Monash University, Melbourne

“Our learning agenda recognises the critical importance of our on-campus learning spaces. We have ambitious plans to reinvent the on-campus experience to create inspiring, contemporary and flexible learning spaces that encourage active engagement with knowledge, and lay the positive foundations for a life of learning.” Monash University

We must no longer look at classrooms in isolation but consider the whole campus as the learning environment – the classroom is one part of it, and all the other spaces, be they corridors or courtyard, provide opportunities to both contribute to learning and create a sense of community.

Monash University has recently examined and researched the critical aspects of the learning experience. Research into room size, group numbers, table size, access to technology and table shape have formed new briefs for innovative learning environments. The results of this research were implemented in their new Teaching and Learning Building (by John Wardle Architects) completed in 2018.

But Monash University also understand that the development of learning environments is never done. Like the world that is always changing, so too do learning environments need to change to suit. Monash University understand they need to keep innovating.

Since the completion of the Teaching and Learning Building we have been working with Monash University to further develop their learning environments to replace outdated classrooms. Where the new Teaching and Learning Building could be designed from the ground up to implement the latest research in learning environment, we worked with Monash University to implement the research into existing buildings.

Our job, over 2 years and 4,000sqm of existing spaces in various buildings, was four fold:

  1. We needed to understand the limits of the existing spaces and develop layouts that would both fit within the area while providing the class sizes required to deliver the curriculum.
  2. We worked with Monash University and the design team to implement the lessons learnt from the Teaching and Learning Building into these new learning environments. These new learning environments could not simply be a replica of what had come before but had to be the next generation. They had to be the best implementation possible.
  3. The existing areas earmarked for the work had to be upgraded to be compliant with current building codes as well as providing equitable access and use for everyone.
  4. To use our creative skills to design the environment to meet Monash’s goal of creating learning environments that make learning and social collaboration inspiring, stimulating and productive.

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