BDC Network shared some interesting ideas in a recent article about learning environments. How to create a healthy learning environment with active design? If you follow the active design philosophy, student’s wellbeing and health are a key priority in the environment's design. Active learning spaces develop a child's mind and body by creating a setting where they learn to make healthy choices and establish good habits that last.
“Active design can be incorporated into any facility or campus with a few simple steps”. But how to apply this concept and enhance student life? Let’s review Apply any of the following ideas for a simple but effective way to enhance student life:
Connect people and places
Design should always focus on creating spaces for collaboration and provide opportunities to share ideas, knowledge, culture or school pride.
“For students at e3 Civic High, whose school is located within two floors of San Diego’s nine-story public library, the floors are connected by a wood grand staircase that serves as an amphitheater and social hub. This prominent feature provides an interior wayfinding landmark that inspires physical activity and social connection”.
Design as a guide
Design features should be present everywhere because they can inform people how to use and navigate spaces. Even if design is combined with nature, experts from BDC Network affirm that the average American spends 93% of time indoors, but humans need to keep connection with nature.
“At Palomar College in North San Diego County, a landscaped courtyard at the center of the building is surrounded by open walkways instead of interior lobbies and corridors. These outdoor social spaces not only encourage interaction and student engagement, but suggest vertical circulation through iconic glass enclosed stairs instead of elevators in this biophilia-inspired environment”.
One key element that must be considered is to provide an opportunity for students to develop awareness and connection with surroundings, to have a mindful and vivid moment. In order to to so, holistic settings could provide value to students by giving them enough space to balance academic and student life with emotional wellbeing.
“Colleges and Universities are seeking to help students balance their lives to achieve academic success, specifically coping with stress and sleep deprivation. At California State University, Northridge, the Oasis Wellness Center features a labyrinth that encourages exploration and provides the opportunity to disconnect and reconnect”.
At MKThink we are also looking at how learning environments can adapt to our evolving needs over time and how those spaces are designed considering factors such as wellbeing and safety.