A review of the evolution of flexible learning environments in Australia: For a better match of primary school design and IEQ

  • YEAR
    Vijapur, Diksha
    Candido, C.
    Gocer, Ozgur
    2019 Conference Papers
    Architectural Education and Sustainability
    Conference Papers


Over the last decades Flexible Learning Environments (FLEs) arose as an enabler of a studentcentric
approach to teaching and learning. Despite its penetration in the Australian public school sector,
the interior design of FLEs hasn’t been sufficiently investigated when it comes to Indoor Environmental
Quality (IEQ) conditions provided within its open-plan configuration. FLEs’ design typology creates the
challenge of providing IEQ conditions that work for different zones used simultaneously by the mobile
student population. In addition, current guidelines used in Australia are based on the traditional
classroom with little, if at all, adaptations to FLEs’ open-plan configuration and activity-based way of
learning. By looking into the physical configuration of ten primary classrooms, this paper aims to identify potential shortcomings of the interior design FLEs along with a critical review of existing literature and existing NSW-state government guidelines. Results indicate that for a mobile cohort of occupying FLEs, there is a mismatch between IEQ conditions provided and the guidelines in use, as it tends to overlook students’ non-stationary state and variety of activities, they are involved in. The adaptability of existing guidelines is therefore needed to better guide the design of Australian FLEs.

Keywords: Flexible Learning environments, Indoor environmental quality (IEQ), Interior design


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