Learning in Fluid: A New University Building Typology
Flexible Learning Spaces: A New University Building Typology _ Isabel Potworowski
University buildings reflect the educational philosophies of a given geographical area during a particular period in time. This relation is true of Plato’s Academy, the medieval universities, the early American campuses, and post-war universities. While the approach to university planning has differed greatly throughout these successive historical phases, certain aspects have remained consistent. One such aspect is the central role of the teacher, which is reflected in the importance of teaching and lecture spaces in academic buildings. In the 21st century, however, this aspect of education is beginning to change. With the advent of the knowledge economy, new technologies, and flexible educational programmes, students have more choice and control over where, how, and when they learn, making them privileged customers to which universities cater as they compete for status and funds. Universities have responded by providing large, flexible spaces for active student-centered learning, often featuring natural elements or views to nature, simulating the environment of a college lawn.
Outdoor Rooms and Indoor Squares: Enveloping Communities
Enveloping Communities _ Douglas Murphy
In this text we will examine a series of small community buildings, examples of contemporary architecture at a variety of scales, each one of which provides a local community function. In the hyper-connected 21st century world one might argue that small community buildings may not have as significant a role to play, with online communities and information services, but these projects show that there is still strong demand for high-quality local civic architecture. Each of these projects is united by an attempt to create spaces that bridge between open democratic uses such as public squares, and the more private and domestic functions of enclosed architecture with specific programmatic uses. These strategies are in the service of a certain democratic notion of the public, and the buildings themselves are part of the construction of their communities’ self-image.