Learning In The Future City

The knowledge economy is a key driver of the attractiveness of London as a world city. Our city’s growth is fuelled by the success of our educational institutions which have the ability to set new standards for efficiency and flexibility, helping us to accommodate increasing activity in this sector.

For London’s knowledge economy to thrive, we need high-quality environments and dynamic interaction with the commercial and social life of the city. The university in the city is integrated, and can be a magnet for clusters of like-minded people, companies and activities.

The urban academy

We are increasingly incorporating educational institutions as key components in urban master plans, recognising their importance to the success of nearby development. Universities in their city context can capitalise on the assets of surrounding communities and infrastructure, providing opportunities for reciprocal links with those who live and work near these valued institutions.

Generation Park
Norwich, UK


Knowledge exchange

Many universities are seeing the value in much closer ties with commercial and industry partners. These links are strengthened by deliberately designing groups of buildings that connect academia with commerce, symbiotically enriching each.
Social interaction is encouraged in order to transfer knowledge, ideas and real-world experience, to the greater value of academic and commercial organisations. We have found ways to design individual buildings that flex between academic and commercial use, ensuring maximum occupation at all times and increasing the overall efficiency of the city.

Lloyds Register of Shipping / Southampton University
Southampton, UK


Building character

As our cities continue to grow, it is ever more important to establish character and prestige in and around buildings that have an important civic role. Buildings for learning can play an important part, in the way they integrate and welcome the city around them, and in the design and quality of their fabric.

The Laboratory at Dulwich College
London, UK


A new history

The careful insertion of contemporary architecture can breathe new life into existing and historic buildings, leading to better utilisation of space, and true sustainability.

Duke University,
Durham, NC, USA

Giving life to learning

Increasingly we are seeing spaces for learning move beyond the classroom, library or lab and into walk ways, event spaces, and public sites. These new spaces encourage interactivity, and ensure learning is a playful part of everyday life.

During the Growing the Future City exhibition at Foyles Gallery we are running a campaign inviting the public to share their ideas, online and on our interactive wall in the exhibition space. Please answer the question: what opportunities should we provide for young people in the city? on Twitter using the hashtags #growingmycity #learning. We’ll feature the best posts in our end-of-show round up.