by: Alexandra Lange
The multiple learning spaces referenced by Lange are designed to lead students and faculty towards conversation and interacting with one another, while GSU learning spaces are more traditional in limiting what one can do to develop possible creative interactions with others. I think the fact that we don’t have as many learning spaces hinders us in the many possible ideas any of us students or faculty could possibly have that don’t get the chance to be discovered or developed is tragic. We have so much more potential in ideas and creativity that we are unaware of because of such limits that go unnoticed.
Architects that are trying to create structures like Building 20 are trying to find the best design that could maximize the possible encounters that lead to creative ideas. Having options for creative spaces like Frank Gehry’s Stata Center where “seating is flexible…Furniture is often on wheels, so that groups can rearrange it.” (para 4) for any students need in order to interact with each other. Compared to the traditional furniture in GSU with the repetition of desk in rows or lecture halls with the same seats with small table tops, how can one maximize creativity when the school system is using old teaching methods and expect us to bring something new to the table. Constant repetition limits the brain compared to being able to roam leads to new ideas and better experiences of endless possibilities. For example, in York University students can work on “passion projects” where they can develop their ideas and bring it to life and if they need assistance or to learn a subject in order to complete it you could go to the professors and they would begin teaching you what you needed to know in order to complete your project. You could even develop a model and pitch the idea to industry leaders. This seems so much faster and realistic to helping students close the gap between school and building a career in the “real world” as well as encourages entrepreneurship rather than going to required classes for a major you may or may not be sure you really want to do and spending countless hours doing work for a grade without making any real connections that could get you closer to what you as a student wants to do with their ideas in life.
All these buildings that are designed to produce more interactions lead to more hands on learning experience compared to the traditional listening, writing, reporting, and testing in small spaces. Creating larger spaces helps the brain feel less restricted and helps in the process of developing ideas and being more open to interactions that could lead to other ideas and projects or future connections. In this article Lange really brings to light these universities that are trying to become more modern in assisting and encouraging student’s individuality as creative beings and help with the transition of finding work after investing time and money in schools making it more valuable to life experiences than a possible waste of time when one finally decides to pursue what the really wanted and enjoyed doing with their life years later. I believe all our schools should encourage this type of learning and provide these resources that aren’t so traditional to bring out the best of each person’s capability even as early as elementary school.