Fergus Feilden, Edmund Fowles with Ingrid Petit

Studio 11: Spaces for Learning

Studio brief

Spaces for Learning

Studio 11 will explore spaces for learning and challenge the absurdity of current education policy such as the Baseline Designs for Schools and put forward visions for a new model of education building.

Last year, we discovered that many successful schools are like mini towns comprised of both public and private spaces, streets and squares and a strong underlying logic and masterplan. However, this precisely choreographed set of relationships can easily be corrupted and the nuances completely overlooked by the blunt instrument of the standardised schools: relentlessly uniform, introverted and hermetic.

We will question whether schools can become more outward looking, expanded, even dispersed into their communities, local institutions and surrounding hinterlands. Drawing upon the theories of Rudolf Steiner and Maria Montessori, who promoted more holistic models for learning, we will begin the year exploring the ingredients that make conducive environments for learning, asking simply: what is a classroom?

If, as Maria Montessori states, “education is a natural process… [it] is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment”, then how can we best design that environment to facilitate learning?

Beginning at the scale of a room, you will immerse yourself in a range of spaces for learning within the city and study a number of educational and civic building case studies. Your tools will include drawing, photography and a large scale 1:20 model, but also through direct social engagement with the institutions themselves, meeting teachers, students, educationalists.

This will be followed by a live design competition for an outdoor classroom at the Waterloo Community Farm. You will consult with the client, teachers and students to inform your vision for an outdoor learning environment. The winning design being will potentially be taken forward to construction later in the year.

We will visit Finland to experience one of the best education systems in the world. A county where students have no homework and only spend four hours in school each day, with most of their education happening outside of the four walls of a classroom.

You will assimilate their findings from the year into a concise manifesto that conveys the raw ingredients and ambitions for your own spaces for learning. This will inform the main project: the design of a new education building for a school in Lambeth that stimulates student's curiosity in their surroundings, expanding the school into its wider hinterland and questioning the relationship between schools and civic space.

Feilden Fowles were named Building Design's Young Architect of the Year in 2016, recognised for their expertise and innovation in design across education, culture, arts, master planning and heritage. Established by Edmund Fowles and Fergus Feilden in 2009, the practice is young and energetic with a hands-on, investigational working method and intellectual studio culture.


Course Architecture BA (Hons)
Tutor Fergus Fielden
Edmund Fowles
Ingrid Petit
Where Central House, third floor studios
When Tuesday and Friday

Architecture Studios

Studio 1: Articulations of the City

Alex Bank and Sam Casswell

Studio 1: Articulations of the City will challenge you to leave your own architectural trace onto the city space.

Studio 2: The Image of Place

Jamie-Scott Baxter and Colin O’Sullivan

Studio 2: The Image of Place introduces you to filmmaking and photography skills that capture images of spaces within the city.

Studio 3: Extraordinary Everyday

Sandra Denicke-Polcher and Geraldine Holland

Studio 3 focuses on the impact that temporary and permanent structures have on the city, with a particular interest in public space.

Studio 4: The Shape of the In-between

Anna Ludwig, Rufus Willis with Richard Cottrell

Studio 4: The Shape of the In-between, focuses on the importance of public space in cities, with a focus on The Square and The Courtyard.

Studio 7: Raw Materials

Robert Barnes and Dr Bo Tang

Studio 7: The study of materials and light, in the context of London and Nepal, will form the basis of this year’s studio programme.

Studio 8: Manufacturing Landscape

William Haggard and Josh Carver

Studio 8: Manufacturing Landscape focuses on the exploration of large structures and the landscapes altered to accommodate them.

Studio 9: Economies of Reciprocity

Miranda Maclaren, José Silva and Fran Balaam

Studio 10: (not) Housing

Kieran Thomas Wardle and Owain Williams

Studio 10: (not) Housing will encourage you to build an architectural commentary on the housing crisis.

Studio 11: Spaces for Learning

Fergus Feilden, Edmund Fowles with Ingrid Petit

Studio 11: Spaces for Learning explores the challenges and opportunities of architecture designs for educational buildings.

Cass Studios archive by year