IUPUI University Library reinventing learning environments
Learning Spaces III Design Plan View print-quality image
August 16, 2012
- Diane Brown
Returning students will need to pardon the dust and noise as University Library re-invents a popular student study area.
The Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis library is turning a 2,800-square-foot area of its fourth floor into a more contemporary environment for individual and group study.
The goal of the project known as Learning Spaces III is to enhance student learning and engagement at the library. When completed, the long wall that once held 68 isolated, stationary study carrels will incorporate design components reflective of the study habits and methods of today’s students.
Changes in technological and student work habits call for updates in the layout, librarians said.
Research has shown that spaces that encourage collaboration and active participation increase the likelihood that learners will retain and be able to apply information later. Flexible workspaces also accommodate differences in individual learning styles, the research shows.
"Today’s students’ preferred work space is more like a Starbucks,” said Kindra Orr, library director of development. “We need to change our tune to provide the optimal environment for research, learning and collaboration.”
Led by RJE Business Interiors, the project is being coordinated by Rowland Design, Maregatti Interiors and CSO Architects, all national leaders in the design field.
"What I like most about this project is that we get exceptional design for a wonderful space with a killer view of downtown. It is going to be a destination. If I were a student, this is where I would go to study,” said David W. Lewis, dean of the IUPUI University Library.
That view reflects the connection between the university and Indianapolis, said Bob Frist of Rowland Design.
“Unique to this IUPUI space is the view outward to the Indianapolis business core," Frist said. "This emphasizes the real and ongoing connection between the university and the city: learning, teaching, doing, affecting change."
By using green and renewable materials and by drawing on natural themes in its design, the Learning Spaces project also is an expression of the campus commitment to the environment and sustainable practices.
University Library will acknowledge project contributors with recognition in a donor garden and the Grand Hall of the University Library. A grand opening reception will take place in early October after Learning Spaces III is completed in mid-September.
Serving nearly 1 million visitors a year, 10 percent of them community users, the University Library supports students and faculty across all of IUPUI’s more than 200 degree programs with research expertise and a wide array of resources. Resources include signature collections like the Joseph and Matthew Payton Philanthropic Studies Library, the Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, the Herron Art Library and over 60 digital collections.