Our proposal for the Bromby Science and Technology Centre developed from a rich exploration of the architectural potential of the sites, spaces and modes of learning suggested by the brief. From this research, it became apparent to us that accessibility to a diverse and interconnected array of learning environments is the key to the day-to-day flexibility of the new building. This need for a diversity of carefully crafted spaces results from the recognition that students learn increasingly within a variety of settings and that, for each individual, these settings may vary.
By multiplying the combinations of these types of spaces, the new building seeks to expand the venues and possibilities for learning and understanding, encouraging collaboration in group learning environments, and encouraging trans-disciplinary exploration and invention through the fluid interplay of shared facilities. Such spaces permit the students to mix social interaction with the task-at-hand. In doing so, each student becomes more self-directed, learning to assist one another and engage more meaningfully with the curriculum subject matter.
The diversity of crafted spaces recognises that students are all at varying stages of development. Importantly, the discipline of independence fostered by these spaces is critical to preparing for entry to tertiary-level study.
In the practical laboratories and design technology workshops we have developed a proposal that seeks to harness the convergence of traditional machinery with robotics, 3D printing and computer-numerically-controlled (CNC) tooling. In doing so, we propose a variety of settings for hands-on discovery and creativity without relying on the traditional divisions of the science disciplines and the workshops.