Learning in the 21st century still takes place in formal learning spaces such as classrooms and lecture halls. On the other hand, informal learning spaces in the city, such as co-working spaces, cafés, city squares or, for example, the “Learning village Bergheim” in Heidelberg, where the development and design of an urban district and the networking of existing educational institutions are aimed at creating a sustainable space in the pedagogical and structural sense, are also gaining in importance.

Within the framework of the project LEARN[IN] I in the funding period 2019-2020, the partner universities SRH Hochschule Heidelberg, Germany, Universitá degli Studi di Firenze (Italy) and Universidade do Minho (Portugal) have investigated the change from formal to informal learning spaces, considered interfaces between architecture, urban planning and education and provided impulses for possible further developments. Download our first E-Book

The spatial change from formal to informal learning settings can be thought of even further in terms of digital spaces. The change to digital learning has been given a development boost by the Corona pandemic. Digital learning has now penetrated much deeper into the collective consciousness. Now it is not the case that this will continue and that the places of learning – university, school, etc. – will become obsolete. On the contrary, social exchanges, encounters, the culture of learning on the spot are categories of being human that cannot be easily and in some cases not at all digitalized. The Corona Pandemic has shown that alliances within the European idea and the world community – even despite temporarily closed borders – are more important than ever.


This is where the cooperative project LEARN[IN] II – Digital Learning Spaces comes in. The SRH University Heidelberg, the Università degla studi Firenze and the Universidade do Minho are planning a three-part event concept with students and young researchers from the participating universities to investigate how the change from formal/informal to digital learning spaces is taking place and what effects it is having on all members of the participating universities. Based on positive experiences of this network, LEARN[IN] II will serve as a platform for the exchange of best practice strategies and as a hub for ideas on the future of learning spaces in the digital age. Because the subject of architecture in particular requires very site- and context-specific teaching, which includes “supervision” and “corrections”, face-to-face discussions and learning with and from each other with fellow students and teachers. The exchange about how such learning settings were realized in the digital space, what was missing and what worked well is important for further development. The focus is therefore not on digital platforms, programs or tools but ultimately on developing a new understanding of teaching and learning in the digital age.


The concept provides for a presence symposium in Heidelberg and two digital workshops on the currently highly topical socio-political issue of the digitization of teaching and digital learning spaces. The combination of physical and digital formats, including the scientific focus of the partner universities, will strengthen the professional and cultural exchange between the foreign and German participants and make it possible for them to experience it.

The focus will be on joint research cooperation and the creation of structural and administrative conditions for the supervision of cooperative doctorates. Students and young scientists are the main actors in the three events (symposium & workshops), while the teachers act as learning companions. The results of the cooperation, the projects and the exchange will be published in the form of an E-Book and made available free of charge (direct pdf-download via the website www.learn-in.eu).