Hard working environments for future education
McCrindle Research, a leading Sydney-based social researcher, organise an annual Education Future Forum. At this year’s Forum James Ward and Andrew Duffin of NBRS+PARTNERS presented a study intoFuture Place Learning Environments.
Ever-developing technology and new insights into how we learn are part of the fast changing world and have increased the demand for responsive educational spaces. With concerns for the environment at the forefront, sustainably designed facilities are also under growing demand.
Many assume that a sustainable building comes at a benefit to the environment but a loss to the budget. Whole of life costing (sustaining facilities through 40 years) shows, however, that 20% represents capital and 80% represents operational experience. The statistics point to maximising efficiency and the effectiveness of education investment.
Learning spaces need to work harder to achieve the flexibility of environments that are responsive to changing needs.
The four responsive components can be summarised in FAPV:
Flexible: hardware supporting systematic change
Adaptable: software real time response
Portable: mobile resources
Virtual: online interactivity
Andrew & James also ran a ‘Buzz Group’ where the attendees had the opportunity to design their own school, based on their choice of 4 campus concepts. All were very excited by the prospect. The exercise, although seemingly simple at surface level, highlighted the difficulties of how spaces within a school environment relate to each other and the outside world. Those taking part were challenged to consider the complexity of layering & prioritising spaces and the need for learning environments to respond to more open access for out of hours use.