Disrupting Vision A Technology Experimentation Group thought piece by Richard Francis
First impressions count
Talking with the lab’s founders in what felt like a grassy bower in some ornamental garden from another era was an altogether different experience from that which we would have had if the conversation had taken place in our habitual meeting room JHB111.
Why always closed?
The Gibbs lobby contains a very unusual Japanese garden and tea ceremony area which, to my knowledge, is never opened - a great pity. A Japanese Summer School student asked me why it was always closed - I could not give an answer.
There are several vacant areas of a similar size around the lobby which could be converted into zones representing other cultures from around the world (perhaps reflecting the nationalities of our international student population). These could be designed by students in consultation with academics in the building, e.g. anthropologists, geographers, literature, theatre and drama specialists, modern linguists
Gibbs is also the new home of parts of OBIS, including the TEL development team. For a more hi-tech flavour, the entrance area could showcase their work, e.g. mobile Moodle apps. The various zones around the lobby could take the visitor on journeys through time, evoking technologies from other eras. Looking back in time often gives new perspectives on the future. For example, the technique of evoking of a scene from a library of the 19th Century proved effective in setting the scene for a discussion of the library of the future at this year’s learning and teaching conference.
The first thing you meet when you enter is The Hill. Part sculpture, part theatre, this unusual structure immediately prompts the visitor to think of novel uses for it.
One very original idea was an unannounced orchestral flash mob that took place at the DMLL's Expo event in March 2015. It was led by musical educator Laura Ritchie and the unsuspecting performers were the delegates themselves!
The atmosphere is bright and welcoming with colourful carpet tiles, good light and lots of plants.
Interesting things written on walls and partitions are evidence of vibrant activity.
There are few fixed workstations, no room numbers, few straight lines, lots of irregular shapes.
JHBB 112 by contrast...
A sandbox, literally...
TEG will be a sandbox for new pedagogies facilitated by integrated physical and virtual spaces. What better example than this Augmented Reality Sandbox at UCLA's Modeling and Educational Demonstrations Laboratory?
Navigate indoor spaces with your smartphone
Google Indoor Maps will make navigating large complex spaces like the Library in JHBB much easier for new students.