NAVIGATING THE LIMINAL ZONE: Designing Future-Oriented Educational Environments

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Virginia Tech


This thesis seeks to address emerging future questions by envisioning the future of educational architecture, considering the evolving dynamics between people, machines, and collaborative learning environments. While machines will play a significant role, human interaction, collaboration, and experimentation will remain indispensable for the exchange of ideas.

As we look ahead, it is evident that students will require learning spaces that balance passive educational modes—such as lectures, seminars, research, and introspection—with hands-on exploration. These spaces will transcend traditional structures, embracing liminal zones that facilitate seamless transitions into professional or higher education spheres. In the dynamic landscape of 21st-century education, the convergence of technology, globalization, and evolving pedagogical paradigms presents both challenges and opportunities for educational institutions.

This thesis endeavors to explore the transformative potential of high school architecture, centered around the concept of the liminal zone—a space that transcends conventional schooling. Our aim is to reconceptualize schools as vibrant hubs of innovation and intellectual exploration, equipping students with the skills, knowledge, and adaptability essential for success in a complex and interconnected world. At the core of our design philosophy lies a commitment to flexibility and adaptability, evident in features such as the Pod concept and informal collaboration spaces, ensuring that educational environments remain responsive to the evolving needs of learners and the demands of the future.



future educational architecture, collaborative learning environments, human interaction, technology integration, flexible learning spaces, liminal zones, hands-on exploration, 21st-century education, globalization, evolving pedagogical paradigms