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Entries in Education Research (12)


A Closer Look at Student Housing 

The new College Avenue Commons at Arizona State University. Image © Bill Timmerman

The college campus is in a state of change. Flipped classrooms, rising costs, and other factors are forcing universities to redefine the student experience, and housing lies at the center of this constantly evolving equation.

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What is the Function of Libraries in Our New “Wired” World?

The exterior of the San Jacinto College Lee Davis Library. Image © Gensler

Will books go the way of papyrus scrolls—relics of another age kept in glass boxes? That’s a question weighing heavily on the minds of many as our world becomes progressively digitized. Even the most devoted bookworms are wondering if their objects of affection can survive the era of Kindles, eBooks and BuzzFeed listicles.

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Preparing for the Design-ful Economy

Mark Kelly, vice president of student affairs at Columbia College Chicago, helps lead a discussion about how on-campus collaboration can better prepare art students for work in an increasingly design-ful economy.Image © Gensler

One of the more rewarding aspects of leading the education and culture practice area out of Gensler’s Chicago office is the opportunity to engage clients in conversations that extend beyond project work. One of our clients here in Chicago, the School of the Art Institute (SAIC), invited us to lead a session for the 2014 Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) conference hosted at the institution. Entitled Make No Little Plans: Building the Resilient Campus, the conference brought together leaders from art schools around the country to ideate around how the campus experience could better equip art students for the professional world and catapult them towards successful careers as a collective creative community.

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Starting the Discourse: Emerging Trends in Higher Education

At the beginning of October, Gensler’s Chicago office hosted its second event of four in a panel series on emerging trends in higher education. To continue the momentum from the first, session, Leveraging the Loop, in June, which culminated with Chicago being designated as “America’s Urban Campus,” Chi-ollege Town: Place Matters set the stage for a collaborative effort between Chicago’s institutions, businesses, and the city itself to harness a new kind of urban campus community. The panelists–Gwen Drury from the University of Wisconsin, Anijo Punnen Mathew from the Institute of Design at IIT, and Julie Burros from the City of Chicago–explored the question of what makes a true ”college town,” a construct strategically important to Chicago and its surrounding region.

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Education Research: How Do We Improve Libraries?

Designing college campuses that keep students happy and lead to better academic performance requires us to have a clear understanding of how students spend their time when they are on campus. It was this need that pushed Gensler to initiate a research project with the goal of mapping out the activities that constitute a typical student day. (Read/download a PDF of the final research report, "Changing Course: Connecting Campus Design to a New Kind of Student," here.) What we learned not only surprised us, but made it clear that it's time to rethink the design of college campuses and the buildings on them.

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