Unlocking Learning Spaces: An examination of the interplay between the design of learning spaces and pedagogical practices

Publications: Book / Anthology / Thesis / ReportPh.D. thesisResearch

371 Downloads (Pure)


This PhD thesis addresses the challenges of designing new learning spaces where the spatial design and pedagogical practices align. The point of departure for the thesis is the assumption that the relationship between learning space design and pedagogical practice is a constant and dynamic interplay, where each part affects the other. This understanding builds on current learning space research with a relationalist perspective and is inspired by Actor Network Theory (ANT).
The particular contribution of this thesis to the research field is that it explores and discusses the interplay between learning space design and pedagogical practice with a specific focus on the design process. The main focal point is the significance and potential of using participatory design processes and methods to inform the relationship between space and practice—both before, during and after the design and implementation of a new learning space. Hence, the thesis contributes to current research as well as current practice in the designing of learning environments for children and youths in primary and secondary schools, while insights also relate to other learning environments in e.g. libraries and universities.
The potential of participatory design processes and tools in aligning learning space design and pedagogical practices is explored in three practice-based design experiments. The methodological approach in these experiments builds on constructive design research and employs a programmatic approach to design research in which design experiments are the core of the project. Thus, the empirical research has been conducted as three design experiments in two Danish schools, where design processes and design methods have been explored in a participatory context with school management, teachers and students.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages280
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2019


  • participatory design
  • participatory design processes
  • actor network theory
  • constructicve design research
  • design research
  • learning space research
  • learning space design
  • programmatic design research
  • action research
  • co-design

Artistic research

  • No

Cite this