The “MakeLearnPlace” is a circular project where people can think, create, learn and relax at the same time. Searching for the right design which is modular, circular, accessible and sustainable was essential. We combined these elements together within a proposal that responds to the space and the services that take place there as well as offering a clear visual branding strategy. Donated and recycled materials are primary. We also provide opportunities for social disabled people to work here.
The “MakeLearnPlace” is located on the ground floor of the iconic mills of “Vanorshoven”, the original breweries of Stella Artois in Leuven (Belgium). In this old industrial area, the “MakeLearnPlace” will be realized by SOM, a network of education makers, educational supporters and the city of Leuven. The project tackles in this way the temporary use of vacant buildings, which means that all elements included in the design should be able to be removed and relocated to another location in Leuven.
The intention of SOM is to innovate in education so that every learner has a place and is challenged to deploy and develop their own talents. The “MakeLearnPlace” will consist of a cafeteria, a low-tech-lab and prototyping lab. The resulting design of the space and the service must accommodate a diverse public; from low-tech workshops with children, business colleagues getting together for a formal meeting to families gathering for Sunday afternoon activities.
Products, Services and Design systems
Amélie Mols, Annie Bui, Carley Hamaway
Thomas More University of Applied Sciences - Belgium - Department of Interior, Design and Architecture / Post-graduate Space and Service Design
Nansi Van Geetsom, Andrea Wilkinson, Jolien Maes, Jan Roekens
Public organization: SOM (Samen Onderwijs Maken), Leuven
Overview About Your Solution
Searching for the right design which is modular and circular was essential. Because the future of the location is in transition, the resulting design must be modular (able to adapt to different uses and audiences), moveable (able to be moved to new locations), accessible (responsive to people with different needs) and sustainable (prioritising the reuse of locally sourced materials). This idea of sustainability and circularity was important and the intention was to involve materials, employees and waste in a circular business model. We combined these elements together within a proposal that responds to the space and the services that take place there as well as offering a clear visual branding strategy. . All activities are sustainability-oriented in order to make people learn about waste reduction Through this, the “MakeLearnPlace” gets known and recognized by the people.
Circularity is the core of the “MakeLearnPlace”. People can donate materials and equipment. The wood of the furniture and for the workshops is locally sourced, durable second-hand and can be used or adapted when no longer needed. For better acoustics in the workrooms, tiles on the wall are made from spent grain, refering to the history of the building and the area. The materials are warm and inviting in order to contribute to a welcoming atmosphere.
Not only in the materials themselves, but the idea of sustainability is also found in the modular setup of the inside spaces. This is made possible due to the modular shelves against the walls, the shape of the tables, the foldable chairs and plant walls on wheels.
Finally, the employees also play a part in the circular business model of the “MakeLearnPlace”. The cafeteria is rented out to a catering company specializing in activities for socially disabled and disadvantaged people. Those leading the workshops will mostly be volunteers who are creators and clients at the same time; sharing in this model of sustainable, cross-generational knowledge transfer and aiding in the building of a sustainable, thriving education community.
Research and location
Spatial service system map + Circularity
Service system map