Interactive Space that Promotes Cooperative Learning

When we experience space by traveling through it, we interact with it affecting its acoustical behaviors in what can be unintentional ways — but what if an architectural design could make its occupants think more carefully about how they move through built space, where their movements yield more intentional acoustic behaviors? Instead of aural experience always being something that seems to happen in the background (from an occupant’s perceptual point of view), why not make it a part of the interplay between building and occupant that not only informs occupants, but also promotes enjoyment, awareness, and/or goal oriented cues.

Of course, within architectural space there is rarely just one person that occupies it. So often, occupants must make use of collaboration and teamwork, as well as help to foster a sense of community and enjoyment while engaging interactively within a building. Take, for instance, a museum where visitors may be educated by exhibitions both individually and through interactive collaborative learning moments. Within such a building, exhibits might use tools like what you will see in the following video, where interactive musical instruments can be coordinated on the fly by willing participants. I think this has merit because if this concept were to be taken further, museum visitors would have more of an immersive and social cooperative learning experience about a subject — where they could draw their own learning conclusions, work toward a goal, and learn from others as they work together with them in real-time. To give you a basic idea of how such an interactive collaborative design might work, take a look at this video:


How Acoustic Behavior Can Expand Spatial Boundaries

As you can see, occupants can take a more proactive role in “tuning” their own built environment in real time. For instance, what if a similar installation were to be located in a school to yield a new type of performance which students could literally create. Suddenly, their actions within a given space could help them to engage with not only themselves and their instrument, but also their fellow classmates who are also playing an instrument. So, once their collective abilities reached a certain level, their musical performance could be broadcast within a certain area of the school (or room) so they could take pride in what they have achieved, entertain their fellow classmates, and also entice them to come and create their own musical masterpieces, which they, too, can broadcast once they reach a certain level (or goal). Thus, collective interactive sensorial experiences can help individuals greatly. Just think interactive sensorial teamwork learning — and you can substitute the subject of music for a variety of other subjects as well.

In the end, I think it is quite interesting that an architectural space, when leveraging its sensorial stimuli, can use occupant actions and interplay to stimulate their independent thinking through collective intelligence. What other applications like this might you embed within your design work? And how might your final built environments elevate the level of thinking, interplay and community for its occupants?

Image Credit: © ralphbijker | Flickr


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