Collaborative Spaces

Group 1: Rethinking the Classroom

Rethinking the Classroom: Spaces Designed for Active and Engaged Learning and Teaching

Different furniture configuration results in varied settings. <http://www.hermanmiller.com/content/dam/hermanmiller/page_assets/research/solution_essays/se_rethinking_the_classroom_page5_650.jpg>

Individual Chair does not allow for open collaboration in this case.

Individual Chair does not allow for open collaboration in this case.

Article Summary:

  • Students are more likely to retain information in collaborative settings by learning themselves or teaching their peers.
  • The relationship between the teacher and student becomes less formal and more open, and an overall better relationship. The student feels more comfortable in this learning environment.
  • Need to have students apply what they are learning to their daily lives.

<http://www.hermanmiller.com/research/solution-essays/rethinking-the-classroom.html>

Cal Poly Fish Bowl Observations:

20150105_150502 20150105_150506

  • Only table we didn’t use had no wheels
    • Difficult to use
    • Didn’t fit with other 3 tables
    • Had individual desk but did not use it – unsuitable for activity
    • Tables form hole for plugs in floor
    • Hole in center of tables for computer cords
  • Rolling Chairs – easier convenience for moving around and interaction
  • Instead of using the whiteboard walls to collaborate ideas (because we didn’t have a marker) we used online collaboration to write notes rather than physical/written collaboration of ideas
    • Not all group members were able to be part of this collaboration because of technology difficulties
  • TV is on but not in use
    • Plug is not compatible with all laptops
  • Fishbowl walls
    • All the panels that make up the walls can be used to write on, making it a convenient, collaborative environment
      • we communicated with other people in neighboring “fishbowls” to see who had markers to write on the walls with
    • 2 walls can be seen through, so when in the fishbowl you are not completely cut from the rest of the library
      • Allows for some interaction with the outside

20150105_150328

    • The walls do not completely go up to ceiling completely
      • allow light, sounds, smells in
    • Walls have accessible plugs all around for people to charge
    • Electrical outlets are mostly around the perimeter of the room, but our laptops are all in the center of the room, so the charging cords have to pass between our seats
      • limits how furniture can roll once computers are plugged in
      • only outlet in the middle of the room has two plugs
  • Multiple functions
    • White board and TV allows for presentation
    • Tables allow for collaborative efforts

20150105_150426 Ways of Improving Collaboration:

  • Better Projection/TV to connect the computers to the group
  • Markers/Pens for Writing
  • Possible Smart Table for multiple people to use, instead of just one screen
Furniture Examples:

These collaboration pods can be pushed together or pulled farther apart to create spaces for small or large groups. <https://www.pinterest.com/pin/102808803963519174/>

Desks arranged in groups allow for collaboration to happen, and the teacher can communicate with the students more effectively in a one on one in situation, instead of 28 to one. <http://www.lothinc.com/products/collaborative-spaces/ >

Small groups allow student to collaborate and help each other better understand the material being taught. <http://smithsystem.com/designs/interchange-diamond-classroom/>

Wheeled furniture and partitions can be moved wherever the occupants need them. <https://www.pinterest.com/pin/171066485821490573/>

This lecture hall is reminiscent of a restaurant because everyone is sitting in groups around one table where they can talk to each other. <https://www.pinterest.com/pin/458452437040907802/>

Children at this table can easily collaborate and decide together how to use their Legos. <http://www.pinterest.com/pin/286893438737885780/>

Small study nooks separate from the main walkways allow for students to focus, but still open enough to not be isolated; the beanbag chairs can be adjusted for students’ comforts and needs. <http://www.pinterest.com/pin/51228514485445705/>

Open space allows the teacher to move around the room easily and better assist students. <http://www.pinterest.com/pin/67483694389580290/>

Large screen that many can access/ collaborate with. <http://www.hispotion.com/mozayo-interactive-multi-touch-table-1918>

Rethinking the Library: A Study by Group 3

In the article, Library Redefined, the tradition library, a bastion of solidarity and a collection of referendum, is challenged. Instead an information commons develops as a hub of technology, content, and services, thus blurring the lines between studying and socializing. The contemporary library marks a shift in the function of people in the space. Where a library was once used solely for books and resources, it is now a center for academic socialization. The space required for this new function is relatively amorphous, therefore the built environment must be able to respond and support that ambiguity. Because the traditional function is not completely obsolete (there are still shelves of books), it must be acknowledged and still have its place. Today’s libraries generally segregate individual and collaborative usages. These collaborative spaces can be made more conducive to customization through the integration of furniture that is adaptable to changing social atmospheres.

