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Saturday, January 06, 2018

As Universities Go Online, Architects Rework Buildings For 'Active' Learning | Forbes - Leadership

Photo: Adam Gordon
"Now that students are getting their bread-and-butter learning online, the real world becomes where collaborative, enriching, group learning “experiences” happen. Architects are making that happen" argues Adam Gordon MBA PhD, Executive Education principal and Associate Professor in the Strategic Foresight Research Network at Aarhus BSS Business School. 
 
Leslie Entrepreneurs Lab at NYU
Photo: Chris Leonard, courtesy of Gensler

Many leaders in industries going through digital transformation experience a certain spine-tickling moment when “futures flip-over” happens. That moment is when you get-it that the previously marginal online offering has become the default and the traditional solution has become the exotic.

It has happened in music, in newspapers, etc., and this is where university campuses and business schools are fast heading as education designers, coders and entrepreneurs close in on online platforms that replicate and in many ways improve on the traditional live experience. All for much less money.

While primary and secondary schooling will continue to be based in buildings in all plausible scenarios, because schooling has a custodial function that will not go away, tertiary and quaternary (executive education) campuses are starting to feel like Blockbuster stores in the age of Netflix.

So, goodbye to all that. Or maybe... not quite so fast, according to architectural firm Gensler, which has a practice area in education. It’s not the end, it‘s a renewal.

Real-world university education is eroding, but within this its mix of activities is changing.

Now that students are getting their bread-and-butter learning online, the real world becomes where collaborative, enriching, group learning “experiences” happen. The demands on the space are changing.

How to help that into being is what new education architecture needs to address. The collaborative purpose that used to be secondary has become primary. Form follows function.

In an interview with Forbes.com, Andy Cohen, one of two Gensler Co-CEOs, underlines his three bucket-principles: one, make design for learner-centered, learner-led education. Two, create flexibility adaptable spaces. Three, enable “learning everywhere,” at any time.

Boiling this down to places and spaces, Cohen is seeking an architecture that maximizes the benefit of when students are in the same physical space, getting the most out of that now more rarified occurrence. He talks about encouraging people to link and work and project teams to pop-up in “found spaces” that the architects have artfully left there.
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Source: Forbes 


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