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“I recently attended a conference for the Society for College and University Planning where Randall’s keynote presentation was about the architectural design of future learning spaces.  He presented several international projects whose designs anticipated the evolving pedagogies of student engagement, collaboration, and individualization.  It was inspiring to visualize the future of education through the design of the space.”

Stephen Lehmkuhle, Chancellor, University of Minnesota Rochester


Randall’s Topic:

Design Patterns for College and University Learners


Building on the “Language of School Design, Design Patterns for 21st Century Schools,” now in its third edition, Fielding introduced new design patterns for colleges and universities. This was version 1.0 of a new series of publications, allowing conference attendees to get in on the ground floor of an evolving body of work.


Patterns began with the secret sauce of learning–the intersection of passion, skill and purpose. These key ingredients were linked to groupings (individual, small group, large group). Group dynamics were linked to activity types (listening, talking, writing, inventing, constructing, performing, eating, and resting). Learning activities and group dynamics were then be linked to cycles in time and space.


Fielding illustrated the patterns with the in-progress design for a new satellite university in San Jose, Costa Rica. The project has a modest footprint with a big mission, and will take on the challenges embodied in the conference theme: Finding Common Ground: The Learning Space Challenges Facing Small & Large Institutions.


Conference: Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) 2015 North Central Symposium: Common Ground: Designing 21st Century Learning Space at Small & Large Institutions

Today community colleges, smaller private colleges, and larger public universities are addressing the rapid change we are seeing in the design, use, and expectations for learning environments. With the growth of active/flipped/blended pedagogies, campuses are challenged with adapting existing and designing and building new learning spaces that significantly change the space organization, as well as furnishings and technology that support the goals for improving learning outcomes. This evolution is having an impact not just on the classroom, but extends to facilities across the campus including student unions, library/learning commons, and residence facilities. The expectation for more student-centered learning options is key to engaging the Mosaic Generation—as defined by Paul Taylor, Executive Vice President, Pew Research Center—the next generation of digital learners. The program will conclude with tours of the new projects on the DMACC campus.

At this conference, attendees learned to:

– Discuss how student demographics and new pedagogies are changing expectations for higher education facilities.

– Define how emerging technologies are impacting the design of educational facilities of the future.

– Adapt architectural and interior design to meet new pedagogical options.

– Apply how emerging technologies will impact the programming of architecture for higher education.

Read more about it here.

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