Find out if there are technical and physical design standards laid down by local, regional, state or national Government for the design of future schools in your own country or a neighbouring area.
On an initial perusal, is there a strong connection to the type of learning one might expect in these spaces? What kind of learning is typified by standardised physical and technical spaces? To what degree is design of learning spaces genuinely differentiated between different baseline designs that one might see?

Like Nadine, on the discussion forum, I was impressed by Julian Treasure’s talk on acoustics and sound architecture as I could immediately place it within context of my own work environment. Our library also has acoustic design issues, but certainly not to the same degree as your previous library. However, it confirms Treasure’s admonishment to “stop open plan classrooms now” or to transfer it across, open plan libraries. Open plan looks great – but libraries, are not only about being ‘aesthetically pleasing’ – they also need to provide  functionality for different physical and virtual spaces (Hughes, Bland, Willis & Elliot Burns, 2015). As Nadine pointed out, careful design is needed to ensure you meet the needs for all the different spaces or you end up meeting none of the needs.

There is a strong connection between design and the type of learning. Monahan (2002) states how to a certain extent, learning spaces embody the pedagogical philosophies of their designers. The Victorian Government acknowledges “The physical spaces in schools should be designed to match the teaching and learning required for a modern curriculum” (2008). The Victorian Government School Design document is oriented to the community, the user, not drowning in jargon, and clearly shows the connections between space and pedagogy.

Singapore, similarly, has a strong focus on the design of future schools. The OECD stated “Dream, Design, Deliver” aptly characterises its approach to policy development and implementation (2010, 161). It did not surprise me to discover The DesignSingapore Council. It is part of a government body, the Ministry of Communications and Information and was set up in 2003. However, while I was able to find reference of building standards (general) which are available at the National Library and examples of innovative school design (See Nanyang University, Green Roof project) and the  Singapore Polytechnic’s new Design School building, I could not find something as specific as the Australian example and designing for future schools. I wonder what the acoustic design is like within the School of Art, Design and Media (ADM), Singapore.

Green Roofs Project


Hughes, H., Bland, D., Willis, J., & Elliot Burns, R. (2015). A happy compromise: collaborative approaches to school library designing. The Australian Library Journal. DOI: 10.1080/00049670.2015.1033380

Monahan, T. (2002).Flexible space & built pedagogy: emerging IT embodiments. Inventio 4 (1): 1-19

OECD. (2010). Singapore: Rapid Improvement Followed by Strong Performance. Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education: Lessons from PISA for the United States. Retrieved from

State of Victoria. (2008). Victorian School Design.  Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.