You may be familiar with the phrase “Education molds the future;” but how true is it really? When looking back on one’s educational experiences, many recount elementary school, but most remember their college years. When reminiscing about college, the architecture, history of the buildings, and intentional design of the classrooms are staples of many campuses and what helps set them apart from the rest. Similarly, when you remember elementary school, the school pride, colors, and even the layouts of classrooms are recalled as comfortable and inviting.
While maintaining the historical integrity of educational buildings, it is important to keep the interior up to date with current trends, as well as the functionality of highly-trafficked spaces—along with other concerns. With Q1 concluding, here are some of the trends we can expect to see in educational buildings throughout the rest of 2022, and beyond.
Safety awareness in schools is a constant concern, especially for K-12 institutions. With COVID still a prevalent topic, design must follow these concerns, as social distancing and constant disinfecting are now major points of consideration.
Schools are becoming more creative in implementing these needs by distancing students through desk arrangements in shapes which create space—like circles. For activities, creative markers can be implemented on the floor to show where the children should sit to maintain optimal distance. Additionally, schools have started to implement flooring design with subtle markers to aid in social distancing, including specific carpet and tile design.
In many college campuses, communal spaces are a staple of the building, including study lounges, communal dorm kitchens and lobbies, and even congregating spaces throughout the buildings. Since COVID, the design of these spaces have been limited or reconfigured to create space within the rooms.
Since COVID we have seen an increase in the demand to allow students to still be able to use these spaces. The creation of cubicles, partitions, and dividers can help keep these spaces sanitary, without needing to close them down.
As mentioned before, sanitization is at the forefront of designing classrooms, and flooring can be just as important as touch surfaces. Flooring can trap harmful bacteria if not cleaned regularly or correctly, so it is important to choose the correct flooring for your educational space.
We have noticed an increase of Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) flooring being used in these spaces as they are easily maintained and easily sanitized. The importance of this is so high-traffic areas do not trap the harmful bacteria that other flooring, such as carpet, may.
Implementing color is spaces can sometimes be seen as a way to show school pride, but for designers, almost every use of color has purpose. Color can invoke emotion in certain rooms and spaces, while also aiding functional purposes such as guiding a path through a building.
It is important to establish a color palette throughout the entirety of the school to ensure there is a cohesiveness in the design. Especially for elementary schools, colors can make a difference in the child’s day as they point out the ones they know and associate them with certain feelings.
While some kids love school, others may feel the opposite. It is important to show children that school can be a loving and safe place, just like their home. The intentional layout of rooms and use of color can aid in this association of home as the students feel comfort and relativity in the same way their homes are.
The use of sustainable materials throughout can invoke a natural feeling of calm and a nurturing environment, while also keeping educational spaces sanitary.
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