Through several examples, one can witness this change in function. Furniture pieces, such as ones made by Herman Miller, are designed and built with adaptability at its core. Furniture pieces are easily movable, configurable, and modifiable to allow users to create their own space based on their individual or group needs. The Ethospace line of furniture has features such as wheels for mobility, transparent walls for the semi-privatization of spaces which also dual function as writing surfaces, and movable walls for spatial modification. This contributes to integrated learning through adaptable spaces. EN_ETH_P_20120428_024_P EN_RES_R_20090918_004_P musashino-10_floorplan Stuttgart-library-by-Eun-Young-Yi-4

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Image Sources:

www.thevandallist.com

archrecord.construction.com

inhabitat.com

planetsurprises.wordpress.com

http://www.hermanmiller.com/products/tables/conference-tables/avive-table-collection.html

http://www.hermanmiller.com/products/seating/stacking-chairs/caper-stacking-chair.html

http://www.hermanmiller.com/products/workspaces/individual-workstations/ethospace-system.html

http://www.hermanmiller.com/products/workspaces/individual-workstations/resolve-system.html

 

Forming Places that Form Ideas: Creating Informal Learning Spaces

3 minute read

General summary:

The appeal of open source learning environments:

1. Physical open space

  • For example, the transparent fishbowls in the library increase visibility and create the illusion of more open space. This gives the opportunity for impromptu conversations and studying, which would otherwise be lost if all the walls were opaque.

2. Control over change

  • For example, the movable whiteboards in the library give students the freedom to change the space. If the whiteboards were nailed to the walls, they would be limited in where they could work. Limited space means limited learning

3. Opportunity for social interaction

  • The human mind is social, therefore learning is social. Informal and social environments give students the freedom to share what they want without fear of messing up.

Xavier University: Cincinnati, Ohio

  • Wanted to redesign their Learning Commons building in their quad, so they renovated the first floor of the library as an experiment to understand the needs of students
  • Three spaces:
    • Collaborative learning zone
    • Faculty development center
    • Integrated service desk
  • Used flexible furniture to allow for multiples uses at different points in the day, and monitored how the spaces were used in order to make improvements in the future
  • From this project the university learned that it is less important to design a perfect space than to provide areas for students to be creative and productive while allowing for flexibility and change

Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan

  • the “Connector”space being redesigned rests between two traditional classroom facilities
  • includes faculty from different disciplines to promote interactive relationships between the student and professor in an informal office and casual learning environment
  • Informal offices are set up with semi-opaque screens to increase visibility and to feel the presence of learning in another environment
  • space uses interior accessories and furniture to become a place where information and learning spills into
  • furniture used consist of Herman Miller furniture, free standing Bretford tables, Caper chairs, Celeste lounge seating, Screens from the resolve infrastructure.

Ohio State University

  • Created a Digital Union as a “low-risk trial and error experience with technology.” A place where students by appointment could use the latest and greatest technology without the high cost and risk.
  • However, since it was by appointment the Digital Union it was not a “planned space for unplanned learning.”
  • When opened to the whole campus, the space was used 250% more often. The popularity lead to adding two additional Digital Unions on campus.
  • Today, these spaces act as multipurpose study work areas with furniture that can be moved to fit the needs of individual students or groups.

Additional Case Study: 3M HQ by Hitoshi Abe

-See images at the very bottom

15 minute read

“Planned spaces for unplanned learning”:

Hallways, waiting areas, stairways; why is “the space between” so important in a learning environment? They are serendipitous spaces, where the delightfully unexpected can occur. It’s natural and easy for people to socialize, network, study, and learn in these spaces. The appeal of an open source learning environment can be broadly broken down into physical open space, control over change in the space, and opportunity for socialization. A tangible example of these qualities is the second floor of the library. Why do people want to meet on the second floor of the library to study? It’s not just because we can freely talk and sneeze without being shushed. The second floor fosters learning through open space with the transparent fishbowls, control over change with the mobile whiteboards, and social interaction through the lounge furniture and coffee shop.

