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How has learning been shaped over the centuries? Which ideologies or visions have determined how we have experimented with the built environment?

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A new experience

In 1923, Cornelis Van Eesteren designed a building for the University of Amsterdam. Its highlight was the main hall, for which Theo van Doesburg designed the colour scheme with the intention of making architecture more plastic. The composition continued into the stairwells, the doors, the ceiling and via the corridors into the other spaces of the university building, intended to immerse the students in a new spatial experience and to encourage new ways of thinking. Another design focused on a spatial experience – but of a different kind – is Daniel Libeskind’s Deconstructivist design for the extension of the Victoria and Albert Museum (1997) in London, which has no straight walls.

Spatial narratives

There are various examples of pavilions and museums designed as spatial narratives or intended to inform, seduce, educate and entertain visitors simultaneously. Or exhibitions that are a spatial interpretation of an approach to learning that uses as many senses as possible. There are drawings, sketches and models that illustrate the design process of, among others, the Rijksmuseum by Cuypers, the pavilion for the 1937 World’s Fair by Wijdeveld and the design by OMA for the Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe (1989), a cultural institution that transcends the museum, also known as ‘the electronic or digital Bauhaus’.