Assess User Patterns
Working with WSA, The PAST Foundation materialized its goal of creating the first independent research and development educational prototyping facility in the United States. The PAST Foundation is comprised of a group of scientists and educators who work together to create curricula for STEM schools harnessing a learn-by-doing approach. The organization connects teachers in Central Ohio districts with the necessary tools to integrate this curriculum into schools. In addition to professional development initiatives, PAST offers student programs such as the After-School Innovators’ Club and FIRST Lego League Junior.
PAST Foundation’s teaching philosophy required a space that allows educational leaders to research and develop hands-on learning processes and curricular goals for students of the future.
Upon a comprehensive review of the curricular goals, our design leaders researched the physical characteristics necessary in a space to motivate student-directed learning. Focus groups held with administrators, educators, board members, educational partners, and student groups indicated key design parameters, which included: Transparency and visual access from classrooms to adjacent spaces, a reduction in physical barriers between spaces to encourage the organic transformation of collaborative subject matter exploration, accessibility to mobile technologies and wireless support for individual electronic devices.
A program of space requirements was developed from this analysis, and the design team uncovered the parameters which would drive greater access and efficacy in the educational process.
Every wall surface is designed for the sharing of information. Tackable surfaces line the outside of the labs, doubling as work space and acoustical treatment.
The transition between small and larger lab space is minimized with glass partitions and operable garage doors. Nothing should stand in the way of exploration.
Labs are paired with classrooms to provide a seamless "Learn, Prototype, Build" workflow for students
Private offices provide spaces for staff and administration
Overhead power cables in the labs and classrooms keep students' tools and technology running
A collaboration alcove is carved out of the formal lab space for small group activity.
Writable surfaces and easily movable furniture allows teams to share ideas quickly and easily.
Visual connection to all surrounding spaces keeps the energy flowing and allows inspiration to come from anywhere.
Access to natural light is usually tricky in a warehouse designed for storage, but it's critical in an educational research facility. Glass dock doors and two new large skylights were added to bring light deep into the labs.
Learning happens in all kinds of environments. The innovation labs are designed to accommodate any research or process students require to achieve their goals.
The lab is the first independent research and development educational prototyping facility in the United States. Since occupancy, PAST has been able to secure new educational clients, expanding the sphere of educational influence throughout the Central Ohio region and modeling best practices on a national basis. The space fundamentally changes the way that instructors interact with students by facilitating a student-led learning experience where students can visually access all of the teaching activity while they learn.
Wayfinding lights, circulation enhancing furniture, and perimeter lab space transformed the innovation lab from a boring warehouse to a bright, airy space for learning. Swipe to see the exciting solutions.
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To learn how the master planning process helped transform the innovation lab from a dusty, old warehouse to a state-of-the-art educational prototyping facility, sign up to receive our monthly newsletter, WSA Sessions.