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Library collaboration room | University of Dundee

Published: February 19, 2018

The University of Dundee (UoD) have been undergoing a campus wide upgrade of its teaching rooms with the latest AV & IT technology, one of the main projects involved in its upgrade programme was the Library’s Strawberry Bank Ideas Lab. The University wanted to use the Strawberry Bank Ideas Lab as a way to attract and retain students even if no formal teaching was occurring – this approach to collaborative active learning is known as a ‘Sticky Classroom’.

To achieve this, specialist furniture was needed to promote the pedagogy required whilst using latest AV technology. The classroom needed to be as flexible as possible, with the option to move the furniture around when being used for different applications. The challenge for the University was to find a solution that was flexible, vibrant and most importantly that facilitated an active learning pedagogy.

During the summer of 2017, several WorksZone Rectangle Collaboration Tables were installed into the University of Dundee Library by Streamtec, as part of the ongoing approach by the University to refresh its facilities. The Library space had a variety of zones refreshed, all of which were colour co-ordinated to highlight the different areas where students could work. The rectangle tables were positioned in a row so that groups of students could collaborate and focus on the screen but at the same time all see the projector if needed.

The Strawberry Bank Ideas Lab had a yellow theme, as a result the colours of the WorksZone Collaboration Tables matched the theme of the room. In keeping with the ‘Big Ideas’ theme of the room, a gloss finish was chosen for the WorksZone Tables to enable users to write on the surface of the tables as well as the glass boards that were installed on the walls.

Due to the flexible nature of the rooms given in the brief, there was a need for TeamMate’s NEW WorksZone Folding Table. The Folding has a hinge mechanism which allows for the table to be folded up and nested with the other tables for when the room requires more space. These particular tables were chosen with a red gloss finish to also reflect the name the room had been given.

Extron Cable Retractors were installed into the central connectivity module of the tables, to allow students to connect their devices up to the screen. As an alternative, a Kramer Via collaboration system was also integrated into the tables, to enable users to wirelessly connect instead.

Douglas McLeod, learning spaces product engineer at the University of Dundee commented: ‘Our Architect Roddy Paul provided a fantastic backdrop to showcase our technology with his choice of vibrantly coloured TeamMate Desks.  Streamtec worked closely and flexibly with the on-site team, led by our Estates PM Brian Thomson. We had hosted the Digital Roadshow earlier in the summer so it was a natural progression to continue using the Kramer VIA technology as well as having wired laptop connections and fixed PCs.  Our students love this space and although it is reserved for a small amount of teaching it comes into its own when students spread themselves around the room and work collaboratively.’

Ian Gauld, Director at Streamtec Ltd commented ‘Our partnership with Teammate on this project commenced 5 months prior to the actual installation. This period allowed us to compile a design proposal that exceeded the expectations of the University and ensure delivery timelines were met. The level of input, flexibility and communication from all the team at Teammate allowed for a seamless installation in what was a very challenging environment with physical as well as tight time constraints.’

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