Activity Based Working may be the new buzz words for the office space, but it is an environment which has existing in our education centres for many years.
Tertiary education centres thrive on collaborative research and ideas. In order to facilitate this, the university and college environment has always allowed for library and study spaces outside the lecture theatre which allow for group meetings and private work.
The desire for a more flexible physical environment is obvious. In an environment like a university where students are no longer allocated their own desk or locker, the design challenge has always existed to accommodate for their diverse needs all occurring in the same space at once – waiting for a lecture, a noisy group meeting or a private zone of study.
However Internet access and hand held technologies are now an integral part of our education system, nearly every high school student in NSW is provided with a government issued laptop or ipad, and tertiary students are often early adopters (and/ or developers) of new gadgets and hand held technologies. Allowing for greater access to power and data, as well audio visual needs such as screens for viewing online lectures or sharing videos and online content are now far more essential.
Personal postures have changed slightly also as our love of gadgets has made many of us adopt a whole new range of gestures and behaviours as we shift between the digital world and the real one. Curious Rituals, a new ebook from the Art Centre College of Design, explores the funny side of this posturing, some examples include “The Third Arm” where a device is placed on a surface constantly within arm’s length , “Cell Trance” where the user whilst talking on the phone walks around completely oblivious to their surrounds, and the more extreme “Lazy Viewer” where a laptop or other device is propped on its side so that the user can view the screen more comfortably whilst lying on their side.
Education furniture has always been about flexibility, but now needs to add another level of usability and comfort – for devices and for those who love and use them.
Our friends at Connection have thoroughly explored the role of furniture in shaping young minds over at their blog, as well as presenting a great case study of the Horizon product in a university setting. More images of this project are available on our Facebook page.
Horizon is a versatile system of blocks which can be connected together to create a variety of bold and organic soft seat configurations. Horizon forms to the space, whilst creating a unique statement with its striking lines and contrasting fabrics.