Creative Classrooms for the AI Age

AIA Continuing Education Provider

1 LU

With the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI), students no longer need to generate content but learn how to frame questions. This session will explore how the design of learning environments can foster the creativity that will underpin this pedagogy of the future. The session will begin by deconstructing the status quo: learning can at last be liberated from desks. Rather than configuring the space for writing and note taking, it can be reimagined around creativity. Rather than rows of desks, we will reflect on the research of Professor Stephen Heppell, who promotes the subdivision of learning space into a carousels of different furniture. With a unique environment in each, students are encourage to think in different modalities. This will produce a generation who are comfortable and well practiced in thinking in diverse ways. The importance of reconfigurable learning environments will also be explored in the session, allowing students to develop creativity through agency in their context. We will draw on the concepts of Nanna Ditzel, a Danish furniture designer, to furnish pieces whose use or possible interactions are not immediately clear, thereby encouraging students to imagine their possibilities. This haptic form of learning joins the long tradition of Montessori and Reggo Emilia thinking. Exemplars will be used to explore best practice in promoting creativity in schools. Case studies like the Plymouth College of Arts in the UK will be examined to demonstrate how creativity is being fostered in new learning environments. The significance of dedicated facilities beyond new ideas for the classroom will also be discussed, as well as the potential imbalance towards dedicated STEM facilities in educational policy, funding and facility planning. Finally, the session will look to the future of learning spaces, exploring both analogue and digital approaches to turning the entire classroom or campus into a canvas for student expression. We will look at how dry wipe surfaces across furniture and walls have animated learning where they have been implemented, and consider innovations like Microsoft's RoomAlive, which allows projection and software to create interactive gamified environments from physical spaces.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn about the latest theories linking the development of AI and pedagogies of creativity. These will all be connected to principles of education design, drawing out themes which can help support this new vision of education.
  2. To aid this understanding, the session will feature case studies of exemplary schools from around the world. These schools have succeeded in promoting creativity in their students by designing learning environments that foster innovation and collaboration. By examining these case studies, the attendees will gain a deeper insight into the various methods of promoting creativity in students, and the importance of design to learning.
  3. Moreover, the session will provide practical guidance on how to reconfigure learning spaces to move away from traditional layouts, which were primarily planned for information recall and learning. Instead, attendees will learn how to plan spaces that encourage originality and collaboration, thereby facilitating the development of essential skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving.
  4. Finally, the session will also discuss the latest trends in learning environments, enabled by developments in educational technology. Attendees will be introduced to innovative ideas, and the applicability of popular trends like gamification to promote creativity in students. In conclusion, this session will provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of the importance of creativity in education and how design can be used to encourage it. By examining case studies and exemplars, attendees will learn practical ways to promote creativity in students. Furthermore, they will be introduced to innovative ideas and technologies that can be used to create cutting-edge learning environments.
Hugh Gatenby
Hugh Gatenby 

Hugh studied architecture at the University of Edinburgh, the London School of Architecture and the University of Westminster in the UK. Since 2020 he has run arced, a design agency for education spaces. Hugh has written for Education Technology, Planning Learning Spaces and Citizen magazines. He was a panellist for Architecture Today’s webinar Beyond the Classroom. His latest project is a co-learning hub in Bristol, UK for the charity Sparks.

Track: Resiliency

This track focuses on Resiliency and addresses how learning environments support the development of students and communities that have the strength and flexibility to withstand adversity and adapt to change. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the essential role that schools have in stabilizing communities during a time of crisis. How do schools support the development of strong community culture among teachers and students? How do schools foster physical and mental health and wellness to ensure all are ready and supported to learn? How do we create learning environments that are strong in intent yet adaptable to change? How do we learn from what does not work and further, learn to take risks daily to expand our comfort zone? What can we learn from research and our responses to past events to inform how to build toward a resilient future where we can withstand what crises and challenges the future brings? Topic areas, seen through the lenses of both Art and Science, include sustainability, physical and mental health, community, school climate and culture, safety, and security.

Primary Core Competency
Design of Educational Facilities: Acts as a resource to the design team in providing ongoing guidance and support to ensure that the emerging and ultimate design aligns with the established community vision, education goals, future programming, written design standards, best/next practices and education policy.

LearningSCAPES 2023

October 12-15 | Hilton Chicago

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