UTAS to present Raechel French at Inveresk Design Forum

INNOVATION: US-based educational space planner Raechel French will be the guest speaker at a design forum hosted by the University of Tasmania on Thursday night. Picture: supplied

INNOVATION: US-based educational space planner Raechel French will be the guest speaker at a design forum hosted by the University of Tasmania on Thursday night. Picture: supplied

A US-based expert on how the configuration of physical spaces can impact on the people who use them will visit Tasmania for a public lecture.

Educational space planner Raechel French is undertaking a research project at the University of Melbourne but will be the guest speaker at the University of Tasmania’s design forum.

Ms French is participating in the ARC-linkage project that will be examining innovative learning environments and teacher change.

She said there were definite trends being experienced at primary and secondary education institutions across the world.

“We have seen these changes in the workplace and they are now filtering down through education,” Ms French said.

Trends include the establishment of a makers’ area for students and a shift away from teacher-centric classroom configuration and identical rooms.

She will be at the University of Melbourne completing the project until the end of the year and said the reason she had come was because of the innovation already taking place in Australia.

“It’s widely accepted in the US that there are some really interesting things happening in education spaces in Australia, that’s partly why I am here,” she said.

The project will look at ways the configuration of school room spaces could change teachers’ thinking about the way they teach.

Ms French said her background was in both architecture and psychology and she became interested in education spaces because her mother is a teacher.

She said while she hadn’t heard much about teaching places in Tasmania she had heard about UTAS’ campus redevelopment project, which appeared to hold similar philosophies.

The UTAS design forum is a weekly program that is open to the public.

FACT FILE 

WHO: University of Tasmania School of Architecture and Design

WHAT: Inveresk Design Forum featuring Raechel French

WHEN: Thursday April 6, 5.30pm

WHERE: VOS Construction Theatre, Inveresk campus

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