2007 PKAL Facilities Workshop

Burning Questions from Participating Teams

  1. How can we best design our (new/new and renovated) facility to foster both single discipline and interdisciplinary work both within and outside the confines of the curriculum?
  2. How to keep the key players focused on the importance of this project and the good that it will accomplish, so that we will persevere in the face of disappointments and conflicts, to articulate the project in such a way to capture the attention of faculty and benefactors?
  3. From a 21st century perspective, how can we best accommodate the various educational and research needs of the biosciences and related disciplines through space programming for new and renovated spaces?
  4. How do we design a facility that will promote the kind of community of scholars that is particularly important for an urban, commuter campus?
  5. How can we best use the planning process to attract and retain high-quality students?
  6. What are the best strategies (in the process of planning) for changing the culture of ownership, breaking down the silos that foster both intellectual and spatial territoriality?
  7. How do we achieve the kind of flexibility for a program that will assuredly change over the life of the facility, one that conveys the excitement of scientific discovery to today’s students, is cost-effective and environmentally sound, and yet has the flexibility and longevity to serve for at least 50 years; how do you prioritize programmatic elements to be integrated into a new STEM facility in order to secure a level of flexibility that ensures future vitality; how can we try to anticipate the continued evolution of teaching practice, such that the faculty hired 25 years from now will not feel uncomfortable in an archaic building (how can we make our spaces as generally useful to unanticipated modes of teaching that will become commonplace in the future)?
  8. How do we arrive at spaces that foster the right balance between teaching and research, that is, spaces that support the liberal arts interplay of teaching, faculty scholarship, and student/faculty collaborative research, and how do we do this in ways that foster community and collaboration across science departments?
  9. How do you make the best case to prospective donors; what are strategies to move our university move from continued planning to implementing our plans?
  10. How do you evaluate the cost of flexibility?
  11. How do you develop a multipurpose lab while preserving all of the capabilities of a specialized lab; is this important?
  12. What are ways to structure and equip laboratories to improve student learning most creatively; how do we create new space to allow more group projects in classroom and lab?
  13. How do you get a community to dream big, imaging 21st century STEM learning spaces, after decades of “making do?” and what then assures that our imaginings become the reality?
  14. What do we do in the “mean-time” to retrofit new ideas into our current learning spaces?
  15. a) How do we deal with a situation that the largest department (now in their own building with space that greatly exceed campus norms) have demonstrated significant resistance to moving (and even to participating in the planning process, a resistance that extends to considering new pedagogies and interdisciplinary programs and that–if not addressed–will affect the quality of our program for STEM majors? b) How does one balance the interests and legitimate needs and expectations of the discipline-based departments, with the goal of enhancing interdisciplinary activity across these departments?
  16. What do we do in the process of planning to be able to accommodate the multitude of new technologies (and pedagogies) that will be affecting what and how students learn in the future?
  17. What is the best design for lower division math and science lecture and lab courses in a university anticipating rapid growth (to 15,000 within 10 years)?
  18. How can we incorporate green building methods; is it possible to arrive at one that is mostly field- energy self-sufficient; can a green building support our field-oriented and conservation focused majors; how to build an environmentally sound and sustainable science building within available resources (and make the case for doing so, within and beyond campus?