Open space. Imagine if the fishbowls were opaque instead of glass. The students studying inside would have no interaction with the students walking by, and the opportunity for unplanned learning is gone. We wouldn’t have those instances where we see a familiar face through the glass and join in the conversation. These open spaces are free and informal. Why do we thrive in informal spaces versus formal ones? Why are the doodles we do on napkins 100 times better than the drawings we do in our pristine sketchbooks? Informality fosters creativity because we’re not afraid to mess up. The conversations we have with teachers and peers in the hallway give us the freedom to be uninhibited in what we share. The same freedom doesn’t exist in a lecture hall where you have one opportunity to say what you want, so it better be good.

Control over change. One of the best features of the second floor is the mobile whiteboards. Students that want to use the whiteboards can bring them to their table, as means to communicate their thoughts or to gain privacy from the rest of the floor. If the whiteboards were nailed to the walls, we would have to remain by those walls if we wanted to use them. If the space is limiting, then the learning will be limited.

Opportunity for socialization. On the second floor of the library, the space isn’t limited to desks and chairs. Couches, recliners, and bean bag chairs invite people to get their nose out of the textbook and verbally discuss the material. Renata Caine says the “human mind is social” and that “people change in response to engagement with each other”. Reading from a textbook can only do so much, and there is so much more to be learned from interaction with one another.

So how does technology tie into socialization and the “space between”? Think about the advantages of working on a mobile tablet versus being confined to a corner office with four walls. Having the freedom of a mobile device opens every opportunity for social interaction and our studio is a perfect example of this. When we want feedback from someone else, all we have to do is bring our laptop to their desk. Technology doesn’t confine us, nor does the space we work. An open learning environment improves the quality of our work and can enhance any educational space.

Xavier University’s ultimate goal was to redesign the Learning Commons building in their Hoff Academic Quad. They sought to test their ideas and goals in different spaces on the 1st floor of the McDonald Library. These included a collaborative learning zone, faculty development center, and integrated service desk. The collaborative learning zone was a very flexible space, with movable tables and chairs to suit the needs of students. It provided an array of furniture to allow for both group and individual work, along with allowing a variety of activities from collaboration to relaxation to occur. As quoted from the article on hermanmiller.com, “Students ‘own’ this space. It’s intuitive and mobile. How it looks at 4 p.m. will be different than what it looks like at 1 a.m.” Cotter continues: “We’re able to observe how it gets used. How is the furniture moved around? Which areas see more use? This feedback will inform the changes we make. If we approach this coherently, we’ll be rebuilding the commons every year.” Planning spaces for unplanned activities is becoming more common as a design method.

The faculty development center provided an area for professors from all different colleges and areas to get together in a more informal way. It included different sized tables for various conferences along with “soft seating” to provide a lounge space for faculty. The integrated service desk was a method of blending spaces and students; creating a space for both students and faculty to come to when in need of IT or research help. From this project the university learned that it is less important to design a perfect space than to provide areas for students to be creative and productive while allowing for flexibility and change.

At Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan the space being redesigned rests between two traditional classroom facilities and it is called the Connector. The space is 50 feet by 200 feet with 30 foot high ceilings. This space includes faculty from different disciplines to promote interactive relationships between the student and professor. Informal offices are set up with semi-opaque screens to increase visibility and to feel the presence of learning in another environment. Without moving walls, this space seeks to be an informal learning environment with interior accessories and furniture to become a place where information and learning spills into. Furniture used consist of Herman Miller furniture, free standing Bretford tables, Caper chairs, Celeste lounge seating, Screens from the resolve infrastructure.

The Ohio State University Digital Union was established in 2004 as a “low-risk, trial and error environment,” for students to gain experience with the latest and greatest digital technologies. When initially established, using the Digital Union required an appointment; therefore, anyone utilizing the space for academic or multimedia purposes would be asked to leave. However, this did not create a “planned space for unplanned learning,” more of a planned space for specifically regulated learning. Realizing the flaw, OSU opened the Digital Union to all students encouraging a stimulated and relaxed learning environment. To further encourage an environment for developing life long learning skills, the space was made highly interactive. Furnishing the space with Bretford tables and Caper and Mirra chairs, students can easily rearrange spaces to fit their specific needs, whether that be individual or group study. Since opening the Digital Union to all students it has become a hub of sharing and learning on the OSU campus; in 2007, visits to the Digital Union increases by 250%. To compensate for the growing demand they plan to expand the original 2000 square feet of Digital Union to 13,000 square feet. Today OSU has three Digital Union locations to aide students on their campus.

