Observations

Article Title:

Good Design | Charrette & Workshop Goals

Uic Stevenson Workshop 1 25

Story:

The gratification we receive from helping our clients uncover the potential for their campus always begins with human connections and the desire to investigate and understand each challenge in order to create a unique response, a responsive design. Our latest challenge is to assist the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) lead the charge as they create the best and most diverse, multi-modal learning facilities in the State of Illinois.

Understanding that an effective learning environment involves active participation from all, UIC and Bailey Edward (BE) are using multiple approaches to engage all constituencies to develop the vision, needs, goals, and desires of the administration, faculty, staff and students for a new UIC Learning Hub. Three levels of programming study are being used to gather information and feedback: analysis of existing pressures and opportunities; desires for effective learning formats; and feedback on effective learning environments.

First, using Bailey Edward’s expertise, existing facilities and classroom demand studies will be interwoven with projected growth demand to assist the administration in their master planning efforts. Questions to be answered will include the viability of existing classroom facilities to meet the demands of new curriculum and new learning modes weighed against the construction of new facilities.

On a parallel track the new program is being developed through working groups, workshops and town hall meetings. The formation of the Working Group is an extension of UIC’s Office of Campus of Learning Environments (OCLE) current task force established by the Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs. Meeting on a weekly basis, the Working Group is comprised of key decision makers including campus administrators and Associate Deans from the Colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Business whose students would be the primary users of the new Learning Hub classrooms; Teaching Scholar representatives from the UIC’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching-Learning Communities (TLC); and Undergraduate Student Government representatives. Led by Bailey Edward, this group is addressing concerns like classroom size, learning pedagogies, technology integration, faculty-student interaction, and overall vision for the facility. Using open discussion, data analysis, and examples, the Working Group’s decisions are confirmed, denied, or expanded upon by the participants at Workshops and Town Hall meetings.

Open to all faculty, staff and students, the first of the three Workshops and Town Hall meetings was held on Thursday, September 15th. Attendees were broken into three groups to discuss the Vision/Drivers of the project, formal learning classrooms, and informal learning spaces. In the Vision group, Bailey Edward had participants associate their priorities with the project budget. This was done by giving each member of the group $2,500 in play money which was ‘spent’ on their personal priority. The more money a project goal achieved, the higher the priority it held within the educational community.