Thursday, March 29, 2007

Design in schools

I've been giving thought recently to the design of our schools. Design is more than just throwing up and few walls and deciding what color to paint them. Design covers a gamut of interrelated issues. It is form and function.

Check out this picture which was originally posted at Creating Passionate Users. Kathy Sierra used the picture in a post about helping customers get over fear. I think it tells us something about design, about how to have a space make a statement.

While I'd not equate schools with dentists' offices, there are some parallels. Which office provides a more welcoming space for a student, for parents, for a teacher?

Thankfully, many people are thinking about design as they go about building schools.

Over at School Design Research Studio, Jeff Lackney posted this picture of a school in Minneapolis. The school uses project based work for students. I'm particularly intrigued that the design of the room promotes collaboration, but still gives each student their own, full workspace.

Perhaps we ought to give more thought to design in schools. Dr. Lackney has a great essay on 33 Principles of Educational Design. I encourage all teachers and educators to read it.

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