The following are the generally accepted principles and processes to finalize the planning of learning spaces, integrating the space, technology and service model concepts developed earlier. It is important to start the planning process at a high level and then gradually filter down to defining all the essential attributes that contribute to the overall performance and positive experience of the space.
Establishing a shared understanding of priorities for decision-making
- Create and/or refer back to the ‘tools’ that are the basis for decision-making (Mission & Vision Statements, Strategic Plan, etc).
- Check back to goals, needs, activities identified to ensure Space/Tech/Staffing meets them (e.g. ‘Use-Case Tool’ output from the ‘Needs Assessment’ section is a good place to start).
- Confirm your integrated planning decisions reflect your vision and priorities, for instance, the most important activities should have adequate resources.
- Ensure contractual agreements and communication protocols support integration.
Resolving program adjacencies and locations
- Take every opportunity look across space, tech, services, and staffing holistically.
- Map the critical adjacencies of the space program and assemble a stacking/zoning diagram of the building/floor, fitting in all of the various building blocks of space types into the overall scheme. The assembly will impact the nature and the way the space functions, and will likely influence the overall success of the space. Consider the following aspects:
- Circulation and flow of users. Keep in mind, the ground level will most likely generate highest traffic.
- Staffing Deployment and Equipment Distribution/Sharing.
- Access layers of space and Security.
- The right balance of variety and choice from the User’s perspective.
- Consider how the design and usage might change over the life of the space and even beyond (can the design be flexible enough for future adaptation?). Don’t just design for today.
- Develop budgets in an integrated way that connects first and ongoing costs across areas.
- Identify how the spaces envisioned will be operated and ensure design attributes do not compromise operations (e.g. create unnecessary staffing).