Environments are a critical factor to determine and enable student success in schools today – and design is the key component. Design not only influences the physical set-up of the school, but also has the ability to create the mood, enhance learning potential, foster productivity and contribute to the overall success of the students.
So, what if we approach design differently? What if we approach it as collaboration, a partnership between designers, educators and students?
Many schools, facilities and designers currently take this approach and are having phenomenal success.
Designing for a sense of community.
Students’ needs from the community change as they progress through the education system. As students mature, there tends to be less connectedness making it more critical to use the education space to help facilitate personal connection and support.
It is crucial to understand students’ needs at each stage of their education, and ensure that the school’s design and environment promote student success. When students, educators and the community are fully engaged in the design process, everyone enjoys a sense of ownership and pride with the final result.
Designing for collaboration and innovation.
Innovation is hard to measure. It looks different to every community and is a little unpredictable. Designers are often challenged to create a facility that leverages innovation and technology so that the building becomes a teaching tool itself. They want to create the right balance, so innovation and creativity are not capped by the physical environment.
Students grow up with a set of skills that will apply to some professions we haven’t envisioned yet. Both hands-on and technology-driven skills must be there. Every student should have a toolbox to use each day, and the ability and knowledge to choose the ideal tools. Where will they learn these skills if not in our community schools?
Innovation and community are both key components in setting kids up for success. Designs incorporating both will help enable our future generations.