Of Special Note

LSC National Colloquium

Join us November 1 – 3, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri for the LSC National Colloquium.
This will be an opportunity for academics (institutional teams) and architects to collaborate in exploring what we know from experience and research about what works when campuses give attention to how the physical environment for learning focuses on:

  • The experience of all learners and users.
  • A process of planning, shaping, and assessing a campus as an ecosystem for learning.
  • The concept of permeability—dissolving silos between communities of learners, the campus and the broader community, the present and the future.

GOALS for the LSC Colloquium: all participants leave with a deeper understanding of what we know and need to know about how to shape a shared language, examine campus culture, create and nurture a community around learning spaces on campus.


This is a working Colloquium. It is designed as a trading zone to which participants—academics and design professionals alike—bring questions to ask and ideas to share and develop a “take-away” agenda for action.

WORKING GROUPS. Participants will be assigned to facilitated table working groups—a mix of academics and architects. These working groups will meet twice: following the Opening Plenary and during the Closing Plenary.

Initial conversations within these working groups will be sparked by these two questions from the LSC Guide II: Planning for Assessing Learning Spaces:

  • Are We Prepared to Ask Audacious Questions?
  • Have We Put the Learner/User at the Heart of Our Attention to Spaces That Work?

Join us in Kansas City to explore further questions, which are relevant at any stage of giving attention to the environment for learning.


LSC ROUNDTABLES. The LSC Roadmap is a means by which to share resources about planning for assessing learning spaces—from our work and from the work of others—with the larger community. Many of these resources come from the experience of the LSC Roundtables, beginning in 2016.

These Roundtables were an experiment in how to engage a diverse, intentionally small group in conversations about learning spaces that go beyond current practice, embrace the future, are not bound by pressures of budgets or politics. We have developed a protocol for on-campus, locally-orchestrated Roundtables.

Please review this protocol and consider hosting a roundtable on your campus during the summer. The Roundtable format is being adapted for informal discussions at the LSC National Colloquium in November, small groups charged with shaping questions reflecting the three Colloquium themes: inclusivity, ecosystems, and permeability.

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A Campus-wide Strategic Approach to Learning Spaces: Texas A&M University

Texas A&M University’s story of campus-wide attention to the physical learning environment was shared at the LSC Roundtable at Trinity University in 2018.

Several TAMU faculty and deans spoke of how the planning of individual buildings and spaces were guided by a comprehensive campus master plan to reimagine how the physical environment and sense of place could be better aligned with TAMU’s core values and academic and research priorities.

From that LSC Roundtable, an LSC Webinar presentation was  developed by Jorge Vanegas, Dean of the College of Architecture, and Professor, Department of Architecture at Texas A&M University.


View the LSC YouTube channel >>

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What do we want our institutions to be, to become? This is the question carefully threaded through the 2010 LSC Roundtables. Academics and architects talked about who owns a space—as it is planned and used.

They wrestled with questions about silos, about why discussions about spaces only surface when a particular project is in sight? From the LSC Roundtable at Northwestern University, one story:

Designing the Next-Gen Learning Space: Where utility, inclusivity, and inspiration meet

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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.



The 2019 LSC National Colloquium Think Tank is diverse. It is diverse from many perspectives. It  represents on-campus colleagues from a wide-range of responsibilities: faculty, deans, senior administrators, facilities officers, librarians and more. (Representative of colloquium participants.)

They represent national societies, including LSC Collaborating Partners. Collectively, they bring experience with all spatial types and with campus-wide efforts that link attention to the physical environment to an institution’s vision and goals for the future. Some bring expertise in assessing the impact of space on learning. Some are nationally-recognized for their work in challenging the larger community to be more aggressive, more creative in seeking to understanding how learning happens and how spaces matter.

We will be sharing reflections from members of the Think Tank in preparation for the November Colloquium. Here are reflections from Carlos G. Gutierrez, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus and Founding Director, Minority Opportunities in Research Programs – California State University Los Angeles.

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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