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K-State Today

July 13, 2016



Interior architecture & product design graduate students and professor to present research at upcoming conference

By Thom Jackson

Caleb Amundson and Alexandra Marschman, graduate students in the College of Architecture, Planning & Design's interior architecture & product design department, both from Shawnee; associate professor Vibhavari Jani; and industry partner Andrew Kim of Steelcase will present their research at the upcoming Society of College and University Planning conference in fall 2016. 

Jani and Kim submitted the research proposal, "What Students Need From Collaborative, Informal Learning Environments" for the conference.

The team's presentation will feature research from an integrative planning approach to understand the needs of students working in teams. Through the presenters' research observations, photo and video documentation, and survey results, conference attendees will develop a deeper and richer understanding of students' technological, spatial, furniture and environmental needs for collaborative informal learning environments and their challenges with current group spaces.

Jani received funding for her design research course from Steelcase, a U.S.-based furniture company in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The purpose of this grant is to conduct a research project to understand the importance of informal learning environments in higher education. During fall 2015, members from the Steelcase Education and Research team worked with Jani and the design research students to conduct this investigative study.

The proposal was accepted for presentation at the Society of College and University Planning Conference, Oct. 3-5, 2015, in Evanston, Illinois. Steelcase is providing funding support for those students attending the conference.