Designing Learning Spaces [with Gustavo Borba and Melissa Lesnovski]

The ‘Designing Learning Spaces’ workshop on February 28th centred around the following questions:  

  • How can we improve spaces to make us feel more connected to each other?  
  • How can physical spaces help spark ideas and promote creativity?  

Gustavo Severo De Borba, the director of the Institute for Innovation in Education at Unisinos University, and Melissa Lesnovski, the director of relations and articulations at Rio Grande do Sul State Superintendence for Professional Education led discussions on the importance of intentionally designing spaces (classrooms, for example) to facilitate aspects of learning including but not limited to creativity, engagement, wellbeing, and collaboration. In that regard, Gustave and Melissa mentioned the work of Rosan Bosch – an international team of artists, architects, designers, communication and innovation consultats. Their work has been as major inspiration in designing playful learning spaces : you can discover their six principles (Mountain Top; Cave; Campfire; Watering Hole; Hands-On; Movement) in designing these learning spaces here.

While much of the workshop was focused on the philosophy behind why mindfully designing these spaces is necessary for student learning and personal growth, the onboarding activities sparked excellent small-group brainstorms on how one might use available objects and materials to transform a classroom, even if just for one day a week! Participants’ ideas included flexible seating, circular seating, lamps from home for beautiful lighting, and papering a full wall to write on, all of which would be fairly easy to set up and strike according to any given school’s regulations.

About Gustavo Severo De Borba

Gustavo Borba, one of our CPSN International Advisors,  is Director of the Institute for Innovation in Education and Dean of the Creative Industry School at Unisinos University, Porto Alegre, Brazil. He is an expert in strategic design for social innovation and works with design-driven innovation to reshape learning spaces and improve teachers’ competencies to engage students in their learning process. His research shows how spaces could improve the connection between teachers and students, and the role of curriculum and spaces to change the way we teach, considering the characteristics of the students, especially Gen Z students. He is the author of many books on Design and Education and a former TEDx Ambassador for Brazil and has given three talks at TEDx events related to Design and Education.

About Melissa Lesnovski

Melissa Lesnovski serves as Director of Relations and Articulation at Rio Grande do Sul state superintendence for Professional Education. She also collaborates with the Institute for Innovation in Education and teaches at the Creative Industry School at Unisinos University, Porto Alegre, Brazil. She is an expert in strategic design and design-driven innovation and focuses on fostering creative spaces and possibilities for invention through design workshops.