IN_LEARNING focuses on active learning environments (3A) in the framework of secondary and higher education. 3A corresponds to high performance learning settings, i.e. spaces designed to suit new approaches to learning and teaching beyond those typical of structured classes of standardized duration with breaks in between, in a way to facilitate student-centred and collaborative learning, to promote and foster informal contacts and continuous learning experiences to their students.

IN_LEARNING aims at:

  • identifying which settings best support student-centred learning methods;
  • analysing the impact of the design of learning facilities on student centred learning methods;
  • exploring what has been achieved, by assessing how the physical space supports formal and informal learning activities;
  • identifying what developments will be required in the near future.


The project rational derives from the fact that the architecture of educational facilities has a crucial contribution to enhance student learning. The way in which learning occurs and the developments in collaborative research and teaching opportunities have created pressure upon existing educational facilities built for a ‘one size fits all’ model of teaching and learning.

Today there are a certain number of key questions that must be considered when addressing architectural quality in educational facilities.

  • The impact of student-centred learning methods, such as problem-based learning, evidence-based learning, reflective study and group work, implies learning activities that are more socially responsible and reflexive, where learners and teachers collaborate on a problem in a specific, localized context (e.g. studios, laboratories).
  • The increasing rate of computer use for learning and teaching implies an integrated learning environment combining learning space and service delivery around the integrated digital environment.
  • Learners and teachers spend a large amount of their time outside classes. The time spent in socially peer-to-peer oriented settings discussing academic work or other related topics as well as in “learning events” is part of the learning process. It happens through flexible and informal processes in casual community settings, (e.g. learning hubs, alcoves, lobbies, common rooms) which allow a greater tolerance of noise and activity.