Student of the Future

My youngest child, Eric, was born in the last year of the “Millennial” generation (1981-2000). When I recently mentioned to him that I was going to begin writing a blog and was not exactly sure how to get going, my nine year old casually replied “A blog is just a virtual diary Daaad. I blog with my friends about the music I listen to all the time.” It never ceases to amaze that kids just seem to embrace what is new and innovative, whether it’s music or technology. I suppose it’s my fascination in how my own children learn and communicate that plays a large part of my passion for higher education.

Thinking about designing spaces for the “Millennials” (and the generation after them) begins with trying to understand their behaviors and what motivates them, how they learn, their likes as well as their dislikes. The second half of this generation (post 1995) was the first born after the widespread use of the internet. They are hopeful, collaborative, polite, determined and goal oriented. They are multi-taskers, active and inquisitive and are up to meeting new challenges…all while seeking to keep a healthy balance between work and family. Check out this link to “Speaking Their Language: Boomers, Xers, & Millennials” to learn more.

Our challenge as architects is when thinking about designing for the student of the future we need to create spaces that will foster collaborative learning, will adapt to constantly evolving technologies, and will prepare this new generation for the challenges in life after college. More to come…

Tom Sens

Tom Sens is a Client Leader on the Higher Education team at BHDP Architecture. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Design and a Master of Architecture from Miami University. Tom’s experience includes visioning, programming, and design for new construction and renovation projects including libraries, classrooms, collaborative learning environments, and research and teaching laboratories.