Library Planning Research,  library technology,  Social Library Issues

The Built Pedagogy Concept

The term “built pedagogy” was first introduced by Torin Monahan (Globalization, Technological Change, and Public Education) to refer to the relationship between the design of a physical space and the educational philosophies that shape it. The concept suggests that the way a learning space is programmed can have a significant impact on the way learning occurs within it. Our research builds and expands on Torin’s analysis of behavior. Indeed, built pedagogy encompasses the various elements of a physical space, such as layout, lighting, acoustics, and technology, and how they are used to create a specific educational environment (e.g. academic library, learning commons, special library, museum library, medical library, law library and public library).

Built Pedagogy

The programming and design of a library can have a direct and tangible impact on the learning that takes place within it. For example, the layout of a library can influence the way students interact with each other and with the academic community, the lighting can affect the user’s mood and concentration, the acoustics can affect the ability to communicate and understand and the use of technology can influence the way we access and process information. It is important to take into consideration the built pedagogy concept when designing academic library and educational spaces. Aaron Cohen, AIA developed a set of library program elements that enables us to plan libraries regardless of its size, site or challenges.

Flexible Spaces

Communities can plan spaces or vignettes that support ever-changing learning by programming flexible and adaptable spaces that can be easily reconfigured to meet the needs of different types of learning. This can include using modular furniture and equipment that can be easily moved or repurposed, as well as incorporating technology that allows for virtual collaboration and communication. Would a library program analysis improve the community?


It is important for the academic leadership (e.g. Dean, Provost, VP academic affairs, University Presidents and Chancellors) to recognize the role of library planning in today’s education. We use design thinking workshops to program and plan learning spaces. We analyze and document the use of different technologies. We know students spend significant amounts of time on the internet. They don’t use email as their primary communication tool, and they own multiple devices, such as cell phones, laptops and desktop machines. Therefore, colleges and universities need to design library spaces that support the use of technology and allow for socialization. We can share examples of these test fit conceptual plans that support technology in the built environment.

Intentional Design Process

One way to improve the resiliency of your community is to start an intentional design process. A library programming process will take three to six months. We will include trends in library science and benchmark studies. We allow for collaboration online and in person. We also have examples of campuses incorporating diverse sets of functional elements such as a Café, Wi-Fi internet access, charging stations, robotic installations, preservation and interactive displays to facilitate collaboration. Basically, it is important to program library spaces that can be easily reconfigured and adapted to accommodate different types of learning activities, such as group work, individual study, and project-based learning.

Get Started: Programming

The development of a learning commons that accommodates blended social and community programs can be solved with an experienced team. Think about how a flexible library environment can enhance the learning experience. Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD Library Consultant – Library Programming – Digital Resources – Management Dashboard.

Library Consultant

Our Library Consultant can help you plan spaces that foster serendipitous interactions, such as open common areas, to encourage informal learning and collaboration among students and faculty. Certainly, it’s important to take into consideration the “built pedagogy” concept, understanding the way the space is designed can impact the way one learns. This can be achieved by involving faculty, students, and other stakeholders in the library programming process. We provide library space planning research for academic leadership to align with the educational goals of the college and/or university.

Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD Library Consultant – Library Programming – Digital Resources – Management Dashboard.