Monday, 23 February 2015
One of an occasional series
A series of new initiatives, programs and buildings have sprung up at America’s colleges and universities.
These come in response to a growing set of expectations for higher education coming from both the academic community and society at large. Driven by technological change and increasingly diverse populations, the academy has risen to meet these expectations with a variety of cross-disciplinary problem-based research efforts, new curricula, novel teaching methods and links to the commercial sector. Increasingly, these new behaviors and programs are being grouped under the banner of ‘Innovation’ and housed in ...[more]
Monday, 12 January 2015
The American campus is unique as a Utopian construct that creates a setting for scholarship that keeps nature close. At the turn of the last century, the vision of Frederick Law Olmsted in turn influenced the campuses of John Russell Pope, Jens Larson, and others.
Many of the campuses that were designed in this spirit have seen this rhythm of landscape and built form disrupted and diminished over the decades as institutions bowed to the pressure to accommodate new programs. This was exacerbated by a generation of academic buildings that focused inward, turning their ...[more]
Monday, 24 November 2014
What does it take to make magic in a park?
This fall Shepley created Sparkle+Chime, an art installation made up of over 3600 small mirrors and discs suspended from the trees to create dancing patterns of light and delicate chiming. The making of Sparkle+Chime required an all-out office effort led by mostly junior staff, and drew on the diverse experience – from rock climbing to jewelry making – of the core production team. Inspired by a compelling conceptual design from competition winner Jean Kim, we took up the challenge to make ...[more]
Tuesday, 30 September 2014
The term gets tossed around like confetti at a parade, but what are MakerSpaces and what makes them tick?
Libraries have long been the intellectual hub of their campus or community. For the past decade, we’ve witnessed the transformation of libraries from fortresses of knowledge to information gateways.
MakerSpaces merge education and community, demand fluency with evolving technologies, foster a more active learning process and directly reflect the changing norms of the educational environment.
What your community of users needs is unique to your institution. How do you make the vision of a MakerSpace a reality?
Start by establishing a set of guiding principles.
Monday, 11 August 2014
It’s not all about you.
That was the first lesson I learned in architecture school. Kicking off my architectural education at Auburn with the Rural Studio showed me the power of selfless design and taught me other invaluable life and professional lessons. For more than 20 years, the Rural Studio program has given architecture students like me a hands-on education, designing and building homes and community structures for underserved communities in rural Alabama.
Looking back, I can define my experience in five simple lessons:
It’s about your client. A lot of people go through school, believing that they are working on ‘their’ projects. Presentations and critiques can get very personal, with a lot ...[more]
Tuesday, 29 July 2014
I spent time a few weeks ago in Pittsburgh at SCUP 49, the national conference of the Society for College and University Planning. Many of the discussions circled around ideation and collaboration.
In one of the more thought-provoking sessions I attended, the focus was on how a small liberal arts school was using “entrepreneurial” processes to put a framework around collaborative and critical problem solving. It was striking to see an approach developed by and associated with business education used as a productive experiential framework for learning rather than the more predictable emphasis ...[more]
Thursday, 29 May 2014
Shepley Bulfinch celebrates World Interior Design Week
Although the design process is defined in phases that follow a linear path design itself isn’t. This is especially true in a project’s early stages. Design in its early stages requires exploration and we embrace the collaboration across the disciplines to achieve our design goals.
The art of creative problem solving has always been based around knowledge. It is this creativity born from the interior designers’ knowledge that informed the model of our internal practice of having the interior designer team integrated instead of in a stand-alone ...[more]
Tuesday, 18 February 2014
We are at an interesting point in time when considering teaching and learning environments. On the one hand there is a fundamentalist movement in how we shape teaching and learning environments. There is a drive to get back to the basics. Bright cheerful and energized spaces that can adapt to a full spectrum of teaching (guiding) and learning (experiential discovery) are the new fundamentals for a successful space. Embedded technology and lecture based teaching walls are out the window. While this is happening, the biggest transformation in education since the ...[more]