Methodology and space: towards the design of a new education system
The Journey of Education: expert analysis by those driving change
New educational models require engaging in a new dialogue with the environment, building spaces that accompany the transformation process in teaching through more flexible, experiential, digitalised and participatory models to meet current needs, as well as new situations that may arise.
Actiu is aware that these needs must be met and has published The Journey to Education, a guide that identifies new types of training spaces through a Multifunctional Campus that goes beyond the traditional classroom, developing a new learning landscape that includes living areas, reception areas, common areas, agoras, multipurpose classrooms, library, canteen and outdoor patios while offering examples of design, furniture and equipment for each case. Environments that cover all the needs of its users so that they can exploit their talent and creativity as much as possible, without losing sight of their well-being. Each space has its own raison d'être and, at the same time, they are all interconnected to make people's lives easier.
DOWNLOAD GUIDE: The Journey of Education
In order to design optimal educational spaces, where learning and well-being go hand in hand, we have published this Guide: The journey of Education, supported by the voices of experts from all fields associated with the sector.
Leading experts from the different fields that are driving change participated in The Journey of Education. Fernando Sansaloni, the principal at Cotes Baixes de Alcoy High School, a benchmark school for the innovative application of new learning methodologies and where new spaces have been developed to carry them out.
Sansaloni reflects profoundly on the state of our education system, highlighting how “It is geared towards being able to do things. On the other hand, training has a more important dimension in that it is focused on knowing how to do things. This is because most classroom situations are entirely artificial, far removed from the reality. The customisation of learning is going to be key from here on in”.
The guide addresses the new educational spaces with Estudio Ramón Esteve. The architects themselves, Ramón Esteve, the founding partner and Anna Boscà, head of the Healthcare Architecture and Equipment Department, highlight in the guide how design plays a key role in the conception of an educational institution. While there was already talk of a trend towards more flexible spaces before the pandemic, today's uncertainty makes this flexibility and resilience non-negotiable.
Both architects explain that “The path towards flexible learning that fosters student creativity involves fostering relationships between members of different groups and ages. The conception of common and dynamic spaces, where transit areas, lobbies, as well as recreational or rest areas, take on great importance in projects of this type. The hermetic design that separates studios from each other is left behind to give way to co-working areas which are more open and collective, and that welcome movement while placing value on physical exchange”.
Marcelo Alegre, an engineer and the CEO of Alegre Design which creates efficient and timeless design solutions while always taking into account emotional, cultural, anthropometric and mechanical factors. Each of the studio's pieces has been designed with the new educational spaces in mind, which, for some time now, have been advocating a dual approach: individual, on the one hand, yet more collaborative on the other.
Therefore, according to Alegre, “Every piece of furniture must meet the needs of learners and trainers, to encourage the transfer of knowledge and the development of talent, regardless of where the learning takes place. Learning requires vertical and horizontal work surfaces to support training, based on a concept of maximum mobility. It is of the utmost importance that any product aimed at training spaces is agile, dynamic, transportable and comes with wheels. Furthermore, user comfort must be the priority”.
Kassani, one of the most renowned Colombian companies in the furniture industry for educational spaces having developed more than 120 projects, analyses how a new conception of spaces facilitates learning through real experiences.
Logitech & LG
In the new model, education is hybrid, combining the best of online training with the most precious face-to-face learning, building a more bespoke and dynamic educational model that also takes into account other skills and competencies, resulting in more motivated and committed students which, in turn, leads to better academic results. In this regard, the guide also includes technological proposals for video collaboration and interactivity from manufacturers such as Logitech and LG.
ESNE, University School of Design, Innovation and Technology
The Journey of Education also offers success stories such as the San Pablo CEU University with 400 classrooms with dual attendance systems; the Smart Classroom at ESNE, designed by the students themselves; the THNKLab space at the Cotes Baixes Alcoy High School, based on Actiu's Cool Working philosophy which reconfigures a traditional classroom into a multi-functional space; and the Nebrija University with a new hybrid learning model brought about through a profound transformation of learning spaces and environments along with the Classroom of the Future.
Within this context, we also wanted to listen to those who are at the heart of this transformation: the students, who see the change as a chance to improve how they learn.
In any transformation process, progress is made through conflict. At the beginning, there is usually resistance so it is essential to gain the trust of those involved. In order to gain the trust that facilitates the commitment of all the agents involved (teachers, families and pupils), the new proposals must be shown to be valid and effective.