For quite some years already, we (as in educational institutes) have been trying to set up the best ‘creative classroom’ possibile, because we believe that it is an essential element of modern education. I believe it contributes to collaborative learning and a strong attitude towards innovation. We are not the only one, many institutes are testing educational concepts based upon collaborative workspaces, Babson College and the Design School probably the most well-known of them.

I stumbled upon the following article about the ‘design zone’ at Babson College. After some years of analysis, they conclude that these zones:

  • increase student participation and therefore create more positive energy;
  • increase personal contact between lecturers and students;
  • the layout can be easily adjusted to the requirements needed at the moment.

There are also some challenges:

  • Set-up and clean-up times take away part of lecture times;
  • Because of its size and layout, these rooms don’t work well for presentations (i.e. sharing knowledge);
  • It requires more participative teaching methods by the lecturers, which some seem to struggle with.

I have found it relieving that ‘even’ Babson College seems to deal with the same problems as we do. On the other hand, it strikes me that even there, they are still small-thinking in terms of classrooms (with walls), whereas we can easily find much better examples especially in business.

Do you know of any extraordinary collaborative workspaces that increase sharing and learning? What is your experience with this way of working?

Read full article: Creating Space for Innovation: The Role of “Design Zones”