New learning space at The University of Auckland General Library offers choice and flexibility

As part of an ongoing commitment to revitalising The University of Auckland’s largest library, Assistant University Librarian, John Garraway, turned his attention to the open spaces on the first floor mezzanine.

The goal was to provide students with a variety of engaging spaces that would support both student collaboration and individual study. The furniture not only needed to be aesthetically appealing, it had to be mobile and versatile, to underwrite the ebb and flow of today’s learning environments.

John contacted Paul White, Director of Design at Instinct Furniture, to discuss how this could be achieved. Paul presented a plan for the space that incorporated a considered selection of learning furniture options; all highly mobile and able to work together in inviting combinations.

The pictures below provide a detailed overview of how products from Instinct Furniture’s range facilitated the creation of a flexible learning environment.

Instinct Furniture’s popular range of RADIAL and LINEAL Ottomans with brake castors for mobility, are positioned throughout the space. Designed for ever-changing spaces, RADIAL Ottomans provide a great, informal option for working, socialising and learning, whilst adding style and colour.

RADIAL and LINEAL Ottomans work in harmony with GALAXY Ottoman and EXPRESSO Linear and Round Tables.


HITCHING Posts transfer power from walls or floor boxes at a safe and easily accessible height. SPARROW Tables are positioned throughout for versatile laptop/tablet use and team well with Ottomans and APPLE Stools.

TO GO Screens (customised here with a stunning Tukutuku pattern) are sprinkled throughout, to create space division, privacy and atmosphere.

T1 Tables

T1 and T3 Tables are designed to be maneuverable so that they can be adapted to suit a variety of situations. They encourage collaborative teamwork, while still being an inviting place for those who like to spread out when studying.


The T3 Table has a tilt frame and brake castors, making it compact to store and effortless to deploy. A single table can seat up to five people or three tables nested together can seat up to nine.


Here T3 Table teams combined with HITCHING Posts provide immediate access to power/data outlets.


GLO MINI deploys as a compact, highly mobile and height adjustable teaching/help station. The cantilevered, oval shaped desktop provides an inviting space where staff, teachers and students can communicate and interact.

IMG_4674Here GLO MINI has been lowered to a seated position.

IMG_4717Socrates SPACE Computer Workstations fitted with FLICK Back and Side screens provide a private space and a generous sized worktop, giving students ample room for computer-based activities.


Overall, the new furniture presents the opportunity for both library staff and students to continuously reinvent their space. Students can choose to lounge on a RADIAL Ottoman one day then knuckle down with their peers at a T Table the next.

John Garraway says, “Having the tables, ottomans, and screens on wheels has made this area a much more dynamic space. It allows for students to move furnishings themselves and define their own study zone, while also enabling the library to reconfigure the floor quickly to support different approaches for group learning and teaching, such as the first year experience for Arts students.”