You may never have thought that being in learning and development might mean you would need an understanding of interior design, but a recent article by the Business Review Western Michigan proves otherwise. The environment you provide learners with can be almost as critical as the material you provide them with. Steelcase designed its Steelcase University Learning Center (SULC) with this in mind. It’s a new-age space that is all about connections.
According to the article, “The goal [is] to connect people to people, people to information, people to tools, and people to culture.” Instead of a traditional classroom design that may silo people, this space is relatively open to foster these types of connections. The classroom itself promotes a discussion-based environment rather than a lecture-based one, as all the tables are angled toward each other.
Obviously Steelcase has a leg up because it’s their business to design spaces that meet people’s needs, but that doesn’t mean that other corporate universities shouldn’t design their learning spaces around learners’ needs. We all talk about how people learn informally, but does your workspace allow for that? Does your corporate university provide places for that to happen? If you have the right space, it makes learning easier. If you have the wrong type of space, that’s just another obstacle in our way.