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No ivory tower: community colleges as economic drivers

Friday, 9 November 2012

We live in a time of constraint and experimentation, when both the state and the nation are seeking ways to enhance our economic well-being. No single institution is more on the front lines of these changes than the community college and nowhere is that more apparent than when examining the physical fabric of the school.

Over the past year I’ve worked with a Massachusetts community college, developing a campus master plan to guide the future physical development of the campus. When we raised the idea of arranging future buildings to create a traditional ...[more]

Metrics and the design of collaborative environments

Friday, 2 November 2012

A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education (“Scientific Discovery, Inspired by a Walk to the Restroom”) made the argument that locating key support facilities has a role in fostering collaborative research environments.

As a design researcher, whenever I read a piece like this that cites research without providing citations or references, I become concerned about the quality of the evidence.

I decided to do a little digging. Although I was unable to find a research study documenting a 50-foot rule (“collaboration drops to 10% when workers are more than 50 feet ...[more]

Space utilization as a sustainable strategy

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Sometimes the most sustainable strategies in higher education are hidden in plain view. That’s Annie Newman’s point in her article “Do more, build less,” which appears as an online exclusive in the July 2011 issue of University Business magazine.

In the article, Annie discusses the ways that institutions can reduce capital costs and environmental impact through wise space use, and the strategies for managing existing space efficiently.

As the leader of Shepley Bulfinch’s planning practice, Annie has conducted space utilization studies for campus across the US and has presented and blogged on the ...[more]

University Business: Duke Link and collaborative study

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

“Collaboration Station,” a feature in the May 2011 issue of University Business magazine, discusses the design of collaborative study spaces in higher education. Ed Gomes of Duke University talks about the Duke Link, the interactive teaching and learning space designed by Shepley Bulfinch which opened in 2008, noting that the project “was about creating an atmosphere in which people can experiment.”

Since the Link opened in 2008 it has attracted significant attention from institutions of higher education and architects across the US. Ed Gomes discussed the Link’s creation in a ...[more]

Private offices for faculty? The debate rages

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Lawrence Biemiller recently opened a HUGE can of worms in the Chronicle of Higher Education when he asked whether all faculty members really need private offices (article). At 92 comments and counting, the overwhelming majority of faculty members responding are vehemently opposed. They cite need for confidential discussions with students, inability to work in a communal environment, and challenges to status (“when administrators do it, I will”) among other reasons.

Even though I am a campus planner who works in an open, collaborative environment, I think the faculty have a ...[more]

Two drivers of change in learning environments

Thursday, 5 November 2009

As a participant in Herman Miller’s Spring 2009 Higher Education Leadership Roundtable, I found the opportunity to sit and talk with thought leaders across the spectrum of higher education to be highly stimulating.

We spent two days discussing scenarios for learning that had been developed in 2005 and summarized in Herman Miller’s Outlook for Learning white paper – which ones were still valid, which ones had not come to pass, which ones were we still waiting for? In spite of the overarching theme of today’s economic realities, we still believed that every challenge presents an opportunity – and that higher education leaders are the ones who need to capitalize on these ...[more]

Successful strategies for integrating medical education with clinical work

2 October 2009

Tradeline Academic Medical Centers conference, Boston, MA

Jennifer Aliber
Sara Gardner

Eco-Friendly Campuses as Teaching Tools

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

by Steve Erwin, AIA LEED AP, and Tom Kearns, AIA LEED AP

Eco-Friendly Campuses as Teaching Tools

It’s not just recycling bins anymore. Steve Erwin and Tom Kearns talk about the increasing importance of sustainable design and operations for colleges and universities in the Fall 2008 issue of the New England Journal of Higher Education.