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Designing the Learning Space of the Future


The students have changed, and the way spaces get used is changing as well. How do we need think about educational environments to foster better thinking inside them?

Architects and engineers are constantly challenged in the higher education market with the same goal from clients over and over again. “We want the learning space of the future,” they say. What does that mean, really? Before we can answer that, we need to nail down what today’s learning space really is.

Traditionally, the primary location for learning in colleges and universities was the classroom or lecture hall. Today’s learning spaces are no longer defined by those terms. Those spaces will continue to exist, but a multitude of different “back of house” spaces are now used for a variety of different teaching uses and learning opportunities throughout the day. Collaborative spaces in corridors, cyber cafes, or the middle of a courtyard are all examples of how learning spaces have evolved, adding another layer to how engineers approach the design of the mechanical systems serving them.

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