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Re-Inventing the Learning Enviornment

October 22, 2010

Photograph of an innovative school house and playground The Department of Architecture + Interiors is presenting a series of three public lectures titled Re-Inventing the Learning Environment which will examine innovative approaches to school and classroom design. Highly established practitioners and educators – Susanne Hofmann of Baupiloten, Berlin/Germany; Henry Sanoff, University of North Carolina; and Herman Hertzberger, HH Studio, Amsterdam/Netherlands –all known in the discipline as excellent and approachable teachers, will serve as lecturers and workshop leaders. Their theoretical approach to the design of educational spaces and their accomplished professional experiences along with their commitment to engaging stakeholders have been widely recognized within the discipline as exemplary.

Susanne Hofmann will present School Design Triggered by Children's Expertise – Die Baupiloten: Participatory Design Strategies & Design-Build on Friday, October 22nd at 6:30 PM in Stein Auditorium, Nesbitt Hall. Henry Sanoff will present Creating Effective School Environments on Friday, October 29th at 6:30 PM in Stein Auditorium, Nesbitt Hall. And Herman Hertzberger will present Social Space on Thursday, November 4th at 6:00 PM in Mitchell Auditorium at the Bossone Research Center. This last lecture is part of the 2010-11 ARFAA lecture series. 

These lectures are part of a class, titled RE-CREATE: Three Workshops on Learning Environments and the Participatory Process. This class includes three weekend workshops that explore the topic of school design and user participation, allowing students to experience and learn about this important field of architectural practice from accomplished designers and architects. Each workshop begins with a lecture by our guests followed by two days of concentrated interaction. Under guidance of the invited mentors, teams of students will collaborate with school children, teachers and parents from Independence Charter School in Philadelphia to work on creatively re-inventing several spaces in their school at 1600 Lombard Street where they work, study and play.

These lectures and workshops provide an innovative learning experience for students of architecture and interior design who are currently participating in this interdisciplinary seminar taught by Assistant Professors Debra Ruben and Dr. Ulrike Altenmüller-Lewis. This intense process, part extended charrette and part learning laboratory, allows our design students first to experiment, then to participate, and finally to take action.