What activities can be defined as collaborative? How many forms are there? What are the existing collaborative social networks throughout the schools? Could they be described as cultural, behavioural, transactional, and/or environmental?
It became clear that we needed to define and describe to our stakeholders what collaboration could look like by starting with the way we, as architects, collaborate with stakeholders to demonstrate its value.
The initial question and its exploration led ADP to embark on a 12-month research project supported by the University of Liverpool, a master’s student from the University of Bath, and a network of 23 HEI clients. Its aim was to understand how the briefing and design process could be optimised through improved collaboration techniques. The study highlighted the importance of changing the culture of how we engage, inform, listen to and learn from our university stakeholders.
Certain collaborative briefing techniques were adopted on our £96m Sir William Henry Bragg Building project for the University of Leeds, to help to break down barriers between groups and schools. Techniques included combined ideas workshops, which explored future academic research, as well as teaching and learning spaces. We also led activity-based briefing and “thinking through play and making”, to explore future and current needs and assets. Benchmarking and a programme of building visits enabled us to gauge reactions to a range of exemplar spaces. Most importantly of all, we took the time to listen to students, staff and visitors through open and interactive briefing workshops.
The Sir William Henry Bragg Building combines key scientific discovery and research-led teaching with applied science and engineering activities. The collaborative briefing process resulted in the collocation of state-of-the-art research equipment in a new specialist, interdisciplinary research hub called the Bragg Centre. We were able to strategically collocate shared and bookable learning, teaching and social spaces, and developed optimised timetabling for new multidisciplinary science and engineering teaching labs. The integration of New University Academic Fellows (UAFs) will help to further foster a culture of multidisciplinary working.
Our research project led to the development of a new mobile device-based collaborative toolkit to assist the briefing process. Following this, we developed exemplar concepts of future learning spaces and academic work places in 3D, as well as VR and interactive animations to help end users explore the potential of their spaces.
The Sir William Henry Bragg Building is currently on site and due to open in 2020.
Higher Education Sector Director
News | 2nd April 2019
ADP, in partnership with iDEA, recently completed the project briefing and feasibility study for the new provisionally named Centre for Life and Mind Sciences, on behalf of the University of Oxford.
News | 9th December 2019
The construction of the new £96m Sir William Henry Bragg Building at the University of Leeds celebrated a milestone last week, as the building reached its tallest point.