Change is the only constant
Change is inevitable. The evolution of technology, communication systems, learning, pedagogy, demographics, culture, and modalities of the student body demand restructured curriculums as well as new academic and research programs. Change revises the requirements of academic support spaces, continually challenges the building infrastructure of campuses, and prompts the need for the adaptability of environments.
The modern building offers alternatives
A new breed of hybrid structures builds in flexibility by developing container-type spaces that users can modify according to their needs. Incubator spaces, space boundaries, room settings, furniture configurations, and teaching and media support adapt to changing programming demands, and are often controlled or scheduled by end users via portable devices. Careful integration of building systems and infrastructure enables long-term adaptability and creates alternative spaces and program configurations. Systems distribution, space modularity, and intelligent building controls are key contributing factors in the planning of flexible environments.
Adaptability guides development decisions
Successful campus plans map out growth and development scenarios that contemplate the adaptability of building and site structures. Aligning enrollment projections, faculty and staff growth, availability of funding, and operational resources with building and open space inventories is vital to developing campus environments. A phasing plan allows planners, designers, and stakeholders to assess a campus's structure, consider near- and long-term implementation strategies, and ultimately define a campus's future.
Quick Case Study: University of Massachusetts, Venture Development Center; Boston, Massachusetts
A mixed-use incubator space that supports technology and life science entrepreneurs, the Venture Development Center elevates the University of Massachusetts's reputation in the sciences. The space features exquisite views to the Boston Harbor, creates an environment that fosters collaboration and experimentation among entrepreneurs, and provides crisp, ready-to-use workspaces. The VDC is a fully-equipped professional work environment that is flexible, transparent, and encourages collaboration.
The Venture Development Center (VDC) is a mixed-use incubator designed to support technology and life science entrepreneurs. It is a joint venture between the University of Massachusetts and the Venture...