Colleges and universities are on a similar learning curve. Today’s student population is more diverse, it demands e-learning and online resources including Web 2.0 technologies, and has higher expectations of physical space. Meanwhile, researchers and academics are calling for better access to digital resources.
With so much information coming to students online through various fixed and mobile devices, universities and colleges need well-designed work and study spaces. Libraries are leading the way in developing innovative learning spaces in which people can make productive use of powerful combinations of information and technologies on their desktop – including communication and collaborative tools through which they discuss and develop ideas online.
Design must be flexible enough to cater ‘Buildings need to inspire’ for present as well as future needs, according to Marmot, who is also a professor of facility and environment management at the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies at University College London and whose practice is designing the new library at University of Nottingham. This library incorporates what Marmot describes as a “mini- Imax” – giant screens where students can project and work on audio-visual presentations. A member of the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (Cabe), Marmot is working on an academic library design guide for the Scottish Funding Council. Cabe has also collaborated with Jisc on its best practice guide, Designing Spaces for Effective Learning.