Have you ever thought how does space space impact on learning? The architecture of the academic centers has traditionally been viewed as a means of satisfying utilitarian functionality, but in fact imposing architectural plans are more than just an accidental arrangement of space and building materials, they reflect distinctive educational assumptions and pedagogical objectives, a particular approach to learning, or a certain educational philosophy.
Students in the 21st century have other learning demands than those of 100 years ago had, and space designs should be adapted according to nowadays education objectives such as creativity, collaboration and student centered learning. Grounded on research, learning and higher education, “Future Learning Environments” is a project started in 2009 by Stockholm County Council and Karolinska Institute in Sweden, where the main objective was to improve and expand teaching environments for its students. They commissioned the interior design studio Tengbom to develop the interiors of the project and also interpret Karolinska Institute’s design manual on the Formal Learning Environments.
Choosing the “home” as a metaphor, Tengbom proposed to create a “Home away from Home,” a second home for the informal zones at the Karolinska Institute in Solna. These facilities are located primarily next to the lecture halls and were initially “leftover” and unused areas. The “Home away from Home” concept meant a natural meeting place, a social arena, where students, teachers and researchers can meet and get together, exchange thoughts and ideas, socialize, learn from one another-peer learning.
A meeting place with areas for meals, communal activity, open squares, space in the room and reading areas for concentrated study, but also with a central information point. The end result is a compact and cosy environment, which creates a positive, productive hustle and bustle. This variety was designed to help people from different cultures to get on well together and feel at home. Through this new interior design for Karolinska Institute at Solna , its brand is strengthened into a place accessible to everyone. Here are some images to understand better the design concept.
Photos © Sten Jansin