Stockholm County Council and Karolinska Institutet have since 2009 been running a project called Future Learning Environments. The project is grounded on research on learning and higher education. The question raised was how does space impact on learning?
Our Interior Design studio was given the opportunity to further develop its proposal “Home away from home” for the informal zones at the Karolinska Institutet. These facilities are located primarily next to the lecture halls and were initially “leftover” and unused areas. Our idea is to create a “Home away from Home”, a natural meeting place for students, teachers and researchers.
This has become a social arena where you hang out and socialize, a common meeting place and a central information point. It’s a place where you can exchange thoughts and ideas and where peer learning is facilitated. As a part of the concept of the “Home away from home” we have designed little cottages, a garden, a dining table, a living room and ”rooms of one’s own”.
We have created places for meals, community spirit, interaction and knowledge exchange. The spaces include open squares, room-in-rooms and reading areas for focused study. The environment is dense and welcoming; this creates a positive and productive congestion.
Tengbom was also commissioned to develop and interpret KI’s design manual on the Formal Learning Environments. 9 lecture halls were chosen at KI to be renovated and serve as pilot projects. A number of principles were formulated to work as tools in a toolbox. Overall, the new interior design for KI at Solna and Huddinge strengthen Karolinska Institutet’s brand as a place accessible to all!