The Future of Learning Hubs
As an evolution toward our just cause of creating learning ecosystems and opportunity for all in our communities, GMB Architecture + Engineering is transforming our office spaces into Learning Hubs and looking to the future of what a Learning Hub could be. A Learning Hub is a place where people can come together for a common purpose, to develop relationships, and to learn by participation, observation and listening. Learning Hubs are a genuinely welcoming place where people want to be; a place of social connection with great technology; a place where they feel a sense of belonging.
WHERE WE ARE
Regional Learning Hubs
GMB’s regional Learning Hubs are designed for people within the educational ecosystem and to serve a variety of purposes for the ecosystem as a permanent installation. These physical locations, which also support virtual participation, provide a place to connect with a community and create learning experiences that support the needs of that community. The ways that people learn and collaborate today have changed and it’s the same in the workplace as it is in education. No longer are people learning in rows of desks facing one direction with one lecturer; we’re collaborating in teams and building a culture of feedback. Learning Hubs create an opportunity for us to connect our work in education design and planning to this new way of navigating work and learning. The first reimagined regional Learning Hub opened in Grand Rapids, Michigan in Fall 2022 and the second in Royal Oak, Michigan in Spring 2023. The third location, a redesign of GMB’s Holland, Michigan location, is slated to be completed by the end of 2023.
GMB believes that feedback is a crucial part of growth, so our Learning Hubs Team regularly solicits feedback from our clients and teammates on how our hubs are working for them. What we learn from this feedback will inform how we approach future changes in these spaces to keep them functioning as spaces that become a conduit for dialogue, exchanging ideas, and fostering the sharing of knowledge in an experiential way.
WHERE WE ARE GOING
POP-UP LEARNING HUBS
Our goal is for Learning Hubs to connect to places where students and educators are already gathering. We are exploring how a Pop-Up Learning Hub could create a branded space that feels unique to GMB with dedicated space and resources for our clients. A Pop-Up Hub could be utilized at multi-day conferences, in professional development or training settings, on project sites, and beyond. Elements in a Pop-Up Hub may include a learning spine to anchor the space with technology and hospitality, a meeting and learning area, and an interactive digital display that highlights client projects and learning in action.
GMB has incorporated the Learning Hubs model into company-wide gatherings that provide a chance for us to fully co-locate, do team-building activities, have fun, and get aligned on company priorities for the year ahead. These quarterly opportunities give our teams the chance to align activities happening at our individual hubs and bring new ideas to the table. The Pop-Up Hub setting has allowed us to connect to our teammates and our work in a new way that promotes collaborating and doing project-based learning in small groups and teams.
INSTANT LEARNING HUBS
The smallest installation, an Instant Learning Hub, has the ability to move between locations quickly and easily and takes the least amount of time to effectively set up. One day tradeshows, project tours, career fairs, and other limited time events present the opportunity to bring the Learning Hub idea to life on a small scale. With student and client interaction in mind, an Instant Hub creates a flexible, intimate space to exchange knowledge, to learn together and from each other.
WHAT COULD BE NEXT
MOBILE LEARNING HUBS
What if we could take the Learning Hubs model and apply that to any location and bring people together to have meaningful connections? A Mobile Learning Hub presents the chance to bring learning opportunities to underserved areas, to support special events, or create new experiential teaching and learning methods. Examples include the Mobile Makers program, whose trucks bring design and skill-building workshops to youths in Boston and Chicago communities with the goal of bringing more diversity and equity into the architecture and design field. Creating an accessible and collaborative mobile hub could be a pivotal piece in the learning ecosystem network, providing yet another connection point of the ecosystem we’re creating in our local communities.
Our regional Learning Hubs are available to reserve for GMB clients, students, and community education opportunities. Please click the button below to inquire about utilizing one of our hubs for your next learning-centered gathering.
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