Raise your hand if you remember the days of basic desks, standard lockers, designated classrooms for certain subjects, and—of course—the school library. While all of these general spaces and solutions did the job, there wasn’t much room for thoughtful flexibility and meaningful interactive learning.
The good news? We’re reinventing the traditional classroom.
Every young mind has a different way of understanding and embracing the world around them. The old school way (pardon the pun) of developing learning spaces—from furniture to classroom configurations to helpful tools—used to be mainstream and not particularly inclusive of contrasting skill sets, physical needs, and emotional well-being. So how do you create comprehensive environments that are flexible, adaptable, and supportive for everyone? You just need to do your homework!
Put Your Thinking Cap On
Big projects can be overwhelming, but they’re less intimidating if you’ve got a fundamental understanding of what you need to accomplish. The biggest hurdle is defining the needs of the individuals who use the learning space daily —students and teachers, of course.
We get it: That’s a tall order. How do you create an equitable environment that benefits everyone, all the time? Thinking outside the box of those traditional, one-size-fits-all spaces is a good start—and it all begins with smart furniture solutions.
Furniture is the foundation of any space where people gather to share thoughts, contemplate quietly, or engage in creative projects. It brings environments to life. And in learning spaces especially, students interact with seating, surfaces, and storage more than any other design element.
Let’s consider seating. Gone are the days when students remained stationary all day. Educators have long understood that students are individuals, and what works well for one may not be comfortable—either physically or psychologically—for another. But only recently have we begun to truly embrace what that means.
Implementing mobile, flexible seating is key. Whether it’s an agile stool that encourages healthy movement or soft, portable cushions and lounges that allow students to choose where they want to focus, adaptable seating is key to a balanced sense of well-being.
We’ve also begun to shift from traditional learning spaces to multipurpose, collaborative environments. Students do more than study at school. They socialize, recalibrate, and engage in valuable teamwork—all things that happen away from standard desks and chairs. By incorporating soft comfort, vibrant color, unique configurations, and power capabilities, seating can have the power to stimulate creativity and focus anywhere, anytime.
Top to Bottom: Revel™ Stools, Confetti™ Floor Lounge, Tangram™ Soft Seating, SmartLink® Chair.
Innovate Your Environment
Learning is more interactive than it’s ever been. While rows of desks and chairs used to be the norm, educators have started thinking outside the box to incorporate more kinesthetic, captivating lessons. Having the ability to rearrange classrooms creatively (and efficiently) is vital to organic workflow and inspired engagement. Whether it’s a mobile lectern or lightweight tables and chairs that can reconfigure in an instant, no classroom should be without dynamic, durable surfaces.
Of course, multifunctional surface solutions play an important role in today’s smart learning spaces, too. Especially those that integrate technology, encourage exploration, and inspire innovative ideas. Today’s students are independent thinkers and creators—they learn by doing. It’s becoming increasingly common to see technical high schools open their doors to students who are interested in immersing themselves in career-minded learning —in other words, they’re preparing for the workface early.
Above: Build™ Makerspace Tables and Stools, SmartLink® Mobile Storage Cabinets, Motivate® Mobile Markerboard
Discover a New Chapter
In addition to innovative tech-savvy spaces, media centers are also adding to the conversation about versatile educational environments. Once thought of as the school’s library, media centers are now community hubs, too— they can support everything from a small group study to an evening parent-teacher conference.
These spaces demand multipurpose solutions that bridge the gap between people and places—furniture that evolves with its surroundings. Adding customized bookcase collections that can transform shared spaces into everything from quiet reading nooks to industrious pods, bright upholstered ottomans, and creative magnetic markerboards can optimize shared spaces to include everyone.
Above: Storyline™ Bookcases and Bistro Tables, Confetti™ Floor Lounge, Build™ Tables and Stools, Flock® Round Minis
The Future is Bright
Understanding the fundamentals when it comes to seating, surfaces, and storage is a great start, but the real secret to learning space success is understanding people. Students and teachers are like snowflakes: No two are exactly alike. That’s why flexibility is so important.
With adaptable, purposeful furniture solutions and versatile applications, any environment can contribute to personal growth, individuality, and lifelong confidence. Whether it’s a simple addition of multipurpose storage or an entire classroom restoration, HON is your go-to study buddy.