Learning Ecologies: Can the City Be Our Classroom?
Lindsey Feola in Academic Incubator, Academic Incubators, Education, Education Design, business school. education

Johns Hopkins Fast Forward Innovation Hub encourages “tinkering” to accelerate commercialization of ideas. (Alan Karchmer photography.)

Over the past few months, Gensler San Francisco’s EDU 2.0 group, a cohort of emerging designers, strategists and leaders in the Education practice area, hosted a series of three roundtable discussions around the experiential learning trend and what it means for educational institutions and cities.

Project-based approaches to teaching have been disrupting the educational landscape for several years and many institutions have fully embraced experience-based curriculum; however, the built-environment has not kept up. This approach requires environments that encourage both self-guided and group learning, provide maker spaces and allow students to personalize their educational experience. Participants in the roundtable discussions included thought leaders and innovators from elementary education, high school, university and cultural institutions, as well as organizations involved in education for all ages. While our conversations varied due to the diverse participants, our question for all of the discussions was the same:

In a world where resources for learners are pervasive and abundant, where institutions may no longer play the role of primary purveyors of information, and abilities may be represented in ways different from the traditional diploma, what role will the institution of education play?

Commentary from some of our roundtable participants included:

Through these conversations we identified the following trends on the horizon that not only apply to educational projects, but also retail, cultural and civic work:

The full list of trends explained in more details can be found here.

Learning Ecologies Team: Lindsey Feola, Karen Kuklin, Ashley Marsh, Gray Dougherty, Joe Favaloro, Marie Fernandes, Allie Trachsel, Aaron Howe-Cornelison, David Hurley and Mark Santa-Ana.

Lindsey Feola, AIA, LEED®AP, BD+C, is an architect in Gensler’s San Francisco office with a broad range of project experience including education, health and wellness, and commercial office buildings. Lindsey’s passion for solving clients’ biggest challenges through collaboration and research results in unique design solutions for every project. Contact her at Lindsey_feola@gensler.com.
Article originally appeared on architecture and design (http://www.gensleron.com/).
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