To celebrate the kickoff of a new school year, we are highlighting the top 9 design trends in educational design!
- NATURE INSPIRED: More and more, schools are looking to incorporate nature into their interior spaces. Biophilic design positively impacts our mood, energy levels & ability to focus. There are many ways to bring the outdoors in –natural light, organic colors, graphics & patterns, views outside, plants & even live green walls. For Indian Hill Exempted Village School District renovations and additions, this project includes improvements to the outdoor learning and play spaces.
- EMBRACE INDUSTRIAL FINISHES: Many schools are avoiding expensive terrazzo and stone and embracing the look of industrial concrete floors & exposed ceilings. Not only can these strategies save cost, but they also tend to be more sustainable and give a modern, innovative, & open feel to learning environments. To honor the area’s aviation heritage as well as the Laurel Oaks’ site’s history as an air base, the new connective addition is designed to evoke an aircraft’s structs-braced wing.
- ACOUSTICS: With more open spaces and active learning, controlling noise levels and sound transfer is more critical than ever. These days, acoustics are being addressed in new & creative ways. Through acoustic clouds, wall panels, sound absorptive paint, sound masking systems, soft seating & carpet there are many acoustic solutions that can be subtle or a celebrated design feature.
- HEALTH & WELLBEING: Emphasis is being put on the mental, emotional, & physical wellbeing of staff & students. We’re seeing more spaces being incorporated throughout academic facilities to support exercise, healthy eating, mental health resources, & safe materials that are easy to clean & do not contain dangerous chemicals. The Health United Building at Xavier University that encompasses recreation, wellness, and health science programs.
- LEED & SUSTAINABILITY: Whether or not a school seeks green building certification or just wants to be more environmentally friendly, we strive to incorporate sustainable materials & reduce water & energy use. Often these strategies pay off in the long run and are better for the planet and the community. Calhoun Hall at University of Cincinnati was designed with LEED standards as the building was renovated using the original structure.
- SAFE & SECURE: Safety & security are a major priority in the layout & design of academic spaces. Access control, visibility & security systems are seamlessly integrated to make staff, students & parents feel safe & comfortable.
- SUPPORT ACTIVE & ENGAGING LEARNING: Educators are requesting learning spaces with variety & flexibility. These empower students with choice, enables easy reconfiguration, & supports different postures, activities & learning styles. Outdoor learning spaces, & other shared collaboration spaces outside of the classroom are also increasingly being considered to get students up and moving, build community & encourage cross-disciplinary learning. At the Madeira High School Perin Learning Commons has a variety of spaces for collaboration, socialization, and large-group functions.
- TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION: Many schools are renovating libraries to better serve students & educators. Some are creating dedicated Innovation Labs and others are renovating their library to incorporate media center functions & innovation resources. These spaces often incorporate robotics equipment, 3D printers, virtual reality tools, & other new & innovative technology to advance STEAM learning. Technology solutions are also being implemented throughout classroom to support hybrid learning & easy screen sharing. Great Oaks RAMTEC (Robotics & Advanced Manufacturing Technology Education Collaborative)to prepare high school and adult students with advanced manufacturing and engineering skills.
- FUN & INVITING DESTINATION: Fun & inviting academic spaces get students excited about learning. Dynamic design elements, such as playful graphics, fun colors, warm wood features, unique lighting, & soft seating, make school a destination student look forward to attending.