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The ecology of educational environments with regard to design and materials follows in the path of transformation in paradigms of teaching and learning.

According to Steven Crane, architect of educational design and building, “In the past, the curriculum fit the building, but now the architect must design buildings to fit the curriculum.” (J. Enderle, “Trends in Education,” Social Planning & Management, 16 October 2003)

In response to the unique setting of Manoa campus and influenced by the concept of agility in classroom and building environment, the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and the Office of Faculty Development and Academic Support envisioned a present and future enterprise in which spacial and technological structures enable and sustain multiple and simultaneous platforms of teaching and learning, emerging from instinctively kinetic rather than monastic traditions. The predicament? To align agile design with faculty development for faculty who are stepping away from sub-standard but familiar environments, facing surprising risks and professional rewards of becoming a co-learner in real time with their students.

A movement towards agility in education—as in educational spaces—is a response to more immersive, more engaged opportunities to teach and learn. The predicament posed is more complex than the design of an agile physical environment, rather how to align that design with agility in faculty, pedagogy, teaching and learning schedules, curriculum, and subsequent demands on faculty development.

Connectivity is engendered through the development of spaces and technologies that recognize the following:
• The technology literacies of students;
• The desire of junior and senior faculty alike to generate transformations in their courses, their teaching and student learning;
• The movement at administrative levels to achieve a reconfigured educational enterprise.

These are the constituents with whom we will work in designing energizing spaces for engaged, innovative teaching and learning environments.

Construction projects in educational institutions become a part of a hidden-in-plain-sight curriculum and as such, campus classrooms and building either contribute to a crisis of sustainability in intellectual and material resources, or signal university leadership and commitment to a transformed educational enterprise.

According to founder and president of Second Nature, Tony Cortese, university facilities engender a culture of sustainability when what students learn in class about fiscal, intellectual and social sustainability and responsibility is reflected through the university buildings, operations and investments.

by Kathie Kane, Fall 2011

The four verbs used to describe the SIZ furniture captured my imagination for accomplishing this task: Rise, Hedge, Linger, Scooch.

Everyone should rise out of their seats at least once during the class session, leave their comfort zone, and engage with other perspectives. Hedges are places where students talk over the fence, across different views, to work out problems and share ideas. Lingering means sometimes staying on one idea for a while, sitting back and figuring out where it goes. Scooch is my favorite: "come over here, join with me, and see what we can make of this idea or text."

All of these verbs apply not only to the daily discussion of the assignments, but also to writing as a process of thinking. Writing on the walls and windows, in my past experience, really helps break down the barriers to formulating ideas and structuring one's thoughts: students can draw, diagram, outline, mind-map, and collaborate with each other to find the words to build sentences into arguments. Moving around the room to interact with these creations on the wall has been one of the most successful strategies I have used in these rooms.

Karen Jolly, Professor of History, UH Mānoa

Just Because You Build It Doesn't Mean They Will Come: Planning for Effective Workplace Interaction and Collaboration
Allsteel: Jan Johnson, Vice President of Design and Workplace Resources, Allsteel: Steve Hargis, Senior Vice President, Director, Consulting, HOK on Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Story of Why We Gather
Allsteel on Thursday, February 18, 2016

University Evaluates Sakamaki Innovative Classrooms
Kaleo News on Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Twenty-first Century Design Cultivates Collaboration
University of Hawai`i at Mānoa News on September 15, 2014

The Growing Use of Collaborative Classroom Spaces in Higher Education
by Andy Heaps on July 28, 2013

How Innovation and the "Reimagined" Classroom will Change Learning
Knowledge@Wharton on June 14, 2014

Engaging Students: Using Space as a Tool to Connect with Millennials
Herman Miller Research Summary / 2009

A View of the Changing Campus:
How Learning Environments Can Support Changes in Higher Education

Herman Miller / 2004

Creating a Culture of Sustainability: How Campuses are Taking the Lead
Herman Miller / 2005

Radical Flexibility and Student Success: An Interview with Homero Lopez
Diana G. Oblinger / EDUCAUSE 2006

Paradigm Shift: How Higher Education is Improving Learning
Herman Miller / 2006

The Outlook for Learning-Views on the Future
Herman Miller Research Summary / 2009

21st Century Classroom Demonstrates Model Learning Environment
University of Texas College of Education April 19, 2011


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University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
Honolulu HI 96822 USA

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