The workplace, the office, the “adult working environment”, has changed dramatically over the last decade, and is still evolving. Most are now designed specifically as tools that encourage collaboration, concentration, chance encounters, social interaction, experimentation, open sharing and relaxation.
It is proven these facilities drive innovation and build team spirit, while giving employees an environment they want to spend time in and considers them as human beings not just employees. It’s known as Activity Based Working and it’s proved to be hugely effective wherever it is implemented.
Which led us to thinking, couldn’t we create educational environments (classrooms) that also provide these tools to staff and student? It also reflects the workplaces many of today’s students will inhabit tomorrow? We collaborated with Raha School in Abu Dhabi to create a conceptual space to test this idea.
As a prototype we decided to develop a flexible system that could be adapted and experimented with but fundamentally offers the key aspects of activity-based learning by providing spaces the pupils can focus, dream, think and concentrate on their own or with a friend. Work together with active ergonomics for brainstorming and collaboration, and provide spaces to present and exchange ideas to larger groups and socialize.
We think the design of learning environments could be key to enabling to prepare and help learners feel more familiar with the working environment and demands of modern life. In fact, the lessons we’ve learned from studying Activity Based Working has led us to also believe that Activity Based Learning could be the way forward for the classroom