Flexible Skills Lab Architecture

"Flexible Skills Lab Architecture" (FLEXLAB) is a "space lab for space labs" and provides an environment for the design and model testing and evaluation of intelligent, hybrid learning environments consisting of analog and digital components. Through modular infrastructure and furnishings as well as technical tools to support design, room labs can be designed and tested here. Only after successful evaluation of the design variants are optimized solutions exported and installed in the designated learning spaces (skills labs). In this way, incorrect planning is avoided, resources are conserved and sustainable solutions are generated.

Students of human medicine and health sciences complete several practice units in so-called skills labs during their studies in order to prepare themselves practically for their future professional life. The aim of this skills training is to learn and consolidate very different competencies, including psychomotor skills for manual or manual-technical actions (e.g. movement exercises, physical examinations, injections, wound care) to skills for decision-making and action in complex situations. Depending on the course of study and the particular exercise, the architecture of the room, the furnishings, the equipment, the media-technological equipment, and the ambient design must meet various requirements.

The design of such spaces is complex and requires, for example, the reconstruction of walls, the replacement of furniture, the installation of simulation mannequins, the installation of displays, sensors, and actuators, etc. In addition, depending on the teaching module, constantly changing boundary conditions apply in the Skills Labs during the course of the week, necessitating spontaneous redesign as quickly as possible. A room lab for skills labs is therefore ideally not a static room with fixed equipment, but a polymorphous construct with flexible adaptability. This is a particularly necessary criterion because students are expected to use the skills labs independently, even without guidance. Since this use can also take place simultaneously between participants on site and online via videoconferencing, appropriate architectural support for the placement of suitable videoconferencing equipment is particularly necessary, which on the one hand enables observation of the processes on site and on the other hand enables collaborative hybrid handling of data and experimental setups.

FLEXLAB is to be realized through the targeted expansion of the COPICOH HealthLab and the development of a modular, polyvalent design concept. In order to be able to implement various exercise scenarios quickly and flexibly in different room sizes, a modular construction system for components is being developed:

  • Variable room geometries: simulation of walls, windows, doors through movable partitions, screens and digital projections to create realistic spatial impressions
  • Modular furniture systems: Mobile and configurable furniture for the dynamic construction of room systems
  • Dummy equipment: use of dummies as placeholders

The object of this project is the expansion and further development of skills training courses in the health care programs of the University of Lübeck (human medicine, occupational therapy/logopedics, midwifery, nursing, physiotherapy). The establishment of the FLEXLAB room lab is intended to facilitate the testing of the interaction of didactic-methodological requirements as well as architectural, technical and other ambient features of the so-called skills labs prior to the implementation of new, digitally supported skills training concepts. This is intended to promote implementation in routine operations by identifying and eliminating implementation obstacles in advance. In this project, the use of the FLEXLAB room lab will be tested and evaluated as an example for skills training in the dual bachelor's degree program in nursing.

Project duration: 01.07.2022 to 30.04.2024
Funding: 100.000 € by the Stifterverband and the Dieter Schwarz Foundation

Further information on the FLEXLAB project can be found at:


Project Members

Merle Borrello, M. A. Photo of Merle Marie Borrello
Institut für Sozialmedizin und Epidemiologie (ISE), Sektion für Forschung und Lehre in der Pflege
+49 451 9299 5112

Lea Christine Brandl, M. Sc. Photo of Lea Christine  Brandl
Institut für Telematik (ITM)
+49 451 3101 6421

Susan Brauer, M. Sc. Photo of Susan  Brauer
Institut für Telematik (ITM)
+49 451 3101 6424

Maria Lindner, M. Sc. Photo of Maria  Lindner
Institut für Sozialmedizin und Epidemiologie (ISE), Sektion für Forschung und Lehre in der Pflege
+49 451-929-951-11