Thursday 16 May 2019

Learning Environments 2019

Royal College of Physicians, Regent's Park, London, NW1 4LE
09:30 – 16:30, + Drinks Social
Learning Environments 2019

The Design & Management of Learning Environments
– Integrated approaches for influencing value and change


We’re live blogging the conference today – follow the action here!

Our Learning Environments Conference returns in May 2019!
With themes around adding value and influencing change with an integrated approach, this conference is set to continue the success of our past annual conferences on Learning Environments.
Sessions include wellbeing, STEAM, creating partnerships, Student Retention, student personality & design implications, Smart Universities, Space Design and more! See programme details below.
We have special rates for HE establishments, as well as reductions when you register two people. Check who’s already registered here.

With thanks to our conference sponsors

Workplace Unlimited


Transformation beyond buildings – A new student support experience
Wendy Sammels, Think Forward and Lucy Evans, University of Surrey

Wendy Photo
“University drop-out rates in UK rise for third successive year”.
For the past six months Wendy has been working on a fast track transformational student support project at the University of Surrey. With wellbeing and student retention high on the agenda, the team have worked closely with the university to challenge the status quo. Engaging with executive board and key stakeholders from a wide breadth of departments across the university they are delivering an exciting new support experience to students.
Lucy EvansWendy looks forward to sharing the approach and outcomes of this project at this year’s conference and will be joined for questions by Lucy Evans, Chief Student Officer at the University of Surrey.
The founder of Think Forward, a higher education consultancy, Wendy Sammels has worked within the sector for over 12 years. Her work has supported universities to think differently about their space and the experience it provides to both staff and students. She now utilises this advance thinking to achieve a competitive position for her clients in an ever-demanding and challenging sector.

Common Space: Masterplanning Imperial College London’s White City Campus
Paul Eaton, Allies and Morrison

The White City Campus is Imperial College London’s major new campus, co-locating world-class researchers, businesses and higher education partners to create value from ideas.
Paul is leading Allies and Morrison’s masterplan team for this project. Building on the College’s existing development at White City, he will set out the process of working with the College to define a masterplan that will provide a flexible framework for future growth with a focus on common spaces to foster community and collaboration.
A Partner of Allies and Morrison, Paul is leading significant urban and university projects, where he enjoys working with clients over the course of design development, from the initial briefing to the negotiation of the multiple interests in the planning process to commissioning new buildings. Currently, he leads Allies and Morrison’s work at Imperial College London including masterplans for the White City and South Kensington campuses and the design of the new School of Public Health. He is also guiding the long-term plan for a new urban centre at Canada Water, one of London’s most ambitious urban schemes.

Full STEAM ahead …
Fiona Duggan, FiD

fiona duggan fidWe’re delighted to welcome Fiona to the conference with her current focus on developing new, productive environments for STEAM activities:
  • Engaging with the complexity of emerging requirements for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Maths).
  • Encouraging conversations that address changing patterns in learn, teach, research and impact activities.
  • Seeking new ways to define, allocate, use, manage and fund space.
  • Creating environments that are welcoming, productive, inter-disciplinary, flexible and (most important of all) provide a strong sense of belonging.
  • A collaborative approach from start to finish – because nobody knows as much as everyone.
Fiona Duggan is founding director of FiD, a London-based consultancy set up in 2006. Using a combined background in architecture and organisational psychology, Fiona works at the place where users and buildings meet, seeking ways in which the design and use of space can support academic and/or organisational change. Over the past 33 years she has worked in teaching, research and consultancy roles across more than 200 organisations and institutions.

