Learning environments involve so many variables. One of which is the feeling associated with such space, another is the phyiscal space. Countering the desks and rows, the theory of loose parts discusses the importance of change in the environment.
In educational circles, there is a theory that helps explain the compulsion; it’s called the theory of loose parts. Originally developed by architect Simon Nicholson in 1972, when he was puzzling over how to make playgrounds more engaging, the loose parts theory suggests that one needs random elements, changing environments, in order to think independently and cobble together one’s own vision of things. Nature is an infinite source of loose parts, whereas the office or the living room, being made by people, is limited. (Source)
I wonder how this relates to concept of hot desks.