“Educational buildings, as well as the sites surrounding them and furniture inside, are machines for learning specially designed to accommodate their specific functions including receiving lectures, discussions, discovery and individual learning.” - Le Corbusier
To put it in a line it would be apt - through an oft used analogy - to say that if façade is the body, learning space is the soul of the school. Interior is visualized by the designer at the earliest of the stages of planning, ideally not independently. The onus lies on the school interior designers to harness the liberties that the school grants to extract the envisioned environment.
Why are school interiors critical to the Project?
It is the relationship between school interiors and learning outcomes that have been established by the recent studies that have brought the school interior designing into the ambit of educational discourse.
For educators, the level of activity in students is one of the most reliable parameters of engagement and receptiveness in the learning environment and it is the enhanced receptiveness of the students that finally translates into increased learning outcomes.
Interior designing of the school is the aspect of infrastructure that is subtly but surely decisive in the expression of potential in children thus in increasing the learning outcomes.
Key elements of school interior design
A classroom is a space where students learn something new and gain proficiency. It can be at any level of learning stages. In order to help students to attain gratification in class, designers need to show some extra effort to come up with context-specific interior designs the classrooms and activity areas as well.
The flexibility that ingenious interior designing can give to a classroom is found of great use for educators of different disciplines. The teachers can change the configuration of the chairs, for instance, to suit their lecturing need.
It is not for nothing that the orthodox configuration of the array of desks is gradually becoming obsolete. Similarly, visual, tangible, and acoustic senses are now being acknowledged as essential in learning and must be considered in the design of the learning environment. Improvisation in the arrangement of the school learning system is an emergent need.
At the preschool stage or early childhood education, the role and usage of the classroom interiors are much more perceptible than in the later levels of schooling when they start seeming rather abstract. Taking a closer look, we find that with the rise in the level of school education the role of the interior also increases hence the need for accommodating changes in the classroom, especially for the upscaling the use of technology for instruction.
With the fundamental role of the learning environment, the educational process and inclusive learning exercises in schools are strengthened. School interior is expected to be supportive enough to meet the expectations of a demanding curriculum. The interior design of the school illustrates the comprehension of pedagogical needs and collaborative learning which is feasible only if the school interior is progressive.
Interactive school interior design is a powerful tool for stimulating creativity. Quality deprived educational space can generate learning obstacles for the students in a school such as impaired focus for many little learners who will be diverted by negative characteristics in the enclosed inner spaces.
The enhancement of the learning environment should not be confused with ornamentation or overemphasized aesthetics but also be performance and output based.
Founder & Consultant - School Serv
Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.