A report from the LSC Roundtable Experience at California State University Los Angeles

3:30 – 5:00 p.m. EST
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  • Emily Allen, Dean of the College of Engineering, Computer Science and Technology – California State University Los Angeles
  • David Connors, Associate Dean, College of Arts and Letters – California State University Los Angeles
  • Michael Dannenberg, Director of New & Emerging Technologies/Associate Principal – Vantage Technology Consulting Group
  • Carlos Gutierrez, Professor of Chemistry – California State University, Los Angeles
  • Jeanne L. Narum, Principal – Learning Spaces Collaboratory (*Moderator)
  • Carlos Rodriguez, Dean of the Library – California State University Los Angeles
  • Pamela E. Scott-Johnson, Dean, College of Natural and Social Sciences, Professor of Psychology – California State University Los Angeles

After participating in the LSC Roundtable at Loyola University, Dean Pamela Scott-Johnson and Professor Carlos Gutierrez explored with their colleagues at California State University Los Angeles the idea of bringing a roundtable to their campus. 20 academics joined five architects in the four-hour discussion, beginning with individual questions and concluding with a short list of questions and ideas to pursue in coming months. This was a roundtable assembled with no major campus facilities projects in the future; it ended with some ambitious ideas about the campus as an ecosystem for learning that capitalized on existing assets – particularly their students, faculty, and urban setting.


  • Pamela E. Scott-Johnson, Dean, College of Natural and Social Sciences, Professor of Psychology – California State University Los Angeles

Architects participating in this LSC Roundtable included: Michael Dannenberg, Director of New & Emerging Technologies/Associate Principal – Vantage Technology Consulting Group; Tom Fortier, Vice President and Director of Science + Technology – HOK; Richard M. Heinz, Vice President/Principal – Research Facilities Design; Rebecca Sharkey, Senior Associate – EHDD; Stephen C. Wright, Vice President, Education Practice Leader and Design Principal – LEO A DALY. The focus on their architectural stories was the renovation of existing spaces–from a single space for accommodating a new pedagogical approach to introductory biology to major renovations of historic campus buildings. Portfolio of Architectural Stories from the Field – California State University Los Angeles LSC Roundtable

(Carlos Rodriguez, Dean of the Library at Cal State LA, in conversation with colleagues about spaces that embrace entering learners, then sending them out well-prepared for the metaphorical “merry-go-round” of life.)

The LSC Roundtable at CSU LA concluded with thoughts about what next:

  • As I’ve been thinking over the past hours, I think there are many, many problems with our spaces that we should be giving attention to: For example, every time I walk through the administration building, I see long lines of students in front of the financial aid office, the registrar’s office. Can we get away from the DMV model of serving ‘customers’ to the Nordstrom model…where there are seating areas and that you are called on when it’s your turn. It would mean a lot to students and signal how we value them, or not?
  • Building on what he just said, I think what we lack is sort of a student-centered approach to making our  spaces work for our ‘customers.’ I think what we’ve been talking about boils down the experience of the learners on our campus. That means getting the classes they need, providing great spaces and tools that they need to be successful.  So really, I think what we need to focus on is spaces that are integrated, that are learner-centered, that focus on the experience of the user.
  • We are all talking about the same thing here…it is making sure that this—that the environment here—is learning-centered. But I am also thinking about what we could do right now that would not cost us any money…and many of us are locked into learning that takes place in a classroom and eating that takes place in a food court. Then when we begin to look at the entire campus a learning space…I take another look at the courtyard in the music building…which, as we all know, would make a great space for learning. 

Resources and Worksheet