Sustainability vs. pedagogy: synergies and tensions to be resolved in the design of learning environments

  • YEAR
    Cleveland, Ben
    Soccio, Philippa
    Hes, Dominique
    2015 Conference Papers
    Architecture and Environment
    Conference Papers


Learning environments in schools are purpose-built spaces. They are designed to be places of
learning and are inclusive of the building structure, the furniture, fixtures, incorporated technology and learning resources. In the 21st century, it has become common practice for the design of new learning environments to be driven by issues of contemporary pedagogy and environmental sustainability. However the question that remains unanswered is what are the synergies and tensions between achieving environmental sustainability and contemporary pedagogy within the same learning environment? The purpose of this paper is to stimulate conversation around this topic. The findings relate to three researcher’s observation over a seven year period of learning environments research, undertaken at The University of Melbourne as part of the Learning Environments Applied Research Network (LEaRN) and two Australian Research Council Linkage Projects Smart Green Schools and Future Proofing Schools. Discussion of these observations highlights some of the issues and/or opportunities, which include more targeted research on how to deliver learning environments that are 3D textbooks; holistically integrated biophilic design, and greater occupant control of indoor environment quality.


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