Creating Common Ground: Architecture For Tactical Learning and Creative Convergence
Sherry, Valerie Lynn
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Certain environments can inhibit learning and stifle enthusiasm, while others enhance learning or stimulate curiosity. Furthermore, in a world where technological change is accelerating we could ask how might architecture connect resource abundant and resource scarce innovation environments? Innovation environments developed out of necessity within urban villages and those developed with high intention and expectation within more institutionalized settings share a framework of opportunity for addressing change through learning and education. This thesis investigates formal and informal learning environments and how architecture can stimulate curiosity, enrich learning, create common ground, and expand access to education. The reason for this thesis exploration is to better understand how architects might design inclusive environments that bring people together to build sustainable infrastructure encouraging innovation and adaptation to change for years to come. The context of this thesis is largely based on Colin McFarlane’s theory that the “city is an assemblage for learning” The socio-spatial perspective in urbanism, considers how built infrastructure and society interact. Through the urban realm, inhabitants learn to negotiate people, space, politics, and resources affecting their daily lives. The city is therefore a dynamic field of emergent possibility. This thesis uses the city as a lens through which the boundaries between informal and formal logics as well as the public and private might be blurred. Through analytical processes I have examined the environmental devices and assemblage of factors that consistently provide conditions through which learning may thrive. These parameters that make a creative space significant can help suggest the design of common ground environments through which innovation is catalyzed.