On 27–28 February 2020, Movetia took part in an international symposium on school construction at the University of Teacher Education of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (PH FHNW) in Muttenz. This dissemination event is part of the KA2 Erasmus+ project and of the PULS+ network of the same name. PULS+ stands for the Professional Support for Learning Space and Classroom Development. With the PH FHNW and the Network for Education & Architecture, two Swiss institutions are involved in a European strategic partnership in PULS+. This participation is supported by Movetia.

What are the requirements for school buildings in the 21st century? What shape will learning take in the future? What impact is digitalisation having? How can the architectural design of a school support an educational concept? The symposium debated options for participation by the various stakeholders, drawing new ideas for the design of the school space of the future from sample implementations. There is consensus between the Swiss and the international experts from the fields of education, architecture and administration: whether new builds or refurbishments, schools are longer purely functional buildings, but places where educational concepts should be taken into consideration and implemented.

Sustainability through participation and interdisciplinarity

The school construction of the future requires cooperation between educators, administrators and architects. As a transnational collaboration pursuing a sustainable and interdisciplinary approach, PULS+ represents a best practice model. Together with eleven other project partners from Italy, Germany and Austria, the PH FHNW is developing solutions for anchoring the topic of “learning and space” in teacher training and integrating it into university curricula. The focus here is on involving teachers in school construction processes and developing expertise in spatial design and the development of learning space. The Education & Architecture Network, on the other hand, is working on showcase projects in school space development.

This symposium is an important milestone within the three-year cooperation as a PULS+ strategic partnership, because it also facilitates the transfer of new knowledge about this subject matter to new target groups regionally and nationally.

Strategic partnerships are one of the project formats of Erasmus+, enabling Swiss educational institutions to collaborate with partners from Europe. International participation on global issues and challenges not only boosts the visibility of the educational institutions involved, but also leads to an increase in know-how and strengthens the institutions’ own experts and networks. This produces innovative approaches in education and the exchange of knowledge and experience, which in turn benefits the entire Swiss educational landscape.