Lego has long been the first building block for budding architects. Now, as Line//Shape//Space writes, another cube-based medium, Minecraft, is becoming the go-to “game” by combining the benefits of those Danish blocks with the limitless potential of a digital world. By operating from a “human perspective”, where users inhabit the space they’re building, and by emphasizing real-time collaboration, Minecraft could shape a generation of architects who are more attuned to their surroundings. More than just a game, the program is already being used as a tool for competition, education and design.
It is well-established that school design affects learning. Now, evidence is emerging that views and surrounding landscapes have big impacts too. The Dirt has a new article about a University of Illinois study that found green views led to better attentional functioning and stress recovery after short breaks from academic activities. For designers, architects and landscape architects, this suggests that designs and retrofits that maximize indoor views of trees and greenery enhance the learning environment and further support academic success.
In the digital age, are there better ways for colleges and universities to provide high-quality learning experiences? A restructured college business model that delivers education in a range of ways could enable colleges to lower costs while increasing equality in higher education. An underused college building could become a new public library offering credentialed on-line university courses, among other flexible uses. What other benefits would cities get from a redesigned college system?
Affordable housing development is unlikely to be the first role of school districts that comes to mind. However, school boards across the US are making the most of their vacant land and doing just that. Building on housing needs of their own employees, school districts in LA, Detroit and Oakland are partnering with affordable housing developers and scaling-up their projects to the meet the demands of their staff and the communities around them.