NEW LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS
IED Barcelona, in collaboration with Sedus, the leading company specialising in office equipment, has conceived new educational spaces and experiences for schools, institutions, private organisations and virtual environments.
Students from the Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design and Product Design reexamined new educational models as part of their final projects. Their proposals arise from the need to design not only spaces or products, but also services, in accordance with new learning trends, methods and concepts, taking into account aspects such as atmosphere, light, functionalities, colours, shapes and materials.
“This is a resilient generation that has experienced the consequences of confinement first-hand, and now, in their final year projects, are analysing and proposing alternatives,” explains Raffaella Perrone, Director of the institution’s Design School.
Together with SEDUS, students carried out different research projects over the course of five months, in which they were able to analyse highly contemporary concepts such as phygital environment and the paradigm shifts in collaborative and individual learning processes, by way of an experiential approach. In addition, the office furniture company has been present at different stages of the project development process, providing support and guidance to students.
“I am thrilled by the creativity of the ideas and the multi-layered approaches,” says Ernst Holzapfel, Head of Marketing at Sedus Stoll AG, who attended the presentation of the projects. “The final year students have developed forward-looking concepts that have not been seen before. The presentations are of a very high quality. It was an enriching experience and a pleasure for Sedus to support this project as a cooperation partner.”
Description of the projects
‘Midori’ is an ergonomic furniture system for the libraries of the future, conceived as sanctuaries of information that should promote learning through an atmosphere of calm and peace. To this end, the proposed design is based on organic and rounded forms, as well as the use of natural materials that are perfectly integrated into an environment open to nature. With a commitment to parametric design, the furniture contemplates the storage of both physical and digital material, and incorporates augmented reality technologies to be able to consult them.
‘Freya’ proposes a modular and multifunctional furniture design to improve free time and time spent waiting in the transit areas of academic institutions. Based on a palette of bright colours, and inspired by Nordic nature, the proposal aims to bring greater dynamism and comfort to these spaces, where students can socialise, study or wait, so often forgotten in design projects.
Made of biodegradable and flexible material, ‘Funda Mental’ is a seating system that can be adapted to different needs. It is designed for open spaces, both indoors and outdoors, and is manufactured by way of 3D printing. In particular, it responds to the needs of the nomadic user who does not need a specific physical environment in which to work or study. The product offers different functionalities and enables moments of socialisation to be generated, as well as environments where calm and tranquillity can be found.
‘E.V.E’ (Entorno Virtual Educativo, or Virtual Learning Environment) explores the future of education through the integration of augmented and virtual reality. To this end, it proposes a VR system aimed at improving communication and cooperation among students from all over the world. Bridging the gap between the physical and the virtual realms, the student has conceived a Link table, which is adjustable in terms of height, width and form, to act as a blank canvas on which to project an infinite number of educational experiences. The design is foldable, so it can be easily stored to free up space in the classroom.
Centro para la Educación Agrícola de las Glorias [Glorias Centre for Agricultural Education]
The student proposes to locate a centre for agricultural education in the park of the Glorias area in Barcelona. Under the acronym ‘CEAG’, this space is conceived to promote theoretical and practical self-learning. A natural spot in the centre of the city, the design of the different spaces that comprise it follows the four phases of the agricultural process (germination, planting, cultivation and harvesting) as a metaphor for the evolutionary process experienced by users.
‘Terracotta’ was born from the need to rethink the food industry’s production and consumption system. Inspired by the culture of monasteries, the student proposes a space in which to generate a new, more conscious and responsible gastronomic system. Taking the monastery of Santa Mónica, located behind the Boquería Market in Barcelona, as a reference, the aim of the project is to create a circular system in which to provide food, hold workshops and research new biomaterials.
Based on research carried out on the impact of different types of environments on students’ mental health, ‘Ephemeral Pavillion’ is conceived as a refuge in contact with nature that houses classrooms, an examination room and a sensory area. Its location and design aim to break away from routine and the negative states associated with it in a bid to help students improve their academic performance.
‘Wupen’ is an office furniture piece conceived for both indoors and outdoors that seeks to take the user out of routine environments in an attempt to foster greater learning and socialisation. Its adaptability to a variety of open or closed spaces gives it great flexibility, in a bid to move away from rigid, hierarchical structures and inviting greater collaboration and communication among people.