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    2024 Classroom Design Trends: Shaping the Future of Learning Through Sustainability, Effective Classroom Seating Arrangements, and More

    Post by CDI Spaces
    November 21, 2023
    2024 Classroom Design Trends: Shaping the Future of Learning Through Sustainability, Effective Classroom Seating Arrangements, and More

    As we step into a pivotal year for classroom design trends, schools are redefining learning spaces and finding innovative ways to connect students to their educators and each other. Schools are moving past the constraints of COVID regulations and enjoying more flexibility and freedom while incorporating lessons learned during these transformative times. 

    Past classroom designs have anchored students in rows of static, forward-facing desk and chair sets that forced their attention toward the teacher. Now, the physical space of a classroom is becoming more dynamic, ergonomic, and inclusive. As it does, design is getting the credit it deserves as a catalyst for learning effectiveness, student engagement, and improved student experiences. Some classroom design trends challenge the necessity of a sitting, still student body entirely.

    In this blog, we’ll explore five key trends influencing learning and how they’ll be showing up in classroom spaces, furniture choices, and unique design features.

    Trend #1: Collaborative Learning Environments