The Design & Management of Learning Environments
– Integrated approaches for influencing value and change
16 May 2019, 09:30 – 16:30, + Drinks Social
Royal College of Physicians, Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4LE

#LearnEnvConf

Thank you for attending this conference!

This page contains your handouts from the day. Presentation PDF links (where available) are under each presentation title below. Videos will also be added in the next few weeks (an email will let you know when they are ready).

The attendee list can be viewed/downloaded here.


With thanks to our conference sponsors

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Workplace Unlimited


Morning Chair’s Welcome
Nigel Oseland, Workplace Unlimited 

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.


Transformation beyond buildings – A new student support experience
Wendy Sammels, Think Forward

Wendy Photo

Presentation PDF

“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.

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.


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

Signal_Gitte_RED_02Presentation PDF

Local 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

Presentation PDF

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. 


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

Lucy Plumridge HLMPresentation PDF

The 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.


Student personality and preferred learning environments
Hannah Wilson, Liverpool John Moores University

Hannah WilsonPresentation PDF

When 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.


Afternoon Chair’s Welcome
Wendy Sammels, Think Forward 

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.


Full STEAM ahead …
Fiona Duggan, FiD

fiona duggan fidPresentation PDF

We’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.


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

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PDF and Video To Follow

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.


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

Jim-mugshotPresentation PDF

In 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.


Impacting Learning Outcomes Through Space Design
Lauren Bell, Herman Miller

DSCF0496Presentation PDF

How 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.