On Thursday evening Marcel Hendricks Director of the Education Construction Network organised an evening seminar hosted at the Saint-Gobain Innovation Centre in London. The event titled, “Have we fallen out of love with Sweden & Denmark?” was provoked by recent references and discussions in the media around the influence and transfer of educational and school design approaches in recent years from Sweden and Denmark.
The lineup included architects, acousticians and educationalists from the UK and Scandinavia to debate where the UK is now and what can be learned from this.
As well as UK speakers during a recent study visit to Denmark and Sweden Marcel invited to Danes who work in Denmark and Sweden to share the platform. Jens Guldbaek, architect and educational advisor with LOOP who were involved throughout the Hellerup consultation and design process and Mie Guldbaek also LOOP who is presently undertaking a PhD in Educational Psycology.
Marcel gave an overview about the setting for the discussion which was based on the ongoing Scandinavia influence and debate about educational environments referencing that;
Over five years ago, there was a rush of educationalists, designers and constructors visiting Denmark and Sweden to see how schools were designed and operated with replica models being promoted and adopted in the UK.
Members of the ECN revisited these countries without an agenda of being involved in a bid, to see if concepts which were championed back then are still relevant and give feedback at the event.
The other speakers included:
Jens Guldbaek – Architect – LOOP– As the client’s advisor for the internationally renowned Hellerup school in Copenhagen Jens made a powerful outline why a different approach was taken and in summary Jens highlighted to need to focus on Subject delivery, socialising and self-esteem. Watch a short film about education physical learning environments here
Peter Rogers – Acoustician – The English Cogger Partnership– Peter highlighted to need to carefully consider the “soft in between” spaces outside the traditional classroom and praticularily what to think about when opening up learning spaces. Peter stressed minimum acoustic control is not enough as these spaces are acoustically treated in Scandinavia on all possible surfaces.
Shane Cryer – Concept Developer – Saint-Gobain Ecophon Ltd– Shane gave an outline of some of the political and funding changes which have occured in recent years to give some context to the school building programme from; after BSF the remodelling discussions and now the present PSBP focus.
Nick Gazanis – Architect – Astudio– Nick gave an outline of the designs Astudio are building for Kundskapsskolan in England.
Mie Guldbaek – Educationalist – LOOP– Mie put some perspective on the debate by making sure everyone focused on the students and there needs first. Watch a short film about hove the classroom is changing here.
It was quite clear in the discussions that a good educational environment will support and sustain the learning process overtime, however it is so important to have good leadership as without this, the teaching and learning process is unlikely to function properly.
For more info contact Shane Cryer