Education event explores the future of school and university design in China / by Broadway Malyan

Broadway Malyan’s Shanghai team shared its expertise at an event focused on 21st century learning environments yesterday.

Opened by the British Consul General, and organised in partnership with UKTI, the event had over 60 delegates in attendance.

It focused on the main trends in the education sector and how they related to the design of schools and universities in China.

Broadway Malayan global chairman Stuart Rough spoke at the event, talking about the practice’s history and expertise in the education sector before introducing the themes that would be discussed throughout the day.

He said that the sector is one of the most rewarding to design for, due to the challenge of “creating distinct facilities for different providers, designing spaces which reflect a range of different cultures, and buildings which enhance and improve the local community.”

He added that the importance of these buildings cannot be overstated due to the role they play in shaping and inspiring learning.

The day’s programme was divided into four talks, with APAC regional board director and education sector lead Harry Hoodless starting with a case study on Dulwich School in Shanghai. The school has just been completed, ready for the September intake. The design places flexibility and connectivity at the forefront, so that the learning experience can be more easily tailored to students.

Lorena Zhi, group marketing director at Wellington College, discussed the importance of branding, particular in relation to international schools, and the ways in which the heritage and tradition of these brands can be communicated in a relevant way to Chinese audiences.

Wuxi/Hangzhou Kings College School was the final case study of the day, presented by JiQiang Ma from Dipont Education China. It focused on the inclusion of high quality, non-teaching facilities within developments such as sport and leisure facilities and food and beverage options. These were put forward as examples of ways that schools can distinguish their offer and add value to the student experience.

The event closed with a panel discussion on the impact of changing demographics on the demand for different education spaces, and how this is leading to a range of opportunities for operators and developers.