Strategic Brief 

Client: Mondragon University, Enpresagintza Fakultatea

Location: Oñati, Gipuzkoa

Date: June 2018

Team: [Miren Escartin + Elena Gómez + Ruth Cuenca]

Collaborator: Concha Maza

In the spring of 2018, we began the design of the refurbishment of the Faculty of Business in Oñati (Gipuzkoa), carrying out a participatory design process with all the parties involved; students, teaching and services staff to define Design Strategies to transform the faculty. We were looking for answers to key questions such as:

• What will the University of the future be like? What will the learning spaces of the future be like?

• What makes MU special compared to other universities?

• How is this MU differentiation expressed in educational spaces?

• Tangible and intangible challenges of the university?

The objective is to adapt and transform the existing spaces of the building to the current users’ needs and to new learning experiences. The traditional classroom model is outdated, more flexible spaces are needed to facilitate current educational experiences. Open, flexible and connected spaces that allow different activities to be carried out, both in the learning areas and in the common areas.

For this, an in depth analysis of the building, its surroundings and its users was carried out. We understood how the building was used by the different programmes: LEINN, myGADE, Formative Cycles, MIK. We used questionnaires and meetings to gather all opinions, desires and aspirations. The concept "weaving networks" came out if this process and it will be the guide for all interventions in the building.  

The concept is based on the fact that today, everything is interconnected like the elements of a network, there are no longer isolated elements. From galaxies to cells, everything is connected and works together. At the human level, current technology facilitates the interconnection of people, companies and institutions. Everything is based on the connection of independent elements and the business school facilitates those connections.

This idea of ​​a network is manifested in the space by means of colored tubes that run through and connect the different areas of the building as sculptural elements. They are located mainly in the common areas, delimiting the different areas and transforming themselves into furniture, rest areas, support for signage, lighting and audio. In each of the interior lobbies; these networks run vertically like a totem that is the origin of the rest of the horizontal networks going to nearby areas.

These networks also reflect the personal experience of each user. It is in the course of the user's learning journey, in the different choices, points in common with other people, the trips, the placements, etc. that making the experience unique and unrepeatable.