Pushing the envelope of higher education space flexibility

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It’s day 3 at the Integrated Campus Space Management Conference in Orange County, CA hosted by Academic Impressions and the excitement and enthusiasm of the conference attendees is going strong. Some of my favorite topics so far have been Integrated Space Management, Optimizing Space Data and Flexible Space Planning. The majority of the attendees at this conference are space planning professionals that work for higher education institutions and this current group is from the US, Canada and as far away as South Africa.

One of the common themes that I find most exciting is the need for space planners to think out of the box in terms of the way academic space needs to be more flexible as the changing needs of students is evolving.  FM:Systems is a conference sponsor and I was given an opportunity to present my views on emerging trends that could be affecting the way space and in particular classroom, student services and collaboration space is changing on university and college campuses globally.  Today’s students who are entering academia have grown up in a world of instant information access anytime and anywhere which is being primarily driven by the maturation of mobile technologies.

The conference faculty presented several exciting case studies where their universities are adopting space to enable a highly flexible approach to providing dynamic learning environments.  This approach is similar to what is happening in the corporate facilities world with alternative workspace or Activity Based Workplace strategies and revolves around providing highly flexible space that can be reconfigured quickly to meet both institutional and individual needs.

I’ll be expanding on this topic in future posts.

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