As technology continues to advance, and catalysts such as COVID-19 have forced us to live, work, learn and play in more varied ways, we have the opportunity to investigate how learning environments can be reconceptualised to become more connected and networked entities within the urban realm. As part of an architectural masters studio ‘After School’, eighteen students from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in Australia have collectively envisioned a new typology of school within the rapidly evolving suburb of Epping, Sydney. In this vision of the future, schools are no longer siloed entities, but more porous and connected, bridging learners across demographics, cultures and backgrounds. ‘After School’ looks beyond known school typologies toward interdisciplinary and hybrid environments merging opportunities between formal and informal learning with existing city infrastructure such as museums, libraries, workplaces and homes. In this more fluid reconception of education, schools will capitalise on existing physical and social infrastructure, where students can engage with playfulness, creativity, problem solving and ingenuity through their connections with our cities and neighbourhoods. In this interactive and immersive presentation, we will engage attendees through rich narratives of the journeys students will take as they traverse the future learning landscape of Epping.
Fiona Young, Studio Director, Hayball Architects
Studio Director at Hayball in Sydney, Fiona is an architect and researcher in the field of learning environments. She is a PhD candidate as part of the Innovative Learning Environments and Teacher Change (ILETC) project at the University of Melbourne, focusing on the design affordances of innovative learning environments. Fiona is also co-author of the paper ‘Designing for Serious Play’ in the recently published book ‘Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Play from Birth to Beyond’.
Natalia Krysiak, Associate, Hayball Architects
A practising architect and associate at Hayball, Natalia specialised in the design of child-oriented and community environments. She is a passionate advocate for playful spaces and learning environments, engaging in placemaking and research initiatives around the world. In 2019 Natalia was awarded a Churchill Fellowship exploring best practice for designing child-friendly neighbourhoods in Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Canada and the UK. Her research explores how we can create more playful and child-friendly urban environments. Based on her research surrounding child-friendly cities, Natalia has founded ‘Cities for Play’ which aims to inspire and promote strategies for playful cities.
Ricky Gagliardi, Architectural Masters Student, University of Technology Sydney
Ricky is in his second year of the UTS Architectural masters program where he participated in the 2021 After School studio. Ricky has recently joined the team at Hayball Architects.