Top 7 design essentials for an educational spacePublished 25.10.19
In the 21st century, we’re becoming accustomed to working amongst spaces that feel like a home-from-home, with comfort and human-centric design becoming increasingly ubiquitous across workplaces. We’ve said goodbye to one-size-fits-all, cold and uninspiring classrooms, and are increasingly seeing learning spaces that inspire creativity and happiness.
If you’re looking to re-design your educational space, there are a few essentials to consider to ensure that you’re maximising potential for your students.
It’s no secret that children, in particular, thrive from exposure to bright colours – they instantly attract the eye, and according to the colour personality theory, encourage certain feelings and behaviours. Whilst shades of orange offer an energy boost and encourage open-mindedness, red is thought to instil ambition and confidence. It’s a good idea to spend some time researching different colours, incorporating shades into your design that encourage the behaviours and feelings you’d like to enhance in your environment. Don’t forget to also study a colour wheel; the general rule of thumb is that opposite colours tend to be complementary. Read our previous blog to find out more.
Flexible space and furniture
In today’s world, peoples’ lifestyles are becoming increasingly more flexible, and it’s essential that we support this within interior design. It’s important to try and cater to varying working styles, and this becomes significantly easier with a flexible space. Try incorporating furniture that’s manoeuvrable, so that you can create collaborative and private learning spaces as needed. It’s also a good idea to incorporate moveable partitions so that quiet spaces can be easily created. Don’t forget to ensure that the furniture is comfortable, so that you stay in-line with the home-from-home design style.
Wherever possible, it’s important to maximise natural lighting. As humans, we’re naturally composed to thrive amongst nature, and with sufficient exposure to natural lighting, our circadian rhythm is kept in check. This ensures that we sleep well at night, and receive a natural burst of energy during the day. If this isn’t available to you, try investing in high quality LED lighting – it’s more beneficial for the environment, and reduces the risk of eye strain.
Arguably less of a necessity, biophilic design has gained traction in recent years due to the significant mental and physical health benefits that it offers. Not only do plants purify the air, they also encourage productivity and reduce feelings of stress. It can also be a good idea to encourage students to get involved with growing and nurturing plants, as it can instil a sense of achievement. Start by adding a couple of pot plants into the classroom, and if it turns out to be a success, you can gradually add more.
Spending consecutive days around a large group of people can be tiring for anyone. It’s important to address this, and offer students a quiet place to retreat when needed. Try incorporating a breakout zone into your classroom design, separating an area for downtime – perhaps adding in a bookshelf and comfortable seating.
Classroom design has developed considerably throughout the 21st century – but there’s a reason for it. Creating a comforting, home-from-home environment for both students and workers has been shown to increase productivity and happiness levels overall.
If you’re thinking of redesigning your educational space, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our design team.