Society and technology are evolving at an exponential rate. It is imperative that schools and universities mirror this evolution to provide innovative and up-to-date spaces that enhance the learning experience. Part of making the functional classroom in the 21st century is incorporating flexible design so that as technology and teaching methods evolve, the spaces can adapt to meet new needs. Educational campus planning is a vital part of creating an environment where the modern student can thrive.
The Modern Blue Print: How Architects are Redefining the Classroom
Architects are key players in transforming the educational experience. As new schools and buildings are constructed and old ones redesigned, architects are considering how design features could enhance learning and teaching. The traditional school blueprints that emphasized single-use rooms and long fluorescent hallways are being rethought and redesigned. The schools being constructed today are planned with a strong attention to creativity, openness, and versatility. While at one time the stairway was simply a vehicle to move between classes, it now also functions as a place for sitting and communing. Additionally, traditional libraries are being re-designed as multi-purpose centers for media, makerspaces, and collaboration.
The Importance of Design Flexibility in Educational Architecture
One of the most important considerations for the construction and design of modern classrooms and learnings spaces is flexibility. Architects stress that the learning spaces of today should be able to adapt to the new technologies and pedagogies of the future. For an educational space to be flexible, it should provide the teacher with the ability to provide instructional variety. Teachers should quickly be able to transform the classroom from one-on-one instruction to collaborative group work. Classrooms that are flexible utilize innovative furniture and environments such as, bean bags moving tables, and other elements that are easily transformable.
The Benefits and Flexibility of Outdoor Learning
A great strategy for increasing the flexibility of the learning environment is to incorporate outdoor spaces. Many leading educational architects promote outdoor learning spaces as a way to promote creativity, reduce stress, and incorporate an experiential element. Outdoor learning architecture uses simple design elements to promote learning and instruction outside. An outdoor learning space could be as simple as a collection of benches or as intricate as an amphitheater.
As technology continues to advance, educational spaces must adapt to encourage and advance learning and teaching methods. Educational architecture uses design elements to create flexible and open spaces for a more innovative learning experience.