Transforming Spaces to Inspire Powerful Learning

In today’s episode of the Getting Smart Podcast, Emily Liebtag is joined by Danish Kurani, a learning space architect and professor at Stanford and Harvard University. He’s also the Director of, a company that uses deep research on education and architecture to create spaces that improve learning outcomes. They design campuses, buildings, and interiors for K-12, university, and education initiatives for all ages.

Together, Emily and Danish discuss learning spaces that inspire; how the learning model makes a difference on the space (and vice versa); and the good, the bad, and the ugly of learning spaces. Danish also shares what he feels is important in a learning space and why, what creates a learning space failure, and how the process of design needs to really include the people who will be using the space vs. just the outcomes you want that space to elicit.

Danish sheds light on what he’s seen across the country (and around the world!) in terms of how schools are transforming their spaces so that they’re more conducive to the type of learning they want to see from students.

Key Takeaways:

[1:07] Danish introduces himself and talks about his background in education.
[3:00] Danish sheds some light on how education became a part of his work.
[5:33] Danish describes the good vs. the bad in learning spaces, giving several examples.
[17:38] Learning spaces — they’re not just about the furniture (and look and feel) but also incorporating who the students are.
[20:43] Danish elaborates on how he feels the learning model makes a difference on the space and vice versa.
[24:45] Danish talks about some learning space failures.
[27:33] Some aspects of great learning spaces that Danish wants to see more of.
[31:03] Where to find Danish and his work online.

Mentioned in This Episode:

Danish Kurani (LinkedIn)
Danish on Twitter @Kurani_Us and @DanishKurani
Stanford University
Harvard University
“TEDx — Danish Kurani — Designing Places for Learning” (Video)
Code Next Lab
Khan Lab School

For more, see:

Getting Smart Staff

The Getting Smart Staff believes in learning out loud and always being an advocate for things that we are excited about. As a result, we write a lot. Do you have a story we should cover? Email [email protected]

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