IUPUI Learning Spaces III

Indianapolis, Indiana

The goal of this collaborative project was to enhance student learning and engagement at the IUPUI University Library.  Research has shown that spaces that encourage collaboration and active participation increase the likelihood that learners will retain and be able to apply information later.  Drawing on previous experience within the library and in designing learning spaces, the four firms involved on this project collectively developed a highly effective design solution for a formerly underutilized study space.

Feedback gathered from a focus group of students, staff and faculty members centered on five key words and phrases to shape the new space: comfortable, collaborate, natural light, refreshing and exterior views.  A neutral palette with accents of vivid green and rich purple was selected.

The long wall along the windows that once held 68 isolated, stationary study carrels now incorporates contemporary, flexible design components reflective of the study habits and methods of today’s student.  With a range of movable seating options, study tables, draperies and white boards, students can easily adapt the space for individual study or group collaboration.  In addition to ambient study light, low height lamp posts provide access to power throughout the space.

By using green and renewable materials, such as cork flooring and carpet made of recycled fibers, and by incorporating natural themes in its design, the Learning Spaces project is also an expression of the campus commitment to the environment and sustainable practices.

Learning Spaces III is now a destination environment within the University Library in which students actively engage together outside of the classroom.  As a commuter-campus, this space provides an idyllic setting not only for task-related activities, but also for community building amongst students and faculty at IUPUI.

“In addition to creating environments that encourage collaboration and participation, the Learning Spaces project helps IUPUI attract and retain the caliber of students that enhance our reputation as a leading urban university.  Learning Spaces III will be a model for learning environments in higher education,” said Charles Bantz, Chancellor of IUPUI.

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