Saturday, 21 June 2008

Funky furniture... complete with tiger!

Revisiting a school yesterday, I was really pleased to see the start of much more interesting furniture in classrooms, including the rather vibrant chairs above. Previously a very traditional room with 'standard everything' facing the front in rows, it really has progressed to groups of tables and a variety of different areas within the room. The tiger adds a certain playfulness and is much loved by some students who hold it whilst reading. Students are now rushing to read in this area. Talking to students, they just love it and consider it 'special' when they are there.

In the same school, the addition of very bright cushions in the sunken seating area of the library (photo below) has transformed the hard very spartan reading / performance area into a popular place where students want to be.
There is a real debate between staff though, whether the very vivid colours excite some students too much and whether, in hindsight, the colours should have been much softer.
I actually agree with this, and although it is great fun and important to have one or two pieces that are bright, you can have a variety of color and interesting pieces that are much softer to the eye making the room really interesting and calming.
The whole FF&E issue is very difficult to get right but, it is a crucially important aspect of every learning environment. What is certain is that students and teachers all have to be consulted in the creation of their spaces and that they can change depending on who works in them for what purpose. It would be sad if these rooms looked identical in five years time... or even next year!
An interesting discussion..... thoughts?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not sure about the chairs really but I totally agree they are much better than what was there before. The key thing is that students really enjoy them and use them constantly.