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Fettes Spens Building [web].jpg

A Virtual Panel Discussion

A Natural

Learning Habitat

This event took place on

Thursday, 27 August 2020 at 11 am


But you have not missed out, you can catch up with the video recording

Video Passcode:  DesignPopUp2020!

Project Image: Spens Building, Fettes College. Design by Page\Park; Photo by Andrew Lee.

Can we improve the connection to nature across our learning environments and create more effective settings that prioritise learner well-being?


A growing body of research supports what we instinctively know, learning outdoors in nature is good for our well-being. It can improve our recovery from stress, cognitive function and creativity. Parallel research into how environments affect our capacity to learn, shows the importance of air quality, lighting and acoustics. 

We will hear our speakers share their experience at policy level, what they have learned from other places, how these ideas are applied in higher education and share some examples from our work of how we can create a more natural learning habitat.

Video Passcode:  DesignPopUp2020!

The Panel


Karen Nugent

Head of Creative Workspace at Page\Park

Karen leads the education team at Page\Park and has 20 years of experience designing education projects. She has led a project of campus renewal at Fettes College since 2003 and has designed varied new facilities including primary schools, science buildings, general classrooms, design studios, 6th form centres and libraries for clients across the UK.

Each project shared a common aim of creating a natural learning environment, maximising natural ventilation, daylighting, natural materials and connection to the outdoors.

Jill Stevenson

Dean for Culture, Equality & Inclusivity at the University of Stirling

Jill is responsible for creating a culture where the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion are embedded within the University. Jill is also the Head of Student Support Services, leading the delivery of support services and the implementation of an institutional mental health and wellbeing strategy to help students enjoy the best possible experience at Stirling, and leave with excellent graduate prospects.


Jill has worked in the higher education sector for ten years, she also provided strategic leadership for accessibility, inclusion and equality issues for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.


Stephen Long

Senior Associate Director (Education),

Scottish Future Trust

Stephen is an architect who has worked in both design and construction prior to joining SFT. Seeing things from a variety of viewpoints helps him to appreciate and communicate the opportunities and challenges within a programme or project and assist in developing holistic solutions. He currently Leads the SFT Education Team.

Diarmaid Lawlor

Associate Director, Scottish Future Trust

Diarmaid helps clients make well-informed decisions about place-based policy and investment challenges. He is a designer, educator, and communicator. With a multidisciplinary background, and over 20 years’ experience working across sectors in the UK and Europe,


Diarmaid champions creative approaches to making better places. In his previous post with Architecture and Design Scotland, he did a lot of work on outdoor learning with Inspired Scotland.


Presenting sponsor


Virtual Event

A Natural Learning Habitat

Thursday, 27 August 2020 at 11 am

Video Passcode:  DesignPopUp2020!

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