mind for the learners, the campus community and the broader community beyond the campus.

Formal Table Talks will be orchestrated by colloquium facilitators, including architects. Friday’s Table Talk I is for sharing what each individual/campus team brings to the Colloquium—questions and comments relating to their institutional context for giving attention to spaces for learning. Sunday’s Table Talk II is for sharing what each individual/campus team is prepared to report to his or her colleagues and the draft agenda for action for their consideration.

Saturday the Colloquium moves to the Missouri Innovation Campus (MIC) at Central Missouri University. Three sets of Panel/Breakout Sessions will follow the Plenary and Tour presented by MIC Planners and Users.

A panel of Colloquium facilitators will set the stage for each breakout sessions, in which architects will participate. The intent is to distill from current evidence, based on pioneering efforts on campuses across the campus, what is known about: i) spaces that matter and ii) how to plan spaces that matter.


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POSTERS from design firms and campus teams are a key feature of the Colloquium, and a key strategy for reaching those goals. Posters will be visible throughout the Colloquium, with formal poster sessions scheduled Friday and Saturday evenings. Colloquium posters will be incorporated in a Report from the 2019 LSC Colloquium to be published early in 2020.

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A link to what we know about planning learning spaces and what we need to know

Learning Spaces Collaboratory

The LSC is a community focusing on the future of planning learning spaces.



September 19, 2019
Online, 2:00-3:00 p.m. (ET)

Webinar Registration
Cost: Free for AAC&U members; $99 for nonmembers
Check your institution’s membership status here.

What is the role of community—as a concept, an outcome, and an entity—in a liberal education, and how can community contribute to student success? How do students experience community, on and off campus? This webinar will examine emerging definitions of community, ongoing efforts to create inclusive pathways for engagement, and ways community-based practices can advance inclusive excellence. From multiple institutional perspectives, presenters will explore how a collective understanding of community can shape a commitment to equity and student success.

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Moving from idea to physical reality in the process of planning learning spaces in the undergraduate setting is a long, complicated, complex undertaking, one that involves the collaborative involvement and leadership of many members of your community.

The challenge to those with leadership roles in the planning process—administrators, trustees, faculty and a wide range of stakeholders—is to create a climate in which such as committee can flourish. Your building will reflect the community that brought it to life; it will then nurture and sustain the community that it serves.

Leadership and Community

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Upcoming LSC Activities

The LSC Guide II organizes the resources in the Roadmap around the key questions to be explored as planning happen—beginning with those questions that need attention early-on, that will return to the table again and again in the process of planning.

Some resources to inform the process of questioning are included in the Guide; this are just illustrative of the extraordinary resources—findings about how learning happens, how planning happens, stories from diverse campuses, reports from national associations.

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Hybrid Learning Spaces

LSC colleague Steve Fiore, Director, Cognitive Sciences Laboratory, and Professor, Central Florida University, Central Florida University, has alerted us to the Conference on Hybrid Learning Spaces in Delft, September 16. Under the challenge that: the spaces we teach and learn in are changing, questions to be addressed include those about personalization and collaboration, ownerships and empowerment, representation and interpretation and ethics.


From the Field Archive