Thursday, 26 April 2007

School's out

The massive advances in computer technology will “transform into a revolution in physical spaces around the world," said Professor Stephen Heppell in the final session of the afternoon. “In the last century we built big things to do thing for people, but we are not in that century anymore,” he said.

Professor Heppell went on to say that it is not just, “the old industrial model of a curriculum being delivered" that has long gone, but the architecture of the schools designed to deliver such a fixed curriculum should soon follow suit. New school buildings need to be designed to reflect the “democratically flat” methods of teaching that have being ushered in at the start of this new century.

These new schools are already out here, he said, citing a number of cutting edge buildings including the Discovery 1 School in Christchurch, New Zealand; Copenhagen's Hellerup School that features a staircase that doubles as an assembly hall and lecture theatre where pupils sit on the steps ; the extraordinary inflatable pods of Glasgow Caledonian University and even the Cayman Islands, which has recently re-branded the entire nation as a campus (because everyone is learning all the time).

"Enlightened architects listen to the people who are going to inhabit the building, what we need are buildings that can constantly be remade," he added.

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