2023 A4LE LearningSCAPES Conference Reflection
16 Oct 2023
The conference provided an invaluable platform for us to connect with A4LE and counterparts from various regions. It was an eye-opening experience to witness not only the differences in the conference's dynamics but also to explore the diverse approaches to learning environments and their architectural design throughout America and the world.
With over 1,000 international delegates in attendance, the conference had a significant focus on Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI). These principles are strongly embedded within LEA's vision and mission, and it is exciting that they will resonate well with our upcoming 2024 Annual Regional Conference, "AMPLIFY", set to be held in Melbourne this May.
One of the standout features of the conference was the diverse range of site tours available for delegates. What I found especially intriguing from the schools I visited in America, was the contrast in the way their sensory areas are integrated into schools in America, compared to the schools I have visited in Australia. It was fascinating to observe the unique approaches to designing sensory centres in the United States, compared to how Australia incorporate these areas. This allowed a thought-provoking comparison between the two countries’ approaches, taking into account the diverse learning and knowledge absorption styles of students in each educational system.
During the conference, we also had the honour of attending the annual A4LE Awards event. I am delighted to report that the LEA team proudly accepted two awards on behalf of our dedicated members. Y2 Architecture received the prestigious Transformation Category award, while Hayball won the Special Commendation Category. These achievements reflect the outstanding work of our members and their commitment to creating innovative and impactful learning spaces.
As the conference drew to a close, we took the opportunity to express our gratitude to the outgoing A4LE Chair Troy Glover, for his dedicated leadership and welcomed the new Chair, Chuck Saylor, as he embarks on this new journey.
In closing, the 2023 LearningSCAPES International Conference was an incredible experience, offering us a chance to connect, learn and share our collective expertise on a global stage. I look forward to building on these insights and connections as we prepare for our own regional conference, "AMPLIFY," in Melbourne next year.
Thank you all for your ongoing support and dedication to advancing the field of learning environments. Together, we can create spaces that empower and inspire the next generation of learners. Article & photography by: Zeb Zabenko