3 Trends In Furniture For Today’s Learning Environment
For most students, school is out for the summer. However, during this break, this is the season for school construction and renovations. The spaces created during this off-season may have an inspirational impact on the classroom/common areas beginning next school year. Here are five trends COCRE8 Interiors is seeing that could impact your child’s learning environment, now and into the future.
Support Creativity and Collaboration through Mobile. Flexible and Ergonomic Furniture
The overarching theme in designing education spaces for today’s students revolves around creating collaborative and creative-encouraging spaces. At all levels of education, more and more emphasis is being placed on personal interaction, wherein educators are limiting cell phones or tablet usage in the classroom. This is different than “Learning Commons” which will be addressed further in this article. Providing educators and students with the ability to reconfigure classroom space supports different learning styles, group sizes, small group breakout sessions and project needs. With the right spatial design, this allows educators to control the learning environment while giving the students the optics of having their own input. Additionally, the amount of time it takes to transition from one activity to another becomes minimized allowing for more learning time and subject coverage. Studies show, classrooms designed to offer choices help students maintain focus and stay engaged throughout the day. More choice and variety means the space will be used more frequently, for longer durations and in different ways.
Another major factor in learning duration is furniture ergonomics. The days of sitting at a desk all day are long gone. Just like todays modern office environment the trend is to provide furniture solutions which can give that “at-home” and “Starbucks” feel, including lounge seating, roll away storage spaces, booth seating and standing desks.
At the high school and university level, Learning Commons provide flexibility for independent study, large-group study, staff meetings, school events, projects and even community events. Functional furniture such as fold & nest tables, stackable chairs and still addresses the modular needs for providing electric, data, and A/V needs on a group basis.
Create Zones For Different Purposes To Improve Interior Functions
Not all spaces are created equal and sometimes a space must be shared by students of different ages or learning abilities. Libraries are the perfect example of where utilizing zones can allow for both individual learning, as well as large group study. Utilizing different materials can affect not only the aesthetics of a space, but the acoustics as well. It’s imperative during the design process to consider how the zones will work together within the overall space while allowing each area to preserve an exclusive and defined identity.
Build Makerspaces Into Your Design Plans
A makerspace is not solely a lab, a craft area, a STEM center, a tech room, or an art station, but it can have components of some or all these places. Makerspaces provide hands-on, creative ways to encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent as they deeply engage in science, engineering, math and experimenting. These healthy environments are unique learning spaces, often with their own defined zone featuring flexible furniture and plenty of storage. In addition to the first trend listed above, furniture in this space must also be very durable and scalable to accommodate future technologies.
Need help planning your learning environment or sourcing the appropriate furniture for a space that’s already been designed? Contact COCRE8 Interiors team of interior services experts today and we will guide you through the process to ensure the students get the most out of learning process.