The University of Birmingham hosted the 5th U21 Learning Environment Design Forum from 19th to 23rd September 2011. The focus of the challenge this year was one “of creating more effective on-campus learning environments within the context of building refurbishment and the issues relating to the design of effective learning environments within buildings built 100, 50 and 12 years ago which can provide an equality of experience for the students across those buildings.”
“The design forum is intended to engage participants in discussion and design activity aimed at creating new generation learning environments in higher education. An important aspect of the forum is its aim to promote inter-disciplinary approaches to the design and development of improved learning environments and, to this end, the event encourages the involvement of those with a professional role in this field – including property and estates leaders, audio-visual and information technology staff, educational and curriculum designers, professional/faculty developers and academics.”
Staff from the University were joined by colleagues from Melbourne, Virginia, Hong Kong, Auckland, Dublin, Lund, Shanghai Jiao Tong, Nottingham, Derby, Aston universities.
Participants were arranged into 4 groups of 4-5 members and given a real-life design activity based on actual campus settings (Arts building and Learning Centre). Days 1-4 included a mixture of design time, networking and short contextual presentations. Day 5 concluded with team presentations to a range of senior University staff. The presentations will feed into the Learning Spaces division & Schools discussion re use of learning spaces in these buildings. An exciting and exhausting time was had by all participants.
Presentation by Team 3: http://prezi.com/j1kbzt006xlz/u21-learning-spaces-design-forum-2011/