We design new products for non-traditional classrooms

The journey of education and its transition from lectures to talent creation has been the subject of debate for a virtual round table attended by Marcelo Alegre, along with Jorge Vergel, founder of Kassani Diseño, Anna Boscá, director of Sanitary Architecture and Equipment de Ramón Esteve, and Fernando Sansaloni, director of the IES Cotes Baixes.

Organized by Actiu, the round table was moderated by Soledad Berbegal, Counselor and Head of Corporate Reputation for the brand, and has followed in the wake of the manual «The Journey of Education», edited by the furniture manufacturer, which identifies and defines new spaces for a training immersed in a deep process of transformation.

«Our job is to sense what people need when they arrive in a classroom or educational space. The furniture cannot be static for a long time or equip a closed space. Lobbies become spaces for collaboration and relationship and classrooms are fluid areas, with private, public and group areas. We need to think about this reality in order to design a product that responds to transversal fluid spaces», explained Marcelo Alegre.

Alegre Design has been devising and developing products for Actiu focused on spaces for collaborative training since 2009. As a result of this joint project, programmes such as Trama, chairs with rotating desks, soft seating collections such as Noom and Noom 50 and the lifting Talent table have been coming onto the market ever since. 

Talent was created precisely to promote talent. It is a folding, lifting table that can be used as a blackboard or a work desk and allows classrooms to be resized according to the needs of each project.

«Digital is already in people’s DNA. This situation has promoted agile methodologies, collaboration, a hybrid formula for live and on-demand learning. Education has completely changed. It is no longer about instructing but accompanying. And students and teachers need the tools to do so. Now is the time to make the change and to make it visible with the configuration and equipment of that space, innovating to add value to people», he commented.

Soledad Berbegal agreed on the emergence of a new mentality and on the importance of design to create a better, friendlier and more sustainable future. Consequently, all the work related to the «Journey of Education» is based on an intense process of research and the reflections of diverse voices on the design of training-oriented spaces.

Fernando Sansaloni presented the project of his centre, which has gone from a conventional education model to one focused on collaborative learning based on the challenges that prevail in transversality and digitisation.

Anna Boscá stressed that architecture oriented to educational environments must begin with flexible and sustainable concepts that are connected with nature, despite the usual time and space constraints of architectural projects. «Classrooms must be resilient, to adapt to traditional methodologies that may remain valid, but also to new collaborative principles. And we must ensure that the lobbies can be used as meeting spaces and breakout areas».

Jorge Vergel explained that experts in equipping training spaces must decode the design language and the advantages that entail in order to translate and transmit it to educational managers. By resorting to space and product design, each centre can continue to progress in its training projects.