Contruction Today - July/August 2017 - 11
In the Classroom
As ways of learning and communicating
evolve, so do the needs of students. The
traditional model of education, in which the
professor lectures in front of a room of students, is no longer the most effective method
for the engaged 21st-century student. This
customary method is being replaced with
student-centered approaches that emphasize
the role students' play in their own education. To meet these changing demands, architects and designers are designing classrooms
that encourage social interaction and help
create an active community.
PHOTO CREDIT: COURTESY OF REMIGER DESIGN
Gone are the days of spaces having one
specific use. More than just a place to sleep
and have some privacy, resident halls must
offer shared spaces for gatherings and work
groups, just as dining halls must provide a
range of social spaces. Today's interiors are
being designed with a range of finishes and
furnishings to create spaces that encourage
students to linger and collaborate.
New furniture options exist that allow
the incorporation of power modules into
tables and into soft seating units, leading
the transformation of how space is being
used on campuses. Lobbies and hallways
are being designed as multifaceted spaces to
accommodate the need to access power and
data connections at all times. For example,
the lobbies in Jolley Hall at Washington
University in St. Louis were recently renovated to entertain a multitude of functions
including presentations, social events, exhibitions, meetings as well as cater to students
as touchdown points between classes and
during idle time.
Creating flexible spaces that can be used
for quiet individual studying, or collaborative group projects, gives students the chance
to personalize their space in unique and
productive ways depending on the occasion.
Movable furniture that can easily be rearranged into different arrangements is key in
creating these flexible, personalized spaces.
Washington University provide
flexible space for group work.
Simple design solutions have the potential to foster collaboration
and student development. Recently renovated classrooms at Washington University provide flexible space that facilitates group work
as well as class discussions. These spacious classrooms are furnished
with shared tables that seat four to ten students on comfortable
wheeled chairs. Students can roll their chairs to transition from
small-group work to whole-class discussions and presentations.
These versatile environments are designed to support collaboration, transparency and experiential learning within the classroom.
As a result of these shifts in educational interior design, college
campuses are beginning to look more and work more like the corporate world, and are encouraging students to learn and succeed in an
environment that reflects current workplace trends.
Denny Crain is a
registered architect at
REMIGER DESIGN, a St.
architecture and interior
design firm specializing
in the planning and
design of commercial
and corporate facilities.
The firm was founded in
2010 by Vern Remiger,
an industry veteran with
more than 35 years of
Mirroring the Workplace
The workplace has also transformed into a more collaborative environment. The mass of matching tables and chairs has been replaced
with a variety of seating options and styles, thus creating a more
appealing atmosphere that promotes collaboration among colleagues. The elimination of private offices has helped foster a sense
of community and collaboration similar to that in which students
are becoming accustomed.
Companies invest time and money into recruiting and hiring the
best and brightest from universities, and they want students who
have been trained in environments similar to their own. If a university creates a multifaceted environment and provides the right kind
of technology for students to learn and grow, the potential is limitless. The divide between traditional institutional interiors and the
corporate workplace continues to shrink as colleges and universities
continue to adapt to the student population. Both campuses and
offices provide an openness that allows for greater collaboration and
interaction as well as more relaxed environments.
experience in architecture, interior design,
planning and facilities
management. Working with clients in the
corporate office, finance,
and recreation industries,
REMIGER DESIGN strives
to provide exceptional
client service with
flexible, creative and
cost effective design
solutions. For additional
information, please visit
JULY/AUGUST 2017 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM