Mediating spaces acting for the collaboration in the future school


Vol. 6 No. 2 (2009)
Research Articles
December 7, 2009


In this paper we report the performance and preliminary results of studies carried outduring the years 2007-2008 in a research project called InnoArch, Places and Spaces for Learning.InnoArch is a part of a large trans-disciplinary InnoSchool consortium (1.1.2007- 28.2.2010) aiming todevelop a set of research-based good practices, processes, models and designs for the Future SchoolConcept. InnoArch research has focused partly on "place and mapping”, which includes a place-based approachto pedagogical processes. On the other hand the research has concentrated on "space andexperience”, which includes architectural or spatial analyses of the building and the neighborhood. The spatial experience on each environmental scale is perceived with all senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell,touch and body awareness. Indoor studies are mainly about "creating and experiencing the space”,something that has great bearing on architectural thinking when designing the future school. The non-physical virtual space is seen as a mediator between the physical environment (neighborhood)and the PjBLL (Project Based Learning Lab at Jakomäki School in Helsinki). Places in the physical environment can be located on the commentary map, which will be constructed in the School Forum byteachers and students.The pupils themselves have an opportunity to personalize the room which is here described as a PjBLL.The room provides possibilities to pursue video observation as well as participative observation and participative design research during architectural workshops. These studies were conducted together with teachers, the pedagogical focus being on TSL processes and the architectural view on physicaland virtual spaces. Sustainability is within the focus of both the environmental studies as well as in lifelongand life-wide learning processes. The pedagogical idea based on inquiry-based learning encourages to strengthen pupils´ epistemic agency in the local community and to empower them to beactive stakeholders in it.