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Design Principles: Creating A More Effective Teaching Facility

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Architectural Engineering Education I

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.412.1 - 10.412.8



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Paper Authors

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Daniel Davis

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract


Daniel Davis Associate Professor Department of Architecture College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture University of Hartford Phone: 860.768.4094 / Fax 860.768.5074


University professors are generally creative, inventive, resourceful people. And when it comes to many university facilities, even some newer ones, it is a good thing that professors are as ingenious as they are. Professors often must teach “around” the architecture, which insists on getting in the way of the teaching and learning experience. This unfortunate truth leads to what could be the very first principle in school design: The space must be designed to foster and enhance learning and not impair or hinder it. In fact, the school facility must be conceived as a teaching and learning instrument in its own right.

At many American universities, the physical setting is unsuccessful, typically following the passive “egg crate” closed classroom format of years ago, and is often more like a prison than a place of exploration, discovery and creativity. School environments have a largely unrealized potential as active contributors to the teaching and learning process.

Quality school environments enhance, even improve, attitude and achievement, and a well- designed school is one that carefully integrates the curriculum and the educational environment. At the foundation of this paper is the strong conviction that the physical environment has a direct impact on the educational process.

Design Principles

Almost everything about the design of a university facility flows from the principle mentioned above. However, there are at least three other closely related principles that also shape many aspects of school facility design: Every aspect of a school facility should be program-driven, or as architect Louis Sullivan said “form follows function”.

Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2005, American Society for Engineering education

Davis, D. (2005, June), Design Principles: Creating A More Effective Teaching Facility Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15540

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