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Designing Spaces for Learning: What’s Next? – Monday, December 9th

Posted by on Thursday, December 5, 2013 in Events.

by Derek Bruff, CFT Director

The Space, Learning, and Mobility Lab (SLAMLab) at Peabody College, Peabody International Affairs, and the Vanderbilt International Office are hosting a presentation and interactive reception on the topic of learning spaces on Monday, December 9th. “Designing Spaces for Learning: What’s Next?” features a presentation by faculty from the University of Melbourne School of Architecture from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. in the Ingram Commons Multi-Purpose Room, followed by an interactive reception from 6:15 to 7:30 p.m. in the Wyatt Center Atrium.

Education researchers at Vanderbilt, including faculty members Rogers Hall, Kevin Leander, and David Owens, have been collaborating with architecture faculty from the University Melbourne in recent years to explore the intersection between education and architecture, and next week they are inviting the Vanderbilt community to join their ongoing conversation. If you’re interested in the topic of learning spaces or involved in learning space design at Vanderbilt, I hope you can participate.

Below you’ll find some information on learning space research at the University of Melbourne, taken from the event’s press release, complete with Australian spelling!

Summary of Melbourne’s Research and Australia’s $16 Billion BER

Australia recently completed the Building Education Revolution (BER): a $16.2 billion government initiative focused on education infrastructure in primary and secondary schools across the country. In conjunction with the BER, the University of Melbourne’s Architecture school has conducted extensive research exploring the intersection between education and architecture including portable classrooms, the evaluation of physical and hospital learning environments, building IEQ performance and sustainability.

Melbourne Faculty Speakers Include:

Clare Newton is an architect, educator and Associate Professor of Learning Environments at The University of Melbourne. A practitioner and Director of architectural firm, Newton Hutson Pty Ltd, she received the Victorian NAWIC Award of Excellence for Innovation in Construction and has been AIA Competition Advisor on many architecture competitions. She has led two major Australian Research Council Linkage Grants, Smart Green Schools and Future Proofing Schools that have seen the development of a number of design solutions including transforming portable classrooms from “a necessary evil into delightful spaces that are integrated into their environment and landscape.”

Kenn Fisher is recognised as one of the leading learning environment planners practising internationally. As an ongoing consultant to the OECD (where he held the post of Head of the Program on Educational Building in Paris in 1997/8) he has worked in Australia, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. He is multi-skilled in a range of disciplines having practiced in all education sectors as a teacher and academic, a strategic facility and campus planner, a project, facility and design manager and also as a structural engineer.

Ben Cleveland is a Research Fellow at the Learning Environments Applied Research Network (LEaRN), which brings together Australian and international educational bodies, designers, government agencies and professional groups to foster research into the relationship between pedagogy and space in all educational environments. Ben is currently conducting projects investigating 1) approaches to learning environment evaluation in schools and higher education and 2) the broad factors that contribute to developing and sustaining innovative education practices in innovative learning environments.

Image: “Wheels on Chairs,” Derek Bruff, Flickr (CC)


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