Students’ perspectives on configuration design of universities’ informal learning spaces

  • YEAR
    Zhang, Jia
    Hu, Xiancun
    Zhao, Jilong
    Liu, Chunlu
    Luther, Mark Brandt
    2018 Conference Papers
    Architectural Science: Architecture, Design and Environment
    Conference Papers


Across the Australian tertiary education sector and worldwide, the number of informal learning spaces has increased in newly constructed and retrofitted university campus projects. Research on these informal learning spaces does not pay much attention to the importance of spatial configuration design and how the configuration characteristics of an informal learning space may influence students’ selection of favourite spaces and their learning activities and outcomes.
Therefore, there is an urgent need to investigate students’ perceptions of the configuration designs of informal learning spaces on university campuses. Space syntactic theories are applied in this research to formulate the configuration characteristics of informal learning spaces, and students’ perception indexes of designed spaces based on students’ behavioural observations are used to represent students’ perceptions. An empirical study based on the Geelong Waterfront campus of Deakin University explores how the configuration features of informal learning spaces affect students’ approaches and choices. The research findings indicate that the individual learning behaviours of students tend to favour spaces with low integration and high depth values, but they reject completely quiet spaces. Designers and managers of university learning spaces could implement these research findings and approach to improve the configuration characteristics of informal learning spaces for onsite students’ learning activities and the quality of their learning outcomes.


To top