A Layout for Learning

Goal: Create an environment that provokes both collaboration and focus.

I began by thinking of the types of work being done on the floor:

  • Solo Focused – No Distractions (ex: reading, studying, writing)
  • Solo Collaborative – Support from Peers (ex: building, discussing, sharing feedback)
  • Group Focused – Brainstorming Together (ex: goal driven problem solving, tasks management, organizational meeting)
  • Group Collaborative – Completing Multiple Tasks with a Common Goal (ex: team members execute various tasks in the vicinity of the team)

To create a synergy between focused and collaborative work, the flow should graduate from collaborative to focused in every path thru the space. Collaborative spaces are open and malleable, while focused spaces are refined and distractions are minimized.


Social Meeting Space

  • As the introduction to ITP, this space is the landing zone for all activity. Modeled like a city park, more live plants are added and the park benches and swing moved here. This space is an escape from work and a gathering place for groups and loungers. It will showcase a spectacle of recent work, and benefit from natural sunlight.

Group Workspace & Photo Studio 

  • This space is designed for collaborative group work with open tables, and focused group work with refined cubbies. The cubbies are small spaces carved out with a table for 4-6 people, an LED display and whiteboard paint on everything to encourage distraction free brainstorming. The ER is moved closer to this space. The photo studio is a permanent space for documentation featuring a small seamless and backdrops. 

Kitchen w/ Dishwasher & Seating

  • The kitchen is made larger in a more defined space. Designated eating tables are placed throughout with a “quick break” counter added with bar height stools. This space will benefit from natural sunlight.


  • Only a few minor changes are made. The staff desk is closer to the entrance with the common tools on the wall. The blue bins are moved to the long wall to add space for more. Tables are laid out in a more consistent spacing. Seating is added near the laser cutter to encourage students to stay nearby while it is running. 

Sewing + Soft Lab

  • Sewing machines, Soft Lab and 3D printers are placed near the north facing windows. Use of the machines in this location will encourage a more collaborative atmosphere for individual projects and benefit from natural sunlight. 


  • All Classrooms are moved to the same quadrant to allow collaborative spaces to be conjoined.

Quiet Workspace

  • A large quiet workspace is added. Desks will be smaller (more personal sized) to discourage building. Couches are added for readers comfort. The sound closet will be located here to minimize noise pollution.


  • Faculty offices will remain on one quadrant. 
  • LUNCH will continue to be held in the Women’s bathroom.

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