Marion Starzacher, Andrea Karpati

Part of the InSEA conference 2018 in Helsinki.

School as a venue should be a catalyst for creative encounters before, during and after learning and teaching periods. Innovative design solutions and in-depth knowledge of spatial abilities are both needed to envisage, design and realise the new educational environment of the 21th century. For supporting new teaching methods like inquiry-based learning, these learning worlds should be flexible and inspiring.

An introduction in school architecture may help teachers and students to better understand their current learning spaces. Summary of good design practice and research on spatial skills catalyses ideas and helps to start creative collaborations among teachers, parents, artists and designers. We give impulses on perception, evaluation, needs and transfer of knowledge about spatial experiences and offer promising and disputable examples as well as tools for discussing and rating educational spaces.

Workshop schedule:

1) Setting the scene: two short presentations followed by discussions: Teaching about space: what, how and why? (Inspiration: German projects) Assessing spatial abilities: what, how and why? (Testing your skills: Hungarian online tasks)

2) Group work: Shaping the future – spaces in an ideal school

  • Group 1: perceiving space: creative tasks based on spatial experiences
  • Group 2: evaluating space: creative spatial interpretation tasks
  • Group 3: spatial needs: design tasks to reveal the features of ideal learning spaces
  • Group 4: models for optimal educational spaces: design tasks for turning experiences to ideas

3) Presenting group results in small exhibitions followed by explanation and discussion

4) Debriefing: sharing presentations and papers with group members