Spaces4Learning HigherEd Virtual Summit

Designing Spaces for Higher Education: Trends and Best Practices


Spaces4Learning Summit

Spaces4Learning is launching its inaugural virtual summit, focusing on one of the most important aspects of educational facilities: learning spaces. Join the editors of for this free half-day summit, where they will bring you together with independent experts who plan, design, and develop learning spaces and facilities for colleges and universities. Learn about trends in space design, as well as best practices for planning and implementation. Be sure to join us!

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Virtual Event Agenda

SESSION 1:     10 a.m. PDT / 1 p.m. EDT

Successful Student-Centered Spaces

As higher education is transformed by online learning, forward-thinking institutions are seeking ways to make themselves more attractive to top students and faculty. The quality of the campus as a learning environment has become an ever more important differentiator in the minds of students and faculty. This session will examine the qualities of successful student-centered spaces, as well as explore design challenges and opportunities using case studies of three different projects at the University of Texas at Austin: the Rox, Duke, and Danay Covert Admissions Welcome Center; the William C. Powers, Jr Student Activity Center South Courtyard, and the Holland Family Student Center at the Jackson School of Geosciences.

Learning Objectives:

  1. What makes a successful student-centered space?
  2. Ways of integrating alternative learning places into an established campus.
  3. Solving technical challenges in the integration process.
  4. Finding sustainable opportunities in the creation of student-centered spaces.

Michelle Rossomando, AIA, RID, Principal of McKinney York Architects
Will Wood, AIA, RID, Principal of McKinney York Architects
Navvab Taylor, AIA, RID, LEED AP BD+C, Associate of McKinney York Architects

SESSION 2:     11 a.m. PDT / 2 p.m. EDT

Trends in Community Commons Areas

Students need a place of refuge from the rigors of their academic schedules and a place to socialize without pressure. Reimagining a community commons space can provide more opportunities for socialization and activities. A diverse range of spaces for multiple uses can be created – from individual study to small group or large team activities – and integrated technology for continuous connectivity throughout the building.

Join us to see examples of ways to rethink your community commons by creating a unified and centralized social space for students.

  • Creating an Environment of choice
  • Maintaining Flexibility Space
  • Designing for Sensory Inclusion
  • Integration of Technology

Benjamin R. Strain, AIA, LEED AP , Higher Education Design Leader | Principal, of DLR Group

SESSION 3:     12 p.m. PDT / 3 p.m. EDT

Hottest Third-Party Solutions

Our partners demonstrate how their products and services help enhance learning in the classroom and beyond.


Promethean is a leading edtech company working to transform the way the world learns and collaborates. From our founding in Blackburn, England, more than 25 years ago to our global operations serving 126 countries today, we ’ve continued to explore, innovate, and inspire—designing learning and collaboration tools that are built for breakthroughs.

Zurn Elkay Water Solutions
Zurn Elkay Water Solutions supplies the industry’s widest range of clean water solutions for drinking water, hygiene and sustainable water management. Zurn Elkay Water Solutions works with customers around the globe to deliver products and systems that enhance and ensure water quality, safety, hygiene, flow control and conservation.

SMARTdesks, the premier manufacturer of technology furniture, designs and supplies flexible, customizable solutions to educational, corporate and government entities. In-house SMARTdesks® designers support the integration of IT systems with furniture. Since 1997, SMARTdesks has transformed traditional teaching and classroom spaces into dynamic collaborative centers for learning, training, and working.

Kimball International
Kimball International is a leading omnichannel commercial furnishings company with deep expertise in the Workplace, Health, and Hospitality markets. For over 70 years, we have seized opportunities to customize solutions into personalized experiences, turning ordinary spaces into meaningful places. Our family of brands includes Kimball, National, Etc., Interwoven, and Poppin.

A certificate of attendance is available for all individuals who register and attend the full summit (live or on-demand).

All registrants will have access to the live event and an on-demand recording of the presentation. If registrants want to watch the presentation again or have a scheduling conflict, they can register and access the on-demand version of this summit, which will be available soon after the live event.

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