Friday, October 28, 2011

Frank Gehry Building for Sustainable University Teaching

Model of the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building at University of Technology Sydney by Frank GehryFrank Gehry designed Dr Chau Chak Wing Building at University of Technology Sydney is to feature ten seminar rooms and four computer labs with flat floors for 40 students each. Two oval shaped classrooms will seat 60 each. Most curious is a 120 seat "bowl classroom" with desk seating and loose chairs. The "bowl" shape implies a tiered floor, which is usually not compatible with movable desks. Also the room designations appear relatively inflexible and designed for teachings styles of the the previous century, with an old pedagogy. By the time this building is completed the idea that there would be "computer labs", implying there would be a form of education where no computers are present, will seem very odd to students with an iPhone in one hand and an iPad in the other.

The ‘communication and interaction wall’ proposed for each classroom, is presumably architect-speck for an interactive white board.

The introduction of very small 9 to 10 square metre spaces for academics will have top be handled carefully. This is only two thirds of the space guideline for NSW public servants. One option worth investigation would be a standard size office, which can accommodate a different number of people, depending on requirements. As an example, offices might be sized to accommodate one professor, two lecturers, or four tutors. The standard size rooms could be designed with fixed built in furniture to accommodate one, two, three or four people, without the need to change the fit-out.

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