Update on the 2016 LSC Roundtables: Focusing on the Future of Planning Learning Spaces

The 1st Roundtable was held at Georgia Institute of Technology on March 22, 2016, a pilot adventure into the "roundtable" process of planning. Participants - 18 academics and architects - spent the afternoon examining, distilling, and reshaping key questions; ensuring all voices were heard; grasping how challenging it is to reach a common language about the difficult concepts of planning – learning – spaces; putting emerging ideas out for critique.  

The major prompts for roundtable discussions were portfolios from participating architects spotlighting recent projects by their firm: presenting a description and photos of the project and, most important, detailing the questions that drove the planning. 

This focus on questions is central to the design of the roundtable. The roundtable began with an informal sharing of “aha” ideas that had surfaced in their pre-roundtable review of the questions posed by the architects.  Their questions had been shared prior to the roundtable, without the full set of project descriptions or visuals.

This approach for sparking discussion was successful as a first step in understanding how different people around the table perceived the process/questions of planning at initial stages. Focusing on questions asked can be of value also at the campus level—whether a particular project is anticipating or the campus wished to establish rubrics for planning and explore visions for the future. We invite your attention to Questions Driving the 2016 LSC GT Roundtable.

A quick snapshot into the Portfolio of Architectural Stories from the Field.

Fuller reports will be developed for each of the roundtables, including an edited transcript of major discussions and resources prepared for and emerging from a particular roundtable. Also included will be a template for the roundtable process, suggesting how to adapt this process in other settings.


Da Vinci Center for Innovation, Virginia Commonwealth University


Campus pathways – public art
Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science (CCIS), University of Alberta


View through atrium showing high visibility into labs and robust student study spaces
New Core Sciences Facility, Memorial University of Newfoundland


Learning Space for the Ethnically Diverse Undergraduate Classroom
Center for the Built Environment & Infrastructure Studies, Morgan State University 


Group project rooms surround the lobby
Gross Hall for Interdisciplinary Innovation, Duke University


Second floor project room collaboration with neighboring views
Watt Family Innovation Center, Clemson University


“Cascade” social space
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York


Engineering Student Achievement Center, Auburn University 


Circular seating arrangement and the overhead display
Digital Classroom Building, Washington State University