Changing the architecture of educating: towards collaborative school design by Natalie Robinson

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The design of schools in Victoria occurs within a complicated matrix of divergent aspirations of the stakeholder community, changing views on pedagogy and little research to guide architects on the types of environments most effective in facilitating learning, creating a challenging environment for the architect to design within. Through reflection on school architecture projects I worked on over the last 10 years, I identified three key relationships in the school design process. The roles and collaboration between the poles of architecture, pedagogy and school community impact architectural outcomes and recurring issues were identified that may inhibit the development and balance between the three key relationships during the design process. To assist the architect in navigating these issues, I’ve developed a suite of school design tools. These tools provide the architect with strategies and approaches at different stages of design to assist in negotiating the challenges and inherent deficiencies. The tools identify key aspirations at each design stage and evolve with the development of the project. The tools aim to capture and build the relationships between the poles through facilitating and structuring the briefing process with the school, aiming to balance the concerns of the school community, pedagogy and architecture, and aspiring to create effective school architecture.

Year: 2016
Examiners: Prof Andrew Barrie, Mr Geoff Warn  Supervisors: Professor Martyn Hook, Prof Vaughan Prain

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