Data Lab at the University of Stavanger

Bringing the Third Space into a learning facility.

Is this space madness? Nope, just creativity displayed. Designed to inspire learning in quirky creative and comfortable surroundings. Thinking pods for small study groups and a lecture room in the Mad Professors Lab. Situated in the heart of the University of Stavanger Campus.

The demand for this new type of study space is constant. And over the years, at the university, the ‘UniLib’ has been experimenting with different learning environments. Since the University Library’s development of digitalization and data management, it needed a room that facilitates group study in various forms and sizes: a workshop space and venue for events. We set out to invent a facility that should not only be inviting enough for people to spend time in but also a space to come up with new ideas — a location that is open to staff, students and local friends.

It is easy to go safe when creating an environment like this, and it takes a lot of guts to go wild. And we are thrilled to have had the opportunity to go all-in by the University of Stavanger (UiS).

«The main goal in the design process was the art direction. The challenge was to connect and maintain continuity throughout the whole space, from the Mad Professors Laboratory, pods, study and lecture area. It all had to be consistent.»

Our visual inspiration is a combination of many things. The starting point was the Mad Professor’s laboratory. Another element is the control panels from the Art Deco period, especially those at Battersea Power Station. They have a huge 1930s bank of electricity modules. We are also looking into the visual language of Sherlock Holmes and Frankenstein. From those ideas, we manoeuvre it into onto the rest of the space.

«The element that stands out in the space is the central window dividers. These antique salvaged windows were imported from England, and they could not have worked any better.»

The Data Lab (+/- 200 m2) turned into a hybrid ‘landscape’ with multiple deep-water submersible diving chambers, a fancy control room, various group study options and presentation playgrounds – spiced with weird creatures in aquaria. It is space to work on your own and in groups, have privacy and focus in the different pods, or if you want intereact with you fellow students in the open areas.

We do believe we have to create a stimulating environment for students to enter, read and chill. It is for sure and unusual space, and one of our goals was to put a smile on the students face. Hopefully, they will laugh and brighten up their day.

Project Information