A number of CRLI Learning Spaces SIG members were involved in the development of the University of Sydney learning spaces at Westmead. Last month, Pippa Yeoman and Stephanie Wilson hosted a guided tour of the WECC Level 1. This learning space is an existing project that pushes both spatial and philosophical boundaries.
During the tour, we explored the different space typologies on Level 1, starting with The Huddle, which is an open (in)formal gathering space. This space offers a momentary pause before entering a shared open space called the Collaboration Zone. The zone is an open space, however the varied height of different seating configurations and ability to divide spaces with sheer curtains affords more privacy than would usually be experienced in such an open area.
We experienced three distinct teaching areas, a flexible teaching room, a case study room and the cabaret theatre. In addition to offering unique configurations of the physical space, these rooms were equipped with different technologies that offered additional affordances for collaboration, including the ability to collaborate across campuses.
Attendees experienced the collaborative affordances of the Cabaret Theatre firsthand while engaging in a design challenge that explored the possibilities for social, set and epistemic design. Together they developed ideas for new and interesting uses of the space, including the possibility of configuring it for Design Thinking workshops.
The workshop was attended by a diverse audience who provided some very positive feedback.
"I loved seeing the space and all the reasoning behind it. You did a great job and I would love to know more about the Workshop format."
"Thanks so much for this opportunity – this is truly a space and approach to be proud of."
"I have watched The Humane Representation of Thought - wow - what a different way of thinking!"
There has been quite an interest in the design of the space, with attendees wanting to learn more. I'm please to confirm that Pippa Yeoman is currently working on a journal article with Nathan Ashmore. We will be sure to update members once this is close to completion. The workshop was also a great opportunity to capture video footage for our upcoming Learning Spaces video which will be available soon.
More information about the workshop is available for download through the following link: SIG Workshop Handout