The Checkland Atrium: A Partnership in Sustainable Design
Stan Stanier & Jim Wilson, The University of Brighton

Jim-mugshotIn 2016 the University of Brighton established the Modern Spaces Programme – a multi-million pound strategic initiative to refurbish all teaching spaces.
The Checkland Atrium was the first large social space to be tackled by the programme team and gave us an opportunity to determine new design principles and standards, challenge conventional ways of working and deliver a clear statement of intent for future social learning spaces. It also gave us an opportunity to fully deliver to one of the University’s strategic objectives – to “create vibrant, green and sustainable campus environments in partnership with our staff and students.”
Stan StanierWhat resulted was a fantastic collaboration across numerous departments with departmental silos broken down by a common commitment to the principles underpinning the project.
Stan Stanier has spent most of his career working in technology, specialising in learning technologies and the application of technologies to support teaching, learning & research. Latterly, Stan has taken the lead for the University’s Modern Spaces Programme – a multi-million pound strategic investment to modernise all learning spaces across the university.
Jim Wilson has been a bespoke furniture designer and maker for over thirty years. A concern with the environmental impact of his work led Jim to study for and gain an MA in Sustainable Design in 2015. Since then he has taught this subject at Brighton and also Sussex University. In recent years Jim has collaborated with various companies including Puma and The Body Shop and has contributed to 100% Design and EcoBuild.
Currently Jim is working as a sustainable designer for the University of Brighton helping to transform its shared and public spaces.

How to put wellbeing at the heart of the university campus
Lucy Plumridge, HLM Architects

Lucy Plumridge HLMThe Government is actively encouraging universities to treat wellbeing as a strategic priority. Mental health is at the top of the agenda and a real issue for students.
Lucy will share findings from live projects to illustrate how tools have influenced the decision-making process to enhance wellbeing and the student experience. Lucy will also look at how social spaces, interaction, physical activity, active learning and quiet areas can be delivered with the greatest positive impact. The presentation also covers:

  • An understanding of how design can influence wellbeing
  • How to embed wellbeing in the stakeholder engagement process
  • Findings to date
  • Standards like WELL and FitWell and how they can help
  • What’s next for wellbeing

Lucy Plumridge is an Associate Director and Head of Education at HLM. She specialises in all types of education buildings from early years through to higher education. She has a thorough understanding of how architecture can enhance the student experience and support changing educational pedagogies, which is informed by research and her work as a University tutor. She is also chair of the RIBA Yorkshire education and research group.

Campus Strategy & Smart Universities: A Mental Rebuild® at Universities
Gitte Andersen, SIGNAL Group

Signal_Gitte_RED_02Local demographics and future demands to universities and HE institutions can change dramatically in a very short time. In many large cities in Scandinavia, several universities are challenged by a massive increase in students, increased demands to service and quality, and all with less money to deliver. How can we, by using the space we already have, get access to more facilities and at the same time deliver on high quality in learning environments.
Our unique data and fact-finding process, The Mental Rebuild®, identifies under-utilised facilities in 9 out of 10 cases, and our user-driven design processes enable us to put them into use.
This concept has helped many HE establishments in Scandinavia to identify smarter ways of using facilities. By changing the habits of how we use space, we can make room for more.
As the founder and Global Head of Workplace Management & Design of SIGNAL, Gitte Andersen is the creator of the mindset that SIGNAL is founded on – to work with space as a strategic tool to aid better performance in organisations. Gitte has been both nominated and awarded several prizes within the building and innovation industry and is a frequent speaker and lecturer. She also co-authored the books Space m2, and Facility Management as digital change agent’.

The Auditorium of the Future: Designing intimate and collective spaces that are equipped for a technology-led world
Ian Stickland, Charcoalblue

The digital age has enforced significant changes in both the design and use of lecture theatres and presentation spaces, but too often these changes are to the detriment of the relationship of a presenter and their local audience. This session draws on the rich history of theatre, teaching and storytelling spaces to explain the fundamentals of auditorium design. This can then be used to suggest ways that technology can enhance the learning environment whilst maintaining a strong connection to the human presenter.
Ian is a partner at Charcoalblue, a world-leading theatre, acoustic and digital consultancy. Following several years working in theatre, live music and recording studios he joined Charcoalblue in 2009 and has since contributed to many major capital projects including Google, BAFTA, Canterbury Christ Church University, Royal National Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, & The Perelman at the World Trade Center. He has a specific interest in how the digital connected world can interact with the built environment to form a cohesive and collective audience experience.

