Volume IV: What works, what matters, what lasts

Cranbrook Jigsaw Group C: The Science Building of the Future

The science building of the future:

  • Embraces and strengthens the unique qualities of the physical, cultural and educational context of the campus and institution that it serves.
  • Is "See through"
    • Filled with daylight and views to the sky and landscape.
    • To promote unexpected and powerful connections across disciplines.
    • To advertise the wonders of science to anyone who walks by or through.
    • To engage the senses, the mind, and the heart.
    • To make science extroverted, expressive, and obvious
    • Integrated with Nature to teach a higher level of synergistic integration the natural environment for teaching, research, and the benefit of future generations.
    • With multiple layers that invite discovery and do not grow static over time.

The science building of the future Includes:

  • Teaching and Research Clusters that are organized according to infrastructure needs, are grouped around a commons:
    • To blur the distinction between teaching and research.
    • To promote communities across the spectrum of experience and development in science learning.
    • That are 3- dimensional (horizontal and vertical) and are directly associated with active circulation patterns.
    • Have perceptible gateways, centers, edges, and overlaps.
    • That provide opportunities for customization to promote a variety of distinguishable "Neighborhoods."
  • Cluster components include:
    • Offices:
      • That are close to the center, yet can become sanctuaries when necessary.
      • With operable windows to let in the breeze and sounds of nature.
      • That view directly into the faculty members research labs.
      • That are arranged to promote interaction between faculty members and between faculty and students.
    • Classrooms:
      • That can be viewed for teaching mentorship.
      • With intuitive technology systems that make all media and room controls accessible to support all teaching styles and teaching events.
      • That are easily accessed by faculty and students at all hours.
      • That are served by discreet AV and equipment rooms for anytime access and support.
      • That promote team discussions and activities in addition to lecture style teaching.
      • That offer distance learning technologies for building communities within and outside the immediate room or campus
    • Labs:
      • That anticipate and encourage unusual curricular combinations and teaching styles across disciplines.
      • With flexibility to serve a variety of teaching styles and research units as needed, or that can serve both simultaneously for independent learning.
      • That are transparent to promote "window shopping" for science, to elicit discovery, and promote observation for teaching mentorship.
      • That are full of daylight .
      • That allow dramatic changes in physical layout accomplished on short notice by students and faculty.
      • That are effective, delightful classrooms in themselves.
      • That have access to a robust infrastructure for changing point-of-use needs for water, power, data well into the future.
      • That can be easily combined or divided.
      • That effectively display and express the "stuff of science" that is used in research or teaching to promote curiosity and cross pollination.
      • With direct access to the outside for science experiments that need to interact with nature.
      • That promote "anything goes" messy science.
    • Support spaces:
      • That enhance safety by staging hazardous chemicals and processes in discreet areas.
      • That provide quick access to shared teaching and research technologies.
    • Meeting and conference rooms:
      • In clusters for a "conference center" approach.
      • And/or are distributed to allow for impromptu brainstorming within teaching and research clusters.
    • Undesignated spaces:
      • For the completely unexpected.
      • For grant funded teaching or research.
      • For the "best curricular or research idea of the year."
      • For technology transfer partners.
      • To serve all of those situations when - you could do something special- "if we just had the space."
    • Circulation system as a design exercise -with as much importance as the exterior image.:
      • To provide horizontal and vertical communication opportunities with a very high level of understanding of their value and impact. ( not just a wide place in the stair or hallway).
      • With terraces, balconies, bridges, and alcoves.
      • Circulation system as a design exercise -with as much importance as the exterior image.
      • To design in horizontal and vertical communication opportunities with a very high level of understanding of their value and impact. ( not just a wide place in the stair or hallway)
  • Dynamic Central Commons:
    • Interactive displays to engage visitors, students, and faculty.
    • Transparent technology for student and faculty flexibility ( wireless data, projection surfaces, support a variety of sound and light environments).
    • Performance, speaking zones for use as public event space and to promote science community and campus community building events.
    • Large spaces, projection walls, and curricular events that provide another dramatic room for teaching and display.
    • Food/ refreshments to draw people together that would not normally interact and to provide a respite for those who need nutritional or social uplifting.

(Note) this diagram is 2-dimensional. It must be presented in 3- dimensions to truly address the goals addressed above)