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?
We want to change classrooms in schools completely! We need innovative classroom that inspire and support students in all their diversity and different preferences in ways of learning. One innovative teacher might set out to change his or her classroom, but this is unlikely to have a long term impact on the learning culture of the whole school. For lasting impact and meaningful change, the whole school community needs to get involved in changing the spaces that so strongly embed the learning culture of a school. Meet Learning Space Design Lab, a wonderfully creative, hands-on and playful process to change your whole school - together.
The innovator behind Learning Space Design Lab is Autens, 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 specific design solutions for the 21st century AND to create a shared foundation for a student-centered learning culture with a very high sense of ownership and empowerment. Not least it's a powerful too to shape innovative design briefs 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 4,000 educators from more than 200 schools, influencing the learning environments for an estimated 40-60,000 students.
"I experienced first hand how this learning space design workshop with teaching staff, would be an awesome critical input learning experience - which would challenge staff to rethink their assumptions about learning, classroom space, and pedagogy." Laura Robbins (Head of Secondary LORDS College)
"I was able to watch on as the participants built their learning spaces. Listening to them explain what they had done and why was where the magic happened. They articulated their beliefs about contemporary learning as they explained their furniture and layout choices. Others then offered further suggestions and Derek challenged them to think about aspects which they hadn’t originally thought about. This would be an excellent workshop to do with a group of staff as they explore their own spaces and beliefs." Maria Denholm (Head of Junior School GNLC)
You can try out 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 up to 25 workshop participants (students or teachers). The only cost is postage to send it to the next school on the list. Get in touch to learn more: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!