Oregon State University's Learning Innovation Center will serve every department on campus with a variety of active, technology-rich environments including 2,300 seats of formal teaching space and 640 seats of student-directed informal learning space. As 5,000+ students must exchange places within the 10-minute class change every hour, a critical design component was enabling an easy flow to and from the classrooms.
The design pulls formal learning spaces to the center of the building - with informal spaces and circulation forming the perimeter - allowing for multiple points of access to each classroom and eliminating thermal heat loss. Classrooms borrow light from wide hallways faced with large exterior windows which offer optimal views for a variety of casual meeting areas, breakout spaces and writing nooks.
Three pedagogy charrettes with faculty and students led to the creation of innovative, large-scale Active Learning environments. The Large Arena is a 600-seat classroom-in-the-round that will situate all students with 50 feet of the presenter. The Small Arena is the same in-the-round layout, but seats 300 students and brings maximum distance to presenter down to 30 feet. The Parliament is a curved, double-loaded configuration that seats 185 and encourages discourse and debate amongst students.
Bora Architects has partnered with OSU's College of Education, Center for Teaching and Learning, and Academic Technology's Teaching Across the Curriculum to study the effects of alternative large-scale classroom configurations on student learning outcomes and engagement. Researchers will review learning outcomes and behaviors including test scores, attendance, participation, and engagement, and the data collected and analyzed will inform future classrooms and teaching methods on campus.
Constructive Interference is a sculpture designed to engage members of the Oregon State University community in active learning, by presenting a mystery to their senses: a static object that appears, impossibly, to be moving.
The sculpture is a metaphor for how we exchange knowledge, how synthesis of apparently different ﬁelds widens our perspective, and how investigation deepens our understanding of the reality in which we live. The composition of the moire pattern derives from the principles of electrostatics, where two electric poles form field lines in an exchange of electrical information.
Constructive Interference is composed of two large patterned sheets of steel, designed to create a rapidly changing visual interference effect as viewers pass by. Secondary moving shapes and hidden structures appear fleetingly within the sculpture as the eye and body pass by. The effect and shape of the piece changes dramatically from one vantage point to another around the space, while the sculpture itself remains static.
The sculpture and its dynamic pattern were developed in Processing, Rhino-Grasshopper, and Python. The rear surface was painted directly on to the wall, using several CNC-vinyl cut masks to create the painted rust pattern. The front surface was fabricated from 20 laser cut pieces of Corten steel, welded together on site and finished to form a single 30 foot wide, 17 foot tall steel sheet. This surface was hand-treated to a rich weathered patina, curving from flush with the wall to a dramatic overhang.