Future Library Design: Emerging and Enduring Principles | Harvard University

Future Library Design: Emerging and Enduring Principles | Harvard University

Intended for architects and librarians, library staff, and trustees, this program examines the evolving role of the physical library in the digital information landscape.

While recognizing that the pandemic changed some design thinking for libraries, we will focus on transcending the pandemic-driven “problem solving” period in library design and conceive lasting opportunities for library spaces for the coming decades. The course will be a broad platform for addressing libraries as: 
• an essential element of civic infrastructure,
• platforms for meaningful community dialog,
• productive “think space” & “do space,” and
• the definitive resource for reliable information.

We will consider how future libraries can do this while being both a permanent artifact of contemporary culture and a moldable environment that stays constantly current and locally relevant. The program will cover the theoretical and the practical in an interactive and participatory class format. We will review cutting edge library systems and emerging best practices for library design. We will also examine the process and criteria for developing and realizing meaningful goals, whether in new construction, renovation, or expansion.

Topics include: 
• new models
• new service goals
• library programming and planning considerations
• library zoning for functional synergies
• building community support
• sustainable design for libraries

Program activities include lectures, discussions, virtual library planning and design exercises, virtual exploration, and evaluation of recent and proposed new library designs.

Course Page
$1,950 - $2,150
August 8 - August 10, 2023