Senses of Place: Learning Towns

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The ‘Senses of Place: Learning Towns’ initiative is designed specifically to deliver Curriculum for Excellence in the places we live. It does this by focusing on the two principles at the heart of building better schools in Scotland – participation and collaboration.

The initial ‘Senses of Place: Building Excellence’ project (2008), worked with pupils to explore the potential of the Curriculum for Excellence to inspire innovations in the design of new, refurbished, or existing school spaces. Since then, the Schools Programme at A+DS with five participating design firms — DEGW, 3DReid, Gareth Hoskins, Lisa Mackenzie and JMArchitects — have together built on these ideas to develop an imaginative range of design concepts. In particular they imagined how communities might create ‘Learning Towns’ — whole places contributing to learning.

‘Learning Towns’ uses design to imagine different ways of doing things, and takes a pragmatic approach to the pursuit of excellence. It also delivers economies of benefits which means we always do more with whatever we have.

An exhibition held at The Lighthouse (26th March-19th April 2011) brought together a number of videos, from the five participating design firms, Architecture 00 and Graven Images, to highlight the key themes and issues, and the learning futures they imagined.




This pamphlet looks at how the project started, how it has progressed and highlights some of the key lessons.



For more information and to view all content from the exhibition, visit


Supporting NHSScotland Health Boards and their partners in the creation of successful healthcare facilities by sharing best practice.

SERVICE: Design Advice for Schools

A&DS offers a design support to education authorities offering an external view, peer support, facilitation and learning networks.

20 Inspiring Learning Spaces

A leaflet summarising the learning from 20 individual Inspiring Please Spaces projects, supporting the Inspiring Learning Spaces publication.

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