Technology in universities is no longer a luxury, it is an expected requirement. With the rapid developments in mobile devices in the last few years; it’s not uncommon to find students with laptops, tablets, smartphones, or a combination of the three. No longer tied to their dorm room desk, the expectation is that they will be able to sit down and work anywhere.
It’s important that today’s students have a multitude of learning spaces available to them, from private spaces to group learning zones. While the traditional library booth is still an important element of study space design; universities should also look at combining various other elements to mix up the furniture landscape.
To enable students to work both individually and in groups, define specific spaces for collaborative work throughout your university buildings. Install a row of semi-private booths, like our Spark-Hi, to create a breakaway space where students can work in a group. Integrated power and screens will mean that they can work on everything from group discussions to presentations. The Jack Kilby Centre, a computing centre at Edinburgh Napier University; used a variety of different-sized booths for varying student requirements. These booths can be supported by modular sofas and tables with chairs for more informal group sessions, or for students to rest on while waiting between lectures. A similar approach was used in the University of Leicester Centre for Medicine, to great effect.
To create breakout spaces which are suited to more individual study in a relaxed environment, universities could consider installing modular working furniture such as Zip. This range of furniture zips and unzips for easily configurable layouts. Use a combination of the desk module and soft seating module to develop a space for focused individual work. Power can be installed to the front base of the unit – pull up a Note laptop table and you’re ready to go.
Finally, when you are developing different study spaces, it is important to consider the colours and materials used. The use of primary colours like blue and yellow on booths will energise a group work space, whereas a private study space may benefit from use of more neutral colours with brighter colour highlights. An acoustic fabric will help absorb more sound from the surroundings, ideal for making semi-private booths more insulated. Use of vinyl on soft seating keeps it easy to clean.
With a range of furniture pieces suitable for a variety of spaces and requirements, the Godfrey Syrett Collection is the ultimate resource for your Higher Education furniture needs. #