Impacting Learning Outcomes Through Space Design
Lauren Bell, Herman Miller

DSCF0496How are universities measuring the tangible outcomes of learning space design? At a recent global research roundtable held by Herman Miller, participants explored measuring outcome variables impacted by the design of innovative environments, such as workplace readiness and student performance. In this session we will explore the outputs and results from learning space toolkits and new resources, and share ideas around key design outcomes and suggestions for the future.

Lauren joined Herman Miller in the USA in 2010 when she was a student herself. After 3 years developing Higher Education business and conducting research around learning space design, Lauren went on to work with university campuses throughout the US and the UK. Lauren now manages Herman Miller Education for EMEA and strategically works with university campuses throughout the world to create great spaces to learn and work.

Student personality and preferred learning environments

Hannah Wilson, Liverpool John Moores University
Hannah WilsonWhen students are uncomfortable, their learning abilities are affected. Science identifies that each individual experiences place differently. Hannah will share a framework of student’s preferences in the learning environment. With a large body of literature suggesting that there are personality differences across academic majors, her research used the Big Five personality traits to examine the relationship between personality and preferences for elements of the learning space. The session will look at how this impacts space design and learning environment provision.
Hannah Wilson is a Lecturer in Research Methods in Business in Liverpool John Moores University. Drawing on her background in psychology, she has a specific interest in people centred workplaces and how they can support wellbeing, productivity, and specifically for students, their learning experiences.

Conference Moderators

Wendy Sammels, Think Forward and
Nigel Oseland, Workplace Unlimited

Wendy PhotoWendy Sammels: With a long-standing career in the higher education Wendy has worked with a large number of institutes to research and understand how the next generation will want to learn and work. She now utilises this advance thinking to achieve a competitive position for her clients in an ever-demanding and challenging sector.
Nigel 2017 cropNigel Oseland is a workplace strategist, change manager, environmental psychologist, researcher, international speaker and published author. He draws on his psychology background and his own research to advise occupiers, both in business and education, on how to redefine their workstyles and rethink their workplace to create environments that enhance individual and organisational performance and deliver maximum value.

Drinks Social

As with all our events, everyone is welcomed to an informal Drinks Social immediately after the conference close. Here the discussion continues, and you can catch up with old friends and make new connections.

Optional workshop, the day before the conference –

Designing Learning Environments To Encourage Collaboration
James Rutherford, James Rutherford Learning Environment Design and
Dom Pates, City, University of London

15 May, 1.30pm – 4pm at the Herman Miller National Design Centre, Aldwych, London

Students studying in college library
Learning Environments’ design decisions should be based on an informed set of educational principles. After a guided set of interactive sessions, delegates at this optional extra workshop, the day before our main conference, will be introduced to a set of 7 guidelines for learning space design.
Click here for full details.


Registration is open now with limited early bird rates available from £195 + VAT with special rates for two delegates and Education Establishments.

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Who’s Attending

Teams and individuals from these organisation have already secured their places. Many HE establishments especially have registered multiple delegates. Will you be joining them?
Allies and Morrison
Anglia Ruskin University
BGS Architects
Cambridge Judge Business School
Cardiff University
Cathy Stewart Associates
Charcoal Blue
City, University of London
Design Engine Architects
Ferco Seating
Foster + Partners
Haworth Tompkins
Herman Miller
HLM Architects
Human Connections
James Rutherford Associates
Just Practising
KI Europe
King’s College London
Lancaster University
Laure Debout Design
Liverpool John Moores University
Loughborough University
Mosaic Space
Newcastle University
Nottingham Trent University
Peter Marsh Consulting
Post Office Contractor
PTS Consulting
Richard Hopkinson Architects
Saint-Gobain Ecophon
Sedia Systems
Seymour Architecture
Sheffield Hallam University
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)
TeacherBoards / TBSpaces
The University of Manchester
The University of Nottingham
Think Forward
Trinity College Dublin
University of Brighton
University of Kent
University of Sheffield
University of Surrey
University of the Arts London
University of the West of England
University of Warwick
Workplace Unlimited