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How to Marry Function and Appeal in School, University and Education Fitouts

Education institutions often fall into a trap of achieving functionality only. Of Course, it’s critical that teaching spaces are highly functional and user friendly, and are first and foremost dedicated to assisting learning.

However – That doesn’t mean Schools, Universities and Higher Education Facilities need to be clinical and bland. It is often forgotten that appealing and attractive fitouts excite, inspire and motivate and are so effective at encouraging learning even further. Appealing and enjoyable spaces open our minds, and push the boundaries of creative and critical thinking.

When you walk through an art gallery, such as GoMA in Brisbane, or even a well designed restaurant or grand library – Do you feel inspired, excited and even a little emotional? Much more than you would walking through an older style Government office? It’s the design and appeal of spaces that draw emotion and encourage us to think openly.

So how do you marry both function and appeal in Schools, Universities and Education Facilities?

It can often be simpler than you think. Here’s 4 quick tips:

  • Consider colour – Colour works in miraculous ways. Bright colours invigorate and energise. Neutrals soothe and settle. Bold, deep colours warm and focus.

    Mix up your palette to refresh minds – Perhaps include brighter colours in recreation and break out spaces, neutrals throughout library areas, and bold deep colours in technical classrooms. Using colour strategically sets a mood simply and easily

  • Organise your space – Build in storage (such as concealed shelving, cupboards and efficient desk combinations) to remove clutter and allow clean lines to be appreciated within the space. A clear space fosters a clear mind.
  • Link spaces – The layout of a space shapes our perception of the activities that take place within it. Create clear and connected working, recreation and interactive learning spaces.
    Use partitioning, carpet and tile transition, or colour changes to designate one space from another, yet link them together to create an overall mood and a free-flowing experience. Perhaps include a vibrantly coloured wall or mix of stools in recreation or interactive learning spaces to encourage students to engage and collaborate. Then link this with the nearby working spaces by featuring the pop of colour through carpeting or in chair fabric.
  • Create collaboration nodes – Students love to keep learning through discussion. Nurture this by establishing collaboration nodes – perhaps build seating into the ground to create interesting pockets for students to sit in, dot coloured stools here and there, include contemporary pendant lighting over sofas and arm chairs to set a mood, include geometric shaped seating that can be pulled together to form a shape for students to lounge on as a group.

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