The learning experience is evolving. How we learn is becoming as important as what we learn and traditional roles of teacher and pupil are changing to reflect that.
Our third 'Creative Workspace' hosted evening seminar began with Karen Pickering of Page \ Park giving a condensed visual history of learning spaces. It served as a reminder of the interdependency of teaching style and learning environment, from the open-air gymnasium of ancient Greece, through the enclosed cloisters and courtyards of Oxford and Cambridge to the public spectacle of Enlightenment lectures, each a physical embodiment an approach to teaching. Karen finished with a quote from Confucius,
Our seminar in January 2012 focused on the renewal of 19th Century institutions for 21st Century audiences. A broad range of guests from across the cultural sector; from service providers, conservation organisations, exhibition designers and planners, contributed to a lively discussion.
As Historic Scotland continue to review the listing of post-war architecture, we find our conservation projects increasingly involve modern buildings. Our work to bring them up to 21st century technical standards, while respecting the architectural and historic significance of the buildings, raises interesting challenges.
Karen Pickering kicked off the third Page \ Park seminar with a rapid-fire photographic history of the modern workplace. From the application of massproduction to clerical tasks in the 19th century halls, to the sea of cubicles synonymous with ‘micro-serf’ culture. This included Frank Lloyd Wright’s Larkin and Johnson Wax buildings, Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram building that heralded the slick corporate image that still resonates today, and the burolandshaft movement in the 60s and 70s culminating in Hertzberger’s workers village for the Central Beheer Insurance company.
Our seminar, ‘Holding up the Past’ revealed the backroom thinking and decision making in relation to listed structures in four of our recent conservation projects. Structural engineers from both Jacobs and Scott Wilson assisted in the presentations.