My time here in Australia is coming to an end. I have seen, and learned, a vast amount about the design, development and pedagogic value of learning and teaching spaces. Some of the things I experienced were confirmation, but much of it was new, stimulating and, more importantly, thought provoking.
I visited eight universities, two schools and several project meetings at varying stages of progress. I attended a PhD presentation which was stimulating (see Ken Goodman's comments) and have found the hosts welcoming and, more importantly, open to hear another opinion about spaces that they have developed (not always complimentary). I visited a furniture manufacturer to inspect the furniture being built for a project and discovered the importance of such a visit. I explored Melbourne and its suburbs and found learning spaces in the most unexpected locations.
I gave a presentation to an audience with a wide interest in the area of learning and teaching space design and received great feedback. They may have been being polite!
I am expected, as part of my funding, to present my findings at relevant conferences and write a paper for appropriate journals, but I think it only fair to those who have followed this blog over the last four weeks to write here the main things learned from my experience.
I think there are 6 stages to the design and delivery of learning and teaching spaces.
1. The idea- The concept stage
2. The brief- What does the client want (Who is the client?)
3. Design-This is informed by the brief.
4. Implementation- Do what’s planned.
5. Evaluation- Rarely done. See Derek Powell’s comment.
6. Review-This is also rarely done but listed in all project evaluation processes.
I know that some will add other criteria to this list and please feel free to do so.
The raison d'être of this blog is to be a discussion place for the ideas that I know are out there.It is for those that have an interest in the design, development and improvement of learning spaces. You may be a student, academic, AV expert, planner, architect, parent, vice chancellor, tax payer etc. If you want to contribute please do so.