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Students’ perspectives on configuration design of universities’ informal learning spaces

conference contribution
posted on 2018-01-01, 00:00 authored by Jia Zhang, Xiancun Hu, Jilong Zhao, Chunlu LiuChunlu Liu, Mark LutherMark Luther
Across the Australian tertiary education sector and worldwide, the number of informal learning spaces has increased in newly constructed and retrofitted university campus projects. Research on these informal learning spaces does not pay much attention to the importance of spatial configuration design and how the configuration characteristics of an informal learning space may influence students’ selection of favourite spaces and their learning activities and outcomes.
Therefore, there is an urgent need to investigate students’ perceptions of the configuration designs of informal learning spaces on university campuses. Space syntactic theories are applied in this research to formulate the configuration characteristics of informal learning spaces, and students’ perception indexes of designed spaces based on students’ behavioural observations are used to represent students’ perceptions. An empirical study based on the Geelong Waterfront campus of Deakin University explores how the configuration features of informal learning spaces affect students’ approaches and choices. The research findings indicate that the individual learning behaviours of students tend to favour spaces with low integration and high depth values, but they reject completely quiet spaces. Designers and managers of university learning spaces could implement these research findings and approach to improve the configuration characteristics of informal learning spaces for onsite students’ learning activities and the quality of their learning outcomes.



Architectural Science Association. Conference (52nd : 2018 : Melbourne, Vic.)


Architectural Science Association Conference


433 - 440


Architectural Science Association


Melbourne, Vic.

Place of publication

[Melbourne, Vic.]

Start date


End date






Publication classification

E Conference publication; E1 Full written paper - refereed

Copyright notice

2018, The Architectural Science Association and RMIT University, Australia


Priyadarsini Rajagopalan, Mary Andamon

Title of proceedings

ASA 2018 : Engaging architectural science: meeting the challenges of higher density : Proceedings of the 52th International Conference of the Architectural Science Association