North Carolina State partnered with consultants brightspot and AECOM to design, share, and promote an updated model to plan and support technology-rich informal learning spaces. The team focused on color, seat designs and comfort, learning spaces and technology tools. In addition to using the consultants, they also explored the toolkit on learning spaces put together by Dayton University.
To respond to your questions, learning spaces helps to increase productivity and transition from one topic to another. In other words, it can facilitate student collaboration, research and individual activities. Comfort can make a difference in the learning process.
If I were to design a learning space, it would have bright colors, comfortable chairs that could be moved between tables for collaboration or to complete individual assignments. Click here to find good articles on the topic.
I think the iLab is a great idea. I would love for my student desks to be mobile. I have been collecting roller chairs from teachers who don't like them in the classroom. The students and I prefer the roller chairs because they are mobile (other teachers don't like them for the same reason). I wish my desks were mobile as well so we could more easily adapt the surroundings to the students needs for any given activity.