Our team caught up with Product Stylist Mindy O’Gara to talk about her current research for designing educational spaces and what we can expect to see in 2011. Here are the most popular contenders:
1. Let the sunshine in
Gone are the days of harsh, fluorescent lighting and windowless classrooms. Incorporating natural light in educational spaces not only has a positive impact on students’ performance and productivity; it offers the added benefit of reduced energy costs for schools. More and more designers are incorporating light wells and window walls in architecture to bring the outside in. When incorporating natural light, however, it’s important to consider the impact light has on the products inside. Try using solution-dyed fibers when choosing carpet for these spaces to help maintain color despite long-term exposure to sunlight.
2. Standing the test of time
In this fast-paced age of multi-tasking, many educational spaces are now being designed with flexibility and durability in mind as student needs, teaching methods and recreational uses are ever changing. A traditional classroom space could be instructional space during the day, become group meeting spac
e in the afternoon, and in the evening might be used as function space for a community organization. When designing these spaces, it’s important to consider the performance of flooring and furnishings to ensure classrooms last over the long-term and reduce the need for renovations down the line. Low profile, durable carpet tile products that can stand up to wear and tear inflicted by casters and moveable furniture are critical to maintaining beautiful, functional spaces for years to come.
Learn more: http://k12.interfaceflor.com/installation-gallery.aspx\
3. The great escape
Similar to office environments that provide employees spaces to recharge, gather and socialize, educational spaces, particularly in higher education are being designed to include intimate social interaction spaces that can be multi-use. These corners and nooks can be used as a quiet zone for students, space for small-group work or as a convenient meeting place for teachers, students or community groups. Just envision your favorite cozy coffeehouse without the bar. These spaces can be delineated with or without walls because defining space with modular carpet is easy. With a little creativity, pattern by tile designs can anchor seating groups and gathering spaces. The results? A feeling of comfort, privacy and a brief escape from a busy schedule.
Learn more: http://highered.interfaceflor.com/installation-gallery.aspx?page=1
We look forward to seeing these trends in action in the New Year and providing design solutions to accommodate these as well as other new design trends!