Lene Jensby Lange, Founder, Autens - innovator of the Learning Space Design Lab
Learning Space Design Lab (c) by Autens
What is Learning Space Design Lab?
One innovative teacher might improve their classroom layout and culture, but this is unlikely to have a long term impact on the learning culture of the school. For lasting impact and meaningful change, the whole school community needs to play an active role in changing the culture and design of learning spaces.
Autens is a leading Danish education consultancy, specialising in developing and supporting visionary projects that transform schools into meaningful 21st century places for learning. Autens believes learning should be purposeful, joyful, co-created and personalised, and that learning spaces should be a reflection of this.
Among many endeavours, Autens runs Learning Space Design Labs for educators. It is used for learning space (re)design small and big scale as well as for co-creating design briefs for architects when building new schools or refurbishing existing ones. In these workshops, all staff and/or students come together to co-create desired new learning environments on the basis of a shared vision for learning. The participants have the freedom to think, play and create together, thoughtfully facilitated so that the outcome is as innovative, insightful, and inspirational as possible. The design process is hands-on, project-based learning in action, with an authentic, real-world problem that demands a solution - walking the talk of powerful learning.
The workshops have a dual, inter-related purpose: to create design solutions for specific learning spaces and to strengthen a shared learning culture with a very high sense of ownership and empowerment among teachers. Even more important it's a powerful way to co-create innovative learning space design principles to lead the schools work with learning spaces and innovative practices in years to come - and can shape the basis for a design brief for architects that everyone can get behind when building or refurbishing schools.
We and our partners successfully facilitate this workshop with schools across the world. As of now we have facilitated workshops for more than 3,500 educators from more than 150 schools, influencing the learning environments for an estimated 40-60,000 students.
The Design Lab innovation is part of our consulting service. While some schools, districts, cities etc. has the means to invite us to work with them, we recognize that many schools will not be able to do that. Here we kindly ask that you do not copy our Lab elements but suggest you involve your colleagues or students in creating your own 3D models using cardboard, glue, tape, etc and research the internet beforehand for good advice and methods - and plan the process well because it matters a lot for the outcome! (We have provided some inspiration to you on this page). As a special courtesy and helping hand to individual teachers out there, trying to change their learning environments with no budget at all, we decided to share a bit of the magic for free. We created Design Lab LITE - a mini-lab touring the world from school to school enabling you to reimagine a classroom or an area for up to 50 students, working with 10-20 workshop participants. The only cost is to supplement the kit a bit as needed and pay postage to send it to the next school on the list. Get in touch to learn more: firstname.lastname@example.org
Otherwise we kindly ask that you do not copy our Lab and respect that it is the intellectual property of Autens. We are education pioneer colleagues and entrepreneurs who put a lot of our own time, money and risk into this idea as well as into developing the right elements and mix of the toolkit, the evidence-informed protocols etc. that are part of the lab.
If you are a consultant, whole school or wider school system wishing to work with the Learning Space Design Lab method, we are training and licensing a number of consultants and school districts across the world in the coming years, and also providing the necessary kits. Learn more here: DesignLabPro@autens.dk
HundrED Academy Review
Learning Space Design Lab allows teachers to design not just a learning environment, but a learning culture. Instead of static designs, the spaces created are fluid and able to change. These spaces become dynamic tools for pedagogy, didactics, learning and well-being in the hands of teachers and learners.Impact
When teachers are asked to design classrooms or learning spaces using this method, not a single teacher to date has designed a traditional classroom. Thus, the impact of this workshop on challenging & changing mindsets is notably impactful. Through this tactile, playful and collaborative workshop, their beliefs, knowledge and experience are channelled into creative and inspiring solutions. If that wasn’t enough, research shows that learning environments are pivotal in engaging students with their learning; however, this goes hand in hand with changing cultures and practices.Scalability
This approach can be used in all types of schools and any space within the school, such as classrooms, learning hubs, staff rooms or offices. Autens have run this workshop in over 20 schools to date!