David and Alastair presented the Scale-Free Schools project at the BSEC conference this week, opening up a new angle on the current conversation about delivering schools in the UK. The end of big capital spending on new schools through the Building Schools for the Future programme has left an acrimonious debate as to whether or not the quality of the built environment matters to the ultimate aims of education, and a vacuum of ideas for how we can design and deliver new schools in an ‘age of austerity’. But the question very few people have asked is, were the shining new institutional buildings of the boom-times really the most appropriate model for learning in the coming decades? Can we take their most successful elements and apply them in a smarter, more nimble way? What is the role of the community in education, and the role of education in communities?
Scale Free Schools is a design proposal for a new infrastructure of education in the 21st century. What do the changing roles of educators, new ideas for learning, emerging technologies and constrained resources mean for the infrastructure of learning? Off the back of the project, these two videos were commissioned by Architecture + Design Scotland.