Facilities Workshop

2007 PKAL Facilities Seminar

June 16 - 17, 2007

2007 PKAL Facilities Seminar
Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles
- near the Washington Dulles International Airport -
Chantilly, Virginia
June 16 - 17, 2007

This facilities seminar will offer a highly-compressed journey through the process of planning 21st century spaces for undergraduate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) that serve 21st century students, and that nurture the development of those students into leaders in a world increasingly global, a world in which science and technology influence all aspects of life and work.

The themes for this seminar reflect the lessons learned from the facilities planning workshops hosted by PKAL since 1992, beginning with the primary lesson learned about the importance of having the right questions on the table, followed by the importance of knowing who needs to be at the table (and when) during the long process of planning that results in exemplary spaces for science for a specific undergraduate community.

The seminar will focus on the early stages of planning, about organizing the community in ways that enable the process of planning to serve the institutional mission and to reach the programmatic goals you will have defined in the process. If we were to summarize some of the burning questions presented by teams at recent PKAL facilities planning workshops, it would be a question such as: “how can we develop a process for planning that gets to the heart of the institutional mission (who we are) and then that challenges our community to explore and articulate a challenging vision of the future that is owned by the entire campus community?”

“While we recognize that we need new facilities, we also recognize that we are not yet ready for new facilities. We need to identify ways to enhance interactions among the departments that will need to be involved, to ensure that our broad community assumes ownership of the future for STEM programs on our campus.”

There are many sub-questions under that umbrella question, including:

  • what kind of pedagogies are being used or explored by STEM faculty
  • how are technologies being or might be used to strengthen STEM learning
  • how does the campus aspire to be “research-rich” or “interdisciplinary”
  • how can new spaces serve the broader campus community
  • how do new spaces signal the centrality of STEM fields in the 21st century liberal arts curriculum.

Wrestling with those questions suggests further explorations by planning teams, including how to use the process of planning to experiment in using spaces for new ways of learning, teaching and research.

This seminar builds from the preceding institute; but it is designed to be a stand-alone event for participating teams. As with all PKAL facilities planning workshops, there will be several opportunities to examine the sequence of planning of recently-completed projects, view and discuss photos from a wide range of recently-completed projects, and to have individual consultations with experienced planners of 21st century spaces for science. Each team will be expected to develop a take-home agenda for action.



Cranbrook Jigsaw Group C: The Science Building of the Future
Understanding Key Questions
After more than a decade of significant activity in imagining, planning, constructing, and using new spaces for natural science communities on our nation’s campuses, it seemed prudent to step back, to ask if old questions are still relevant and what new questions are emerging. It seemed equally important to begin to gather thoughts of architects and other reflective practitioners from the design professional world about questions for the future.