In the mid-20th century, a Military Industrial Complex developed to maintain the expansion of American military capability. At the same time, a Campus Planning & Building Complex developed to expand American higher education. Both worked well to produce more, and each benefited from an aura of self-fulfilling prophecy. Continue reading
Early in 2015 I sat down with Duke Oakley to discuss the future of campuses. The result was a video in which Duke talks about the history and resilience, value and importance of campuses. He is most passionate in describing the role of the campus as a reference point for former students as they grow into positions of responsibility in civic affairs. He views the campus as a nearly ideal environment, an expression of what is possible.
“As former students deal with design and environmental issues, they will have in mind a time when they lived in an environment that cared about them, that supported them, that was a joy to be in. They will know it is not impossible. It is entirely possible. They will remember an environment that began to live up to the potential of all of our environments.”
Charles Warner Oakley is a graduate of Dartmouth and the University of Pennsylvania. From 1986 to 2000, he was Campus Architect and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Design and Construction at the University of California – Los Angeles. “Duke” as his friends and colleagues know him, is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and an Emeritus member of the Association of University Architects.
My campus planning course explores the future of campuses and prepares emerging professionals for these practice settings.
For the first half of the semester I experimented with making the room bigger – dissolving the walls that bound the traditional classroom. On March 3, 2015, for example, our session on the future of the campus included more than 40 students and guests in time zones from Western Europe to British Columbia. The synchronous discussion engaged students with the perspectives of academics and professional campus planners. Continue reading
Opportunity for Guest Participants – I am teaching Planning and Design of the University: Future of Campus in a Digital World at Georgia Tech and University of Minnesota. The course will be open to on-line guest participants. A schedule for guest participants is here.
Georgia Tech students and in-class presenters will be in an on-campus classroom/studio. Minnesota students, remote presenters and guest participants will join via web conference.
A limited number of “seats” are available for guest participants, for seven Tuesdays beginning January 20 through March 3, 2015 from 6pm to 8:30 Eastern (5pm to 7:30 Central). A syllabus for the entire 15 week course is here.
Please let me know of your interest in participating by sending an email before January 15 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put Guest in the subject line.
This guest participant opportunity is made possible by the Center for 21st Century Universities at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the School of Architecture at the University of Minnesota.
As the need for synchronous place and time evaporates, the physical campus must provide values that are not available by other means. Campuses need to be transformed as if their survival were at stake.
Future of the Campus in a Digital World. is my assessment of the state of the campus at the close of 2014. It is in the form of a 10 page pdf. I hope you will share it with your colleagues and let me know your thoughts.
Whether by snow and ice, wind, fire, flood, civil disorder or bankruptcy, you may be certain that your campus will be closed. It is just a matter of when and how long the closure will last. Even a brief closing provides a glimpse of higher education without the comfortable assumption of shared space and time – the familiar functionality of a campus. Continue reading
Two distinctly different views of reality were on display at the 2014 Society of College and University Planning conference: traditional and nontraditional – bundled and unbundled. The cognitive dissonance was there for all to see and hear.
The traditional view bundles residential experience with marching bands and the book-lined study. The nontraditional view unbundles all of this, offering credit hours and progress toward a degree without dorms, touchdowns or libraries. This all makes sense as long as they are serving different audiences – different customers interested in different value propositions. When they need to appeal to the same customer this cognitive dissonance will take the form of economic competition to squeeze what Rich DeMillo calls the middle. Continue reading
The trajectory of traditional higher education may be in flux. Yet the value of physical campus, however difficult to define, endures. Leonard Rodrigues, former University Architect at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, has written a Guest Commentary considering the role of the university campus as a “condensation nuclei” for the city as a complex system. Len’s observations consider the urban nature of the campus. This thesis honors the influence of Kevin Lynch, one of his mentors at MIT, as well as the work of Jayne Jacobs and Ken Greenberg.
A previous Guest Commentary by Duke Oakley follows Len’s piece. While the rationales and perspectives differ, both arguments support the value and long-term viability of the campus. My thanks to each for their contributions to a continuing discussion about the future of the campus.
Leonard Rodrigues is a graduate of McGill University in Montreal and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has practiced architecture throughout western Canada and from 2003 to 2008, he was University Architect at the University Alberta in Edmonton. Now based in Vancouver, he is completing a doctorate in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Alberta.
Even in the digitally driven future of higher education, three-dimensional classroom spaces will be needed. They won’t be used in the traditional manner and they won’t be the traditional kind. They will be bigger, flatter, faster and there will be fewer classrooms for the same number of students.
Lectures will continue, but already they occupy less class time. Pedagogy is changing in and outside of the classroom. In the classroom, change is not disabling the lecture; it is enabling discussion, teamwork and practical applications. Whether fast or slow, the rate of change is limited by each institution’s culture. Differences in institutional culture will become evident in the structure of classrooms and what happens there. Continue reading
The long term survivability of traditional higher education is in doubt. MOOC’s, SPOC’s and digital disruption are ideas prominently in play. Yet the value of physical campus, however difficult to define, endures. Duke Oakley, former UCLA Campus Architect and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Design and Construction, has written an extensive Guest Commentary on the continued relevance of the college campus. [link]
Charles Warner Oakley is a graduate of Dartmouth and the University of Pennsylvania. From 1986 to 2000, he was Campus Architect and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Design and Construction at the University of California – Los Angeles. During his tenure, he guided the planning of the campus and the design of more than 4.5 million square feet of new building area and renovation of more than 3 million square feet.
“Duke” as his friends and colleagues know him, is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and an emeritus member of the Association of University Architects.