Redefining the Relocatable: Multidisciplinary design for a wicked problem
AuthorNewton, C; Backhouse, S
Source TitleArchitecture as Human Interface
Architecture as Human Interface
PublisherAalto University, Department of Architecture
AffiliationArchitecture, Building and Planning
Document TypeConference Proceeding
CitationsNewton, C. & Backhouse, S. (2012). Redefining the Relocatable: Multidisciplinary design for a wicked problem. Aalto University, Department of Architecture. Finland.
Access StatusOpen Access
ARC Grant codeARC/LP0991146
This paper centres on a three-year Australian Research Project that has sought to redefine an important component of Australia’s education infrastructure, the relocatable classroom, as high performance and design-led through a multidisciplinary research process. Our focus has been to encourage conversations between educators, designers, government procurement teams and manufacturers. This has been more difficult than expected as we speak different epistemological languages and see the world through different lenses. The paper will track some of the obstacles and strategies for carrying out a multidisciplinary research process. There are tipping points occurring worldwide in prefabrication, sustainability technologies, 21st century pedagogies, and information technologies. To continue building new learning environments based on what was designed yesterday, without taking advantage of new possibilities, will be wasteful of scarce funding resources. The relocatable classroom is yet to benefit from these advances and remains a learning environment that many people consider as second rate. For decades the relocatable classroom has been maligned for its unfavourable indoor environment quality, low aesthetic appeal, temporary quality, and lack of adaptability in light of changing pedagogical trends. The manifold reasons for this are complex, although the primary issue centres on them being considered less important than permanent buildings because they are perceived as ‘temporary’. Fundamental questions arise. How temporary are they? Does this justify a less than optimum learning setting? In order for these classrooms to become agile and high performance places for teaching and learning they need to be considered from an inclusive, multidisciplinary base rather than the current silos of practice.
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