A transformative approach to learning

26 Feb 2010

The Academy creates unique, interactive environment with state of the art technology

The Academy is an immersive environment that engages all the senses to enhance learning. The design team in conjunction with responsive environment artists and sonic specialists, worked collaboratively with NAB to create The Academy. The Academy is a 3, 200 m2 publicly accessible space, symbolising NAB’s belief in the potential of its employees and the communities NAB support. The new space will be dedicated to employee learning and development and community engagement - experienced in a unique, interactive environment with state of the art technology.

Over 30,000 people have attended business or learning events at The Academy since its opening in July 2009. This includes Edward de Bono who has held a learning session at The Academy. NAB has also held CEO dinners in the space bringing the leaders of other corporations together.The project intent was to create ‘experiences’ not just spaces. All spaces offer different types of experiences founded on the underlying principle of ‘Transformation'. The journey starts with the timber stair. In keeping with the philosophy of Transformation, self discovery is encouraged, as one navigates their own path between the timber blades situated throughout the space.

The unique learning spaces tune in to all senses - energy zones that affect the rhythm of the human body. Spaces are supported by leading edge technology such as the 18 metre panoramic simulation walls. However, the design also understands the ability to brainstorm and share your stories is equally important. The ten primary training spaces have a specially created ‘dial a mood’ soundscape allowing facilitators to use music to create different levels of energy. The unique spaces tune in to all senses thereby stimulating learning and creative thinking beyond the usual ways. Through the use of projection and sound, a ‘Parallel Wilderness’ has been created - a virtual eco-system which co-exists in the space. The Parallel Wilderness grows and changes with the rhythm and energy of The Academy. The content is programmed to be self generating.

Maria Tassone, General Manager for Strategy and Innovation & Human Capital Strategy at National Australia Bank, said of the project: "The Academy has become a common ground, a place for genuine exchange, interchange and engagement. It is a show piece for NAB’s learning approach and culture. The outcome is nothing short of world class, with significant interest both local and globally on what the future of corporate universities is all about."

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