Following a visit to the University of Brighton from Cathrine Schmidt and Hanne Airo from the Danish Ministry of Science, who are developing a new learning spaces briefing for science spaces in universities across Denmark (more to tell you soon I hope), they kindly also put us in touch with Jonas Nordquist, the manager for a project called Future Learning Environments - How Space Impacts on Learning run by Karolinska Institutet and Stockholm County Council. See their web site at ki.se/learningspaces.
This feels like a really integrated, (relatively) large-scale project across both formal and informal learning environments, across three sites related to medical education; aiming to "develop and deliver a range of prototype environments to support new pedagogies within Karolinska Institutet s medical education programmes."
Working with White architecture practice, they have already developed a Concept Manual to act as a design guide. Interestingly this work was also supported by an ethnographic study of students responses to their environment which is - unfortunately - currently only in Swedish. The next phase is to build prototypes and then to do a comparative evaluation.
I may be wrong, but this is the first large scale, multi-space prototyping and evaluation research project that I have heard of. Of course the University of Melbourne has been developing a series of innovative learning spaces over several years; but as yet has no funds for evaluation, so the lessons for others are still difficult to learn.