Using Space as a Mechanism to Promote Culture Change
In 2013, the University of Arizona was one of only eight universities awarded a grant from the Association of American Universities for an AAU Undergraduate STEM Education Project. The overarching goal of the project at the University of Arizona was to shift the culture to one that embraces evidence-based, active learning strategies. An important component […]
Personal Reflections from Four Architects: What Keeps Me Up At Night When Thinking About Planning Learning Spaces
What keeps me up at night are always questions about assessment. What keeps me up is how to convince skeptical faculty about the efficacy of “active-learning” pedagogies. What keeps me up at night is about how design has changed, even over my short career. What keeps me up at night is how we need to […]
How Can Learning Spaces Bridge the Gap Between Academic and Civic Life?
“The questions I brought to this conversation are: ‘what is the purpose of what we do?’ and ‘how do the answers to that question matter to how our students use the spaces?’ Our purpose is to teach students so they learn, grow and have productive, meaningful careers and lives. It is more than scoring on […]
How Can We Ensure Faculty Buy-in?
How can we ensure faculty “buy-in” to the spaces we are planning? How can we ensure faculty are willing and able to use these new spaces as they have been planned, equipped? What evidence is convincing to faculty?
Personal Reflection: What Would It Mean If We Began Identifying Existing Institutional Assets in the Early Stage of Planning?
My personal take-away thought from my roundtable experience is the importance of identifying existing institutional assets in the earliest stages of planning. On our campus, we have many: amazing human capital, substantive engagement with a broad community of stakeholders beyond the campus, and a diversity of cultures represented by our students and within our faculty. […]
Planning and Designing for Inclusivity
“Our group was drawn together by the similarity of our individual introductory reflections on what keeps us up at night. Each of us said something about not being quite sure we have a clear understanding of who our learners are, about the students for whom we are planning learning spaces. Speaking as an architect, this […]
The Yardstick: A New Metaphor for the Process of Planning
Our team began thinking about the dichotomy of approaches to planning learning spaces. One group is concerned about the educational mission and the other about the design work. These are two different perspectives on the process of planning. Architects are thinking about the start of the design process, the solution at the end, and the […]
How Do We Disrupt the System?
We were asked to articulate and visualize the most audacious question to be asked by a planning team of academics or of academics and architects at the very beginning of planning. We intend to challenge the current planning process, by asking this question: How do we disrupt the system?
Thinking Metaphorically about Spaces for Learning
We began with an overarching discussion about student-centered, student-focused, student-driven learning spaces. We were fluid about the particular spaces we were thinking about: a lecture hall, lab, makerspace, whatever. Our feeling was that the ideas we were discussing spanned many different kinds of learning and learning spaces, from libraries to spaces for career counseling, and […]