SCUP Talk: Data-Driven Design for Student Diversity (MBB, Medgar Evers College)
At a national meeting of college and university planners next week, a valuable and radical study underway for Medgar Evers College will prove what many already believe: That the design of educational spaces has a powerful effect on student success.
The talk on Monday, July 16th at 11:20am during the SCUP national conference in Nashville is called “Data, Design, and Diversity: Social Inclusion on Urban Campuses.” The presenters include the expert on educational architecture, Sara Grant, AIA, of MBB (Murphy Burnham Buttrick Architects), and Eve B. Klein, cofounder of the User Design Information Group at the City University of New York. Joining Klein and MBB’s Grant is Christopher Blaszczak-Boxe, a deputy department chair at CUNY Medgar Evers College.
“Equitable design of spaces outside the classroom provides students with more opportunities to take ownership of their environment and their futures,” says MBB’s Sara Grant. At Medgar Evers College, Klein and Grant are deploying tools to understand and measure effectiveness in achieving equitable design.
During the talk, the presenters will show how research methods can “empower schools to link physical place with social transformation.” The experts will show how architects and educators can incorporate social science research methods into projects as well as ideas from environmental psychology that better evaluate project objectives and outcomes from the perspective of building occupants.
“Data, Design, and Diversity: Social Inclusion on Urban Campuses”
Mon., July 16, 11:20am–12:20pm
Equitable design of spaces outside the classroom provides students with more opportunities to take ownership of their environment and their futures. At Medgar Evers College, we are deploying tools to understand and measure effectiveness in achieving equitable design. Discover how research methods empower schools to link physical place with social transformation. We’ll discuss how to incorporate social science research methods into projects and ideas from environmental psychology that better evaluate project objectives and outcomes from the perspective of building occupants.
– Christopher Blaszczak-Boxe, CUNY Medgar Evers College
– Sara Grant, Partner, MBB (Murphy Burnham Buttrick) Architects
– Eve B. Klein, Co-Founder, User Design Information Group, CUNY Graduate School and University Center
– John Burse, Principal, Mackey Mitchell Architects
Learning Outcomes / Key Topics
• Using data collection to refine project objectives and measure effectiveness.
• Engaging students as co-researchers and deploying research methods to address social objectives.
• Demonstrating, via field research, how spaces outside classrooms contribute to learning.
• Designing more equitable space on urban college campuses.
ABOUT THE STUDY
According to Grant and Klein, “How spaces outside college classrooms are designed and managed can play a critical role in creating communities of learning that are responsive and specific to the institution’s culture.” Using environmental psychology research techniques, architects and institutions can develop useful metrics to make decisions about designs of non-academic spaces that best contribute to post-college success.
As founding members of the User Design Information Group (UDIG), part of the Center for Human Environments at The Graduate Center, CUNY, the team of Klein, Simpson and Luken are providing expertise in social science methodologies of data collection and analysis in coordination with traditionally rigorous architectural methods of observation and problem-solving through design. To link physical space and social transformation, the team is taking several steps: engaging students as researchers; undertaking ethnographic fieldwork, including survey interviews and field observations; and making impact evaluations of physical and procedural changes to spaces.
“College campuses are very social environments, where some of the most crucial learning and growth experiences take place outside the classroom,” says MBB’s Grant. “Linking social science and architecture can have a deep impact on colleges like Medgar Evers, ultimately helping architects design spaces that truly support student success.”