Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Jones Architecture was hired by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences to consult on learning environments and guide the effort to re-think the typical classroom. In 2016, we completed a new “pilot” classroom in Harvard Hall Room 202, which, contrary to expectations about what is necessary to facilitate change in classrooms, included a low tech rather than high tech approach to best support new modes of learning and teaching. The classroom was equipped with mobile tables and chairs, re-configurable for any teaching mode, ample power for lap-tops and devices, and an abundance of writable surfaces on available wall space and mobile easels.
In 2018 we had an opportunity to return to campus, gather post-occupancy feedback, and work with FAS to develop solutions for the rest of Harvard Hall. Four classroom typologies emerged – a tiered floor 90 seat face forward fixed tablet arm solution for general survey classes, a pair of 60 seat rooms with flexible tables and chairs, two smaller general purpose classrooms for 24 with flexible chairs with tablet arms, and two seminar rooms with 12 seats around a shared table. This diverse set of classrooms sizes and functions supported research with the registrar as to meeting demand campus-wide.