As architectural environments become increasingly responsive, they gain ability to change and become more personalized as they meet the needs of their occupants. For students, this can bring big benefits as innovative school design ideas pull from an adaptive architectural design approach.
For example, what if a school architecture can adjust itself to meet the needs of its ever-changing classrooms that aim for better learning experience, retention and application for students? Within such an adaptive school, different classrooms could morph for different subjects, teaching styles, learning styles and/or student age. In this case, a science room’s architecture would be sensorially different from a literature room’s architecture – yet, they could exist in the same space.
Of course, equipment (the room’s hardware) could flex and aspects like lighting, temperature, nature views, and even sound would need to flex to feed the senses of students who are learning different subjects within a space at different times. Furthermore, the micro-architectures within the classroom could adapt – to instantly change other aspects like furniture layout and ergonomics, computerized classroom kiosks for collaboration or independent work, and teacher presentation/mentoring stations for different kinds of teacher-to-student instruction.
School design ideas that personalize learning for students bring greater advantages as compared to a one-size-fits-all environment. By allowing a classroom environment to flex and adapt to the real-time needs of its students, it personalizes learning which results in greater retention. You see, when learning material is taught within an optimized context, a student can have increased emotional connection and association for better recall and later application. So, how does the environment contribute to all of this?
An environment can sense when students are getting fatigued, bored or simply overwhelmed by information. Different school design ideas can respond in different ways to these challenges – for example, lighting, temperature, acoustics, spatial micro-architecture configuration, and nature integration can shift to optimize an environment for increased student alertness, focus, attention and memory.
The more a designer knows about the students who will learn within a classroom, the better the adaptive architecture. By allowing the environment to adapt to the ever-changing needs that make up the student population of a school, the more conducive the learning will be – and the better able students will be to rise to their optimum potentials. This does not mean that students should not work together, or solve an overarching problem – but it does mean that what a student learns has more personalized meaning for their current understanding and future application. Both of these are key to helping students grow holistically in a happy, safe and healthy manner.
Image Credit: © Cherries | Fotolia
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