Date posted: June 9, 2016
Associate Andrew Fifield was recently invited to speak at “Universities: Closed estates or integrated campuses?” a half day conference hosted by New London Architecture, which looked at the changing nature of London’s university estates.
Referencing the higher education masterplanning and estate strategy projects that ArchitecturePLB have been involved with at various universities, including London Southbank University, the University of Portsmouth, Southampton Solent University and the Royal Veterinary College, Andrew reflected on how a more interactive relationship between town and gown has evolved, and how this has informed the development of a higher education estate model that integrates university uses with research, industry, commerce and local communities. This is combined with the need for universities to operate in an increasingly competitive environment, providing a range of spaces and resources that accommodate the pedagogic shift from didactic teaching to a more collaborative and problem-solving learning culture. Andrew concluded by proposing a soft systems approach to estate strategies alongside architectural masterplanning, an approach that would provide universities with a rich, interconnected database of information that could be used to inform future decision making.
A further write up including a summary of the full conference can be read on the NLA website