Monash University: Learning and Teaching Building – Audio Visual Write Up
A Gateway to the Future of Education
Monash University’s new Learning and Teaching Building at the Clayton Campus has been designed to create a dynamic learning environment and illustrate Monash’s commitment to their Better Teaching, Better learning agenda.
The building contains more than 65 formal and informal learning and teaching spaces across 28,980 square meters and will serve as the gateway to the Clayton Campus from Wellington Road.
CHW Consulting was engaged as the Audio Visual (AV) Consultant for this landmark project for tertiary learning environments. The building is positioned as a multi-faculty learning facility containing innovative formal learning and teaching hubs which deliver multiple means for students to study. However, this building and the AV technology within it also highlight Monash’s willingness to experiment and push the boundaries of innovation– especially in the building’s “Teaching in the Round” collaborative learning space.
Teaching in the Round
The Teaching in the Round has a highly complex AV design and required meticulous 3D modelling to ensure the space would support the modalities requested by Monash University. Despite CHW’s 15-years’ experience in designing AV systems for tertiary educators and we have never designed a space quite like this. It’s a truly one of a kind AV system which will provide teachers and students with new opportunities for engaging with each other and course material. The AV in the rooms was designed to support the following precepts:
– Students to collaborate without needing to walk around the space
– Students could move within their specific region and form clusters
– Students could write on a perimeter surfaces relative to their region and share via camera capture system
– The lecture in the round space would allow an expert to lead the tuition practicum from more than one position
– You would be able to do a single activity unit in a large format space, allowing for multiple classes to run concurrently with the ability to come together as a single class easily.
To the right, you’ll see an image of the early work in the central screen section of the In the Room space. Comprised of eight screens, this display hub is capable of providing 360 degrees of display coverage across the room.
The image to the right showcases some of the complexity faced when designing this type of structure. The central display hub was originally 3D modeled to ensure precision during construction by the nominated contractor. The circular display hub is really what makes this a unique teaching space and we look forward to seeing how Monash University teachers and students leverage this technology in their studies.
On completion of the Teaching in the Round, teachers and students alike have been provided with a vibrant new Teaching and Learning environment in the heart of Monash’s new building.
Overall, it’s an experimental space and its representative of Monash’s focus on the development their learning pedagogy focusing on pre-class learning, in-class learning, and post-class learning. In the Teaching in the Round space, the AV design facilitates the combining of formal and informal teaching and learning environments – it’s both a lecture theatre and a collaboration space and it will be instrumental in pushing students and staff to be creative with how they learn and how they teach.
Only the Beginning
The most exciting part of the new Learning and Teaching Building isn’t just the In the Round learning space, but it’s that this is just one of the countless rooms where CHW was involved in the design process and for ensuring the AV was both world-class and able to support Monash’s unique modalities. To their credit Monash University, guided by their eSolutions team, were also very forthcoming in ensuring that the right technology was provided to the right teaching space without compromising on quality. High end audio is common in all learning spaces staying true to the fact that acoustic intelligibility is of utmost importance for students. All designs also considered AVIXA recommendations for optimal viewing and control interfaces followed a consistent layout to ensure the end user experience is seamless between various spaces. Our Engineers worked tirelessly from concept stages to delivery to ensure that all aspects of technology were coordinated closely with the interior design as well as University design standards.
To see more of the Monash Learning and Teaching building we had our team photograph the finished product and we’ve hosted the photos below. To the left of the photos, you’ll see the initial rendering of the site from John Wardle Architects and it’s startling how close the building represents the spaces imagined in the video. The alignment between the video and the finished product is a testament to John Wardle’s architectural nous and ability to achieve their vision for the site.
Monash’s Learning and Teaching building is just an early part of Monash’s current Master Plan for the Clayton Campus but as a gateway to “Learning and Teaching” it’s creative, experimental, willing to take risks, while being supported by experts and best-practice design. For CHW, we’re proud to have been involved in developing the AV design which supports Monash’s teaching philosophy and we look forward to supporting Monash University as they continue to develop their campuses