original article: http://www.hermanmiller.com/research/solution-essays/forming-places-that-form-ideas.html

additional images: http://www.americanlibrariesmagazine.org/photoessay/library-design-showcase-2012-collaborative-learning

Additional Case Study: 3M HQ Minnesota by Hitoshi Abe

caper chair

Caper Chair (above)

celeste lounge seating

Celeste Lounge Seating (above)

informal space for learning (below)

P1070503

resolve furniture 01resolve furniture 02

Herman Miller Office Screen Arrangements (above)

painted wall

image of how wall interacts with internal atmosphere (above)

interior 01 interior technology passing space cst  3M campus  8171 floor

3M HQ by Hitoshi Abe (above)

Ohio State University Digital Lab (below)

OSU digital union

Herman Miller “Enriching the Learning Experience”

Summary

The goal of the Media Space Classroom project was to foster the increasing popularity of digital design methods in higher education. Through the use of adaptable environments, the project sought to rethink: collaboration (remote), teaching, and presentations.

The Media Source Classroom creates a learning environment easily and readily adaptable spaces; this can leading to unplanned (as well as scheduled) meetings and interactions. This responsive educational space also utilizes specific furniture meant to bring occupants together.

Learning is dynamic—given teaching methods and the type of information involved—so effective spaces  must adapt to various learning styles.

Learning is dynamic—given teaching methods and the type of information involved—so effective spaces must adapt to various learning styles.

Left: An innovative ceiling grid provides on-demand virtual rewiring for equipment and lighting. Right: A horizontal, touch-control digital display offers a place to meet and collaborate around information.

Left: An innovative ceiling grid provides on-demand virtual rewiring for equipment and lighting.
Right: A horizontal, touch-control digital display offers a place to meet and collaborate around information.

An array of display-on-demand media allows participants to share content anytime, anywhere.

An array of display-on-demand media allows participants to share content anytime, anywhere.

Reactions

  • Can it be adapted to different age groups and environments?
  • At what point do you overdevelop adaptability?
  • Do you need to limit adaptability if you have specific purposes?

Image and Caption: http://www.hermanmiller.com/research/solution-essays/enriching-the-learning-experience.html

Collaborative Spaces

Our behavior and modes of interaction are shaped by many factors of the built-environment, across multiple scales, and multiple disciplines.  Your architectural education has likely emphasized building form with spatial development defined by walls.  However, space can be defined implicitly as well as explicitly, and it is often this implicit sense of space where fuzzy boundaries encourage collaborative interaction.  At the same time, we know there are different personalities and different activities that shape collaborative patterns, and therefore a range of collaborative spatial arrangments.  Consequently, Herman Miller, the furniture company, does not simply design a piece of furniture, but makes great effort to study behavior though ethnographic studies and makes some of this information freely available.

  1. Each group will read one of the assigned articles (see below), and develop a concise summary – a kind of design primer – to share with each other in the studio.  Continue to search other articles and links in the article to support this concise primer.

  2. Provide images and links to particular furniture products you find in these articles, including models and drawings you can use.  Please also look at additional education furniture manufactures besides Herman Miller, such as KI or HON.   Make these clear and accessible so they become a shared studio resource.

  3. Provide additional images found on Pinterest, Archdaily etc that provide graphic examples of some of the issues outlined in your summary / design primer.

What do we want to know?

Getting beyond the product, what are the kinds of collaboration, behaviors, the atmospheres these furniture arrangements provide?

In looking to examples outside of the articles below (such as on ArchDaily, pinterest etc), what are other elements in the environment that shape these collaborative spaces?  Provide examples where custom elements (floors, ceilings, casework etc) contribute to the architectural quality of the space.

In short, outside of building form and walls, what is the range of design opportunities for you to shape collaborative spaces?

As your first blog post, this first assignment is also intended to support a quick “group think” summary.   You have two hours to complete the above – so quickly read together, discuss, and break up the work effort.  Complete your post by 4pm to present back to the studio.

Group 1:  Rethinking the Classroom

Group 2: Forming Places that Form Ideas

Group 3: Library Redefined

Group 4: Enriching the Learning Experience

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