In the field of education active learning has received a lot of research attention lately as educators at the primary, secondary and higher education levels seek alternatives to lecture style pedagogies. Active learning requires a different environment than the lecture style classroom. Studio education is a form of active learning that has long utilized a “flipped classroom” approach. But historically, the studio itself has not received research scrutiny. Architecture and design schools continue to build and operate studios that are essentially just like those built centuries ago. Since the studio is a form of active learning, recent research could offer some ideas for improving the studio environment.
A basic question is how studios should be designed to support an optimal active learning approach? Second, how can the design address differences in abilities, cultural background, and gender? A third major question is how technology may provide opportunities and demands in the near future that should be addressed in the current design project? Finally, as we all know, studio education is very stressful at times. Time pressures lead to unhealthy practices like reduced sleep and poor nutrition. Can the studio environment be designed to reduce this stress and allow higher levels of performance while at the same time promoting health behaviors?
In particular, how can ambient environments (acoustics, thermal environment, illumination) be designed to be comfortable for intensive work over long hours and over the course of the year as the climate varies?