Study + Learning

Contemporary technology is re-shaping learning and study. In many situations, built space is now irrelevant - the hand-held mobile device can do the job from almost any location. But buildings continue to support learning by providing optimal study conditions, both in and outside academic institutions.

Students as well as people following independent study to further their career or follow their passions have typical needs. With expansion in the proportion of people who work autonomously outside corporations, and with the demographic trends to increased leisure and longevity, space for learning activity is becoming a more generic requirement.

Study environments feature frequently in ZZA's research - in university spaces, public libraries and cafés. In academic settings, we've researched how students report working best at respective levels of study, identifying strengths and user preferences in a varied mix that encompasses formal and informal settings, hard copy reference and remote information access, enclosed rooms and open spaces, academic space and public facilities, individual study and collaborative learning with others, as well as support from teachers and library staff.

Our vision-building with students informs our understanding of which attributes of library space they value, and the facilities and settings they would like to use. Our research in public facilities in London and New York has developed our knowledge of why people are learning in these collective spaces at all, and of design and management principles that can add value.