Faculty: Catherine Desai | Freyaan Anklesaria

TA: Abhishek Thakai

Social Learning

As designers of the built environment we constantly shape the social lives of the inhabitants of the spaces which we design. How much do we know about how our designs impact social organization by way of spatial organization? This semester we designed schools as a way of exploring this question.

This studio explored, first conceptually and then in measurable terms, the way spatial layouts facilitate social organizations, interaction, movement and more within the learning environment of a school. We delved into how each aspect of space planning can be understood to have a social impact, thereby stepping into the process of designing our own proposals for a school which creates particular social conditions and structures.

We used analytical tools and software developed by Space Syntax, a research lab at the Bartlett UCL, to understand how the nuances of building organization affect the social experience of space. The study of spatial relationships using these methods allowed us to make informed, evidence-based decisions in the development of designs which address the core functions of the school- to gather in order to learn in different settings.