The project “UNIversalräume – Dynamische Systeme in Lehr- und Lernraumarchitekturen” (UNIversal spaces – dynamic systems in classroom and study room architecture) has been awarded funding from the Stifterverband für die deutsche Wissenschaft and the Dieter Schwarz Foundation through their joint funding initiative “Raumlabore – Experimentierräume für zukunftsorientierte Lernarchitekturen” to promote innovative spatial concepts. The collaborative project between TU Berlin and Berlin University of the Arts (UdK) is one of five projects across Germany receiving 100,000 euros each. The selected universities will also form a network to share their experiences and challenges as well as possible solutions. The project is led by Christian Schröder, vice president for education, teacher training, and continuing education at TU Berlin, Professor Albert Lang, head of the inter-university, interdisciplinary, research-oriented master’s degree program Design & Computation at TU Berlin and UdK Berlin, as well as Johannes Pointner, research associate in the Design & Computation degree program.
“Our aim is to create an inspiring space for open experimentation and practical and pioneering learning which can be used in a multitude of ways. This universal space, conceived as a spatial laboratory, will be used for seminars, tutorials, and project-based teamwork, while also offering space for laboratory work or exhibitions, thus promoting open and collaborative teaching and learning,” says Professor Albert Lang.
The modular flexibility means the space can be configured based on the needs and requirements of the respective situation, allowing users to interact in a unique, free-form manner unlike fixed and hierarchical lecture halls or seminar rooms. It is not sufficient to teach creative and critical thinking, communication skills, and teamwork. Instead these must be learned and trained in an active process of interactive learning. The spatial laboratory not only serves to enable and promote such processes of scientific and artistic working but will also be further developed in an empirical evaluation and feedback procedure, creating an innovative, close relationship between model and reality and theory and implementation for the participating universities.
The involvement of students and instructors from several faculties at both universities will provide comprehensive documentation and information material which can be used to implement further spatial re-configurations as well as develop strong impetuses for project-based and student-centered learning and research.
In addition to TU Berlin and Berlin University of the Arts, Mainz University, Leuphana University Lüneburg, Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt, and Universität zu Lübeck are receiving funding from the Stifterverband and Dieter Schwarz Foundation.