One of the unique features of EDspaces is that attendees don’t just talk about the future of learning environments, they experience them first hand. Attendees at EDspaces 2022 in Portland, Oregon, had the opportunity to learn in a five unique classrooms designed by leading architects and design firms for the majority of education sessions being held during the three day event. One of those classrooms — Shifting Sands — provided a unique challenge to the design team to come up with a concept for a modern classroom for adult learners that incorporated products from nine companies participating in the EDmarketplace buying consortium:
The EDmarket newly-formed A&D Council took the EDmarketplace Classroom on as a project offering up this talented team of young designers to create an immersive learning experience showcasing innovation in planning, design, and products:
Classroom Design Process
The concept of Shifting Sands was meant to support a variety of learning styles from large group collaboration to independent learning. With that in mind, the space incorporated biophilia’s impact, incorporating nature into classrooms by integrating organic materials and activities to create a mindful environment. An engaging environment can encourage children to find their place and experience education in a comfortable, fun and flexible way.
“Using nature as a catalyst to support a variety of learning styles and activities, this classroom was created to be flexible, adaptable, and tactile to recreate organic connections that activate different learning opportunities,” explained Emily Czarnecki, Associate Principal / Lead Interior Designer at JCJ Architecture.
The Shifting Sands classroom is inspired by the same ebbs and flows of nature. This open and engaging space included agile furniture that allowed access to many different types of arrangements, creating an inclusive environment for all learners. Accommodating multiple learning styles, this space was designed to incorporate 3 types of movement:
- Dynamic/collaborative environment represented by the ocean,
- Presentation/discussion area represented by a central campfire on the sand, and
- Passive/focused space represented by the sand dunes.
“We all came together to design this one space with one cohesive concept which was shifting sands,” said Nikki Snellinger, an interior designer at JCJ Architecture. “The team designed a classroom for both collaborative and individualized learning that worked great.”
The floor and ceiling elements are designed to loosely define the spaces. This allows each setting to flow from space to space depending on the current activity, like adapting to a change in curriculum or space use. A variety of seating choices such as higher stools, soft seating and mobile seats creates an engaging environment for educators, learners and presenters. The furniture enables them to quickly turn the space from a lecture environment into either an active group project area or a quiet one-on one focus space.
The result [of the collaboration] was a polished, complete classroom that exemplified not just one, but a number of use cases for contemporary education settings.Scott Thorne
“I really enjoyed the experience of designing this classroom with our team,” reported Scott Thorne from Naylor Wentworth Lund Architects. “I felt like we all worked well together from concept to install despite our geographical differences, and I was impressed by the dedication of every member of the team to get the job done and to do it well. The result was a polished, complete classroom that exemplified not just one, but a number of use cases for contemporary education settings.”
“This project was an amazing collaboration with the design team and the participating manufacturers,” said Scott Beyer, EDmarketplace Director of Business Development. “I’m looking forward to working with our partners for this year’s event in Charlotte, NC!”
EDmarketplace is a new purchasing consortium in partnership between EDmarket and Independent Suppliers Group (ISG). The platform strives to increase competitiveness of participating dealers through better cost of goods, opportunities for industry peer interaction and benchmarking, and more focused sales training. Participating manufacturers can significantly grow sales through increased dealer training and loyalty while improving cash flow through accounts receivable management.
EDmarket has developed a comprehensive cohort of education-oriented manufacturers representing over 70 different product categories to give dealers choice and confidence. Through concentrating sales strategies on utilizing this group of manufacturers, participating dealers will receive better cost of goods and terms than they usually can negotiate independently. Their sales and design staff will be thoroughly trained on the participating product lines and through third-party relationships, have more cost-effective access to the latest technology tools to help them compete.
If you are interested in learning more about participating, contact Scott Beyer, firstname.lastname@example.org.