A1 Journal article (refereed)
Design Framework and Principles for Learning Environment Co-Design : Synthesis from Literature and Three Empirical Studies (2021)

Mäkelä, T., & Leinonen, T. (2021). Design Framework and Principles for Learning Environment Co-Design : Synthesis from Literature and Three Empirical Studies. Buildings, 11(12), Article 581. https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11120581

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Mäkelä, Tiina; Leinonen, Teemu

Journal or series: Buildings

eISSN: 2075-5309

Publication year: 2021

Publication date: 25/11/2021

Volume: 11

Issue number: 12

Article number: 581

Publisher: MDPI AG

Publication country: Switzerland

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings11120581

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/78843


The need for environments conducive to learning and wellbeing has been broadly recognised. Considering particularly learner perceptions in the learning environment design is known to improve both their learning and wellbeing. There are no, however, shared theoretical frameworks guiding the learning environment co-design from the learner perspective. As a response to this challenge, a learning environment design (LED) framework was developed based on the literature and co-design involving learners aged 7 to 19 (n = 342) in Finland (n = 266) and Spain (n = 76). The LED framework entails 53 characteristics grouped under seven constructs. It draws attention to the importance of balancing communality with individuality, comfort with health, and novelty with conventionality. Flexibility and functionality are recognised as central enablers for a quality learning environment. The study suggests a design framework and principles for learning environment co-design. They can serve as a research-based introduction to the topic after which priorities can be defined based on the concrete design target and goals, and concrete design solutions can be created in the participatory design involving learners and other key stakeholders.

Keywords: learning environment; school buildings; teaching premises; space planning; participatory design; participatory planning

Free keywords: design framework; design principles; educational design research; learning and wellbeing; learning environments; participatory design; co-design

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 13:16