For most people, modern living requires spending most of the day in interior spaces - in fact, according to a report by the Environmental Protection Agency, the average person spends around 90% of their life indoors. As a result, this implies missing out on health benefits associated with sunlight exposure, such as vitamin D absorption, regulation of circadian rhythms, higher energy levels and even improved mood. Thus, one option is to increase the amount of time we spend outdoors. But because most daily functions are carried out inside buildings, it is crucial to incorporate and prioritize natural lighting in interiors.
Light serves an essential purpose in architecture: to help us see. Whether it be through natural or artificial methods, rooms must be illuminated accordingly so occupants can safely inhabit them and fulfill their daily functions. When the right system is selected, light can also contribute to energy efficiency and sustainability within the building as a whole. However, apart from its evident functional and environmental value, lighting design can vastly impact the visual comfort and aesthetic tone of interiors by drawing attention to textures, enhancing colors and defining volumes. Therefore, of the many pieces involved in interior design, lighting is certainly one that can enhance or destroy a space and even affect users’ well-being, which is why it should be considered a crucial design element by itself.
For architects, schools are often complex structures to design. They must provide a variety of spaces for education, and also consider sports and recreational activities. But beyond its size or surface, the greatest challenge is to design an area that fosters a positive pedagogical environment for children. Below, a selection of +70 school projects with their drawings to inspire your proposals for learning campuses.
The Reggio Emilia Approach was created in the post-WWII period at the initiative of widowed mothers and under the coordination of journalist and educator Loris Malaguzzi. In a time of postwar urban reconstruction, the group's primary concern was the formation of new schools, where they wanted to create a peaceful, welcoming, and cheerful environment, with a domestic atmosphere where children could stay while their mothers worked. Understanding the children's interests and providing a suitable environment for exploration and experimentation is one of the focal points of this pedagogy. The creation of a safe and stimulating environment is so fundamental that, in much literature, it appears as a third teacher.
One of the most important design considerations that residential architects have the responsibility to address is accessibility, ensuring that people with disabilities can comfortably live at home without impediments blocking basic home functionality. Accessibility for wheelchair users is a particularly important architectural concern due to unalterable spatial, material, and other requirements necessitated by wheelchair design and use. Because guaranteeing the comfort of all users, including disabled users, is one of the most essential obligations of all architects, designing for wheelchair users must be done with utmost the attention and care, especially in residential environments. Below, we delineate several strategies for designing floors for wheelchair circulation, helping architects achieve this goal of maximum comfort and accessibility.
Architecture is constantly changing and adapting to new needs, which are linked to social, economic, technological, political, and demographic changes. In this sense, the aging population is one of the most outstanding changes of the 21st century: The increase in life expectancy and the decrease in fertility rates mean that the older population is increasingly numerous. How can architecture help to provide a better quality of life, promote the autonomy, dignity, and well-being of the elderly?
It is a student's right to be educated in a safe, healthy, and even aesthetically appealing environment, especially young students for whom these factors are even more important. For example, it has been shown that when the ergonomics of chairs are inadequate, they can greatly affect levels of concentration and the development of skills such as calligraphy. At the same time, the effectiveness of traditional teaching methods is increasingly being questioned and the quality of alternative methodologies increasingly being considered. In other articles, we discussed in more detail the design of Montessori schools and the atmosphere of Waldorf interiors.
Today, we will cover the importance of choosing furniture and address some aspects to consider when organizing them in classroom design for the schools of the future.