Site Name: University of South Wales, Business School
Site Address: Llantwit Rd, Pontypridd CF37 1DL
Customer contact: Edward Williamson
The University of South Wales was founded in 2013 following the merging of the University of Wales (Newport) and the University of Glamorgan. It is now the second-largest higher education institute in Wales. The university is continuously looking for ways to improve their student experience and regularly undertake projects to update and renovate their teaching facilities.
As part of these renovations, CDEC was approached by the university to advise on the most suitable furniture solutions for an upcoming project to re-purpose an unused space in the Brecon Building atrium.
The primary objective of the renovation was to create a more productive learning environment in what was an empty and uninviting space. The university also wanted the space to be more multi-functional, and the aim was to introduce collaborative tables that could be used for both classroom teaching and as breakout spaces for the students.
As well as being used for teaching, the atrium, which is situated outside the university’s flagship lecture theatre, was also required to accommodate additional footfall for open days and large external events.
In order to achieve this, the university required a flexible furniture solution that was lightweight, compact, easily stored away when not in use and could incorporate the university’s branding.
An additional lectern was also required as a control point for the AV within the space.
After listening to the detailed requirements of the university, CDEC suggested the installation of Synergy Plectrum Folding collaborative tables from TOP-TEC.
Following a detailed design phase, which included the creation of 2D layouts, a series of six-seat tables were chosen, accommodating up to 18 students at any one time.
The tables were supplied with smooth castors for easy maneuverability, and each table is able to quickly convert into a compact mobile unit with a reduced footprint, allowing for easy storage when not in use.
Each table also featured a secure made-to-measure PC cage below the worktop, a bespoke data interface plate in the mast, including an aperture for an Extron MLC control panel, HDMI connections and a secure 55″ screen mount.
The metalwork of the tables was colour matched to the university’s branding.
A Rubi Mono+ lectern was supplied as a control point for the AV within the room. The lightweight unit featured concealed castors for easy maneuverability, a bespoke control panel housing and rack space for an onboard PC. To further enforce the brand identity, it was supplied with vinyl branding of the university’s logo on the front of the lectern.
Following the installation, the atrium has become one of the most popular areas in the Business School.
The flexible furniture solutions allow for students and teachers to create learning environments fit for whatever their requirements are on the day. Students can decide to put only one table out in the space for group project work, or lecturers can deploy all three alongside the lectern for a more traditional classroom setup. The ease with which the tables can be folded away and put to one side helps reduce the transition times between sessions.
The university is extremely pleased with the new flexible learning space and has received some very positive feedback from students and teachers alike in the Business School.
Spiros Andreou at CDEC said: “This was a great project to be involved in. To see a space that was basically unused be turned into such a vibrant and flexible learning area that is proving popular with students and tutors alike, is a great achievement. The solution has met, if not, exceeded the university’s hopes for this space.”
Synergy Plectrum Folding collaborative tables
Created for Technology Enhanced Active Learning (TEAL) Environments and Agile Working Spaces, these tables are ideal for lectures, group work and as interactive environments. Features include a choice of standard paint, worktop and edge banding finishes, standard data interface plate and connectivity and a screen mount.
Rubi Mono+ lectern
Rubi is a compact solution allowing it to be placed in areas where space is limited. All four sides of these mobile lecterns are lockable and detachable from the frame providing easy access to equipment. Rubi Mono+ is supplied with a six-gang power socket, standard paint and worktop finishes, and suited keys.
“The change in use of the space has been very positive. An area once underutilised has now been transformed into a productive teaching space with effective technology integrated furniture. The three TOP-TEC Synergy collaborative tables are being used during teaching but also for students to use for group project work on their own time.
Students have been embracing the new set up and it is fantastic to see; the lectern and the tables have been moved out on a couple of occasions for events and the flexible furniture has proven to be the right decision. The collaborative tables are quick to fold and move, and take up minimal space to store. The feedback from students and teachers at the Business School has been great and they are all delighted with the end result.”