With the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI), students no longer need to generate content but learn how to frame questions. This session will explore how the design of learning environments can foster the creativity that will underpin this pedagogy of the future. The session will begin by deconstructing the status quo: learning can at last be liberated from desks. Rather than configuring the space for writing and note taking, it can be reimagined around creativity. Rather than rows of desks, we will reflect on the research of Professor Stephen Heppell, who promotes the subdivision of learning space into a carousels of different furniture. With a unique environment in each, students are encourage to think in different modalities. This will produce a generation who are comfortable and well practiced in thinking in diverse ways. The importance of reconfigurable learning environments will also be explored in the session, allowing students to develop creativity through agency in their context. We will draw on the concepts of Nanna Ditzel, a Danish furniture designer, to furnish pieces whose use or possible interactions are not immediately clear, thereby encouraging students to imagine their possibilities. This haptic form of learning joins the long tradition of Montessori and Reggo Emilia thinking. Exemplars will be used to explore best practice in promoting creativity in schools. Case studies like the Plymouth College of Arts in the UK will be examined to demonstrate how creativity is being fostered in new learning environments. The significance of dedicated facilities beyond new ideas for the classroom will also be discussed, as well as the potential imbalance towards dedicated STEM facilities in educational policy, funding and facility planning. Finally, the session will look to the future of learning spaces, exploring both analogue and digital approaches to turning the entire classroom or campus into a canvas for student expression. We will look at how dry wipe surfaces across furniture and walls have animated learning where they have been implemented, and consider innovations like Microsoft's RoomAlive, which allows projection and software to create interactive gamified environments from physical spaces.
Hugh studied architecture at the University of Edinburgh, the London School of Architecture and the University of Westminster in the UK. Since 2020 he has run arced, a design agency for education spaces. Hugh has written for Education Technology, Planning Learning Spaces and Citizen magazines. He was a panellist for Architecture Today’s webinar Beyond the Classroom. His latest project is a co-learning hub in Bristol, UK for the charity Sparks.
This track focuses on Resiliency and addresses how learning environments support the development of students and communities that have the strength and flexibility to withstand adversity and adapt to change. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the essential role that schools have in stabilizing communities during a time of crisis. How do schools support the development of strong community culture among teachers and students? How do schools foster physical and mental health and wellness to ensure all are ready and supported to learn? How do we create learning environments that are strong in intent yet adaptable to change? How do we learn from what does not work and further, learn to take risks daily to expand our comfort zone? What can we learn from research and our responses to past events to inform how to build toward a resilient future where we can withstand what crises and challenges the future brings? Topic areas, seen through the lenses of both Art and Science, include sustainability, physical and mental health, community, school climate and culture, safety, and security.
Primary Core Competency
Design of Educational Facilities: Acts as a resource to the design team in providing ongoing guidance and support to ensure that the emerging and ultimate design aligns with the established community vision, education goals, future programming, written design standards, best/next practices and education policy.