Roger Hawkins, HawkinsBrown: "Education is becoming a commercial enterprise"
After a short (and very entertaining) introduction from Peter Wynne Rees, London City Planning Officer, our panelists took to the stage.
Our Education for Tomorrow debate was overseen by Professor Malou Juelskaer from the University of Aarhus in Denmark who posed a series of probing questions to the panel, comprised of Paul Williams of Stanton Williams, Roger Hawkins from HawkinsBrown and Maria Nesdale from Gensler.
Something that continued to crop up during this ongoing debate was the commercialisation of education design. Hawkins noted during his speech that the competition between universities has altered the direction that many institutions take, with an increasing number of universities utilising high-end architecture to sway students to select their campus for their degrees.
Williams presented his WAN AWARD-winning design for the Central Saint Martins scheme (which was the location for our drinks reception later in the day) to the audience, using the project as a case study to stress the importance of 'a slipstream between disciplines' and 'bridges between teaching spaces'.
Also on the agenda was the significance of flexible architecture and social learning spaces, Nesdale referring to a study undertaken by Gensler where it was discovered that 71% of students want to study alone but whilst on campus see their tutors as 'facilitators'.
She went on to stress that teaching spaces need to look beyond the basic lecture hall to interactive spaces where students are not just spoken at but can engage in active participation to further the education process, concluding 'non-traditional pedagogy requires non-traditional learning spaces'.
Reports from World Architecture Day