Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Main Message from SCHOMS conference

First of all what a very good conference with stimulating topics on a variety of topics, great networking and good fun.
It was interesting to listen to the opinions of the three main speakers.
Professor Stephen Heppel's approach about involving the ultimate users in aiding design including school children ampified my belief that we can all contribute to the design process. I recommend a visit to his site http://www.heppell.net/.

Prof Mike Neary flying the academics flag in a valid way. The Student as Producer HEA funded project was very interesting.

Dr Jos Boys's presentation 'Learning Spaces: where is the theory? was thought provoking and something that has concerned me for some time. I have to say that in my opinion we can over theorise but the theory needs to be accounted for somewhere in the design process.
There was an overwhelming agreement that students will become more demanding as a result of the introduction of fees. There were some detractors from this idea but, as I said in my presentation, the student guild and parents will also be more demanding as well as encouraging their children to become so.

Another message that came from the various presentations but especially from Oliver Ireson of Birmingham, James Rutherford of London School of Fashion and Simon Birkett of Derby as well as myself is the need for a team of stakeholders in the brief design of learning spaces and meaningful post use evaluation of the spaces. Of course you have seen that mantra on this blog previously.

Well done Az Mohamed of Newcastle University as host and SCHOMS for putting on another great conference.

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