Belonging Place

About Belonging Place (2011-13)
‘Belonging Place’ was a research project within the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne. The project investigated the role of physical learning environments in the student learning experience in higher education, with a focus on built environment disciplines.

Project Team
Catherine Howell – Principal Investigator
Thao Vu – Researcher

Photo by Sherman Geronimo-Tan on flickr.com. Some rights reserved (CC BY 2.0).

Event: ‘Life Through My Lens’ Kickoff Meeting, Monday 22 October

When: Monday 22 October, 12:30 – 1:30pm

Where: Room 210, Architecture Building, Parkville Campus, University of Melbourne. Online map here.

Our next activity for the Belonging Place Project will be launched on Monday 22 October, at at a kickoff meeting in the Architecture Building.

Life Through My Lens is about capturing experiences of student life in one day. Participants will document their day-to-day life for 24 hours, using a camera and diary.

This meeting will introduce ‘Life Through My Lens’, and will invite BEnvs and MSD students to participate. And there will be a free lunch!

This event is exclusively for students in the Bachelor of Environments and Melbourne School of Design at the University of Melbourne.

Birds of a feather flock together

Research Themes
Studio pedagogy is a key characteristic of much built environment education, an assertion that holds true for the University of Melbourne. Studios at Melbourne provide an intensive, experiential learning environment that typically produces a strong sense of cohort, underpinned by strong student-staff relationships. The prospect of designing and constructing a new building for the Faculty from 2012-2014 has now provided an important opportunity to reflect on the relationship between pedagogy and physical space, in order to create learning environments that are appropriate to education in the twenty-first century.

We know from existing research (e.g. the Australasian Survey of Student Engagement) that all students in Australian higher education, irrespective of discipline, are spending less time on campus than was the case a decade ago. Paid work, the rise of the internet and digital technologies, and increased diversity among the student body have all contributed to this change. Given this situation, it is timely to ask what continues to draw students to campus – social interaction? resources? workplace culture? Or some combination of all of these? What are the factors that contribute to making the campus a “sticky” environment? What elements tend to foster a strong sense of identity and belonging?

This research is supported by the Faculty’s New Building Research Fund. It has been approved by the Faculty’s Human Ethics Advisory Group (Ethics ID: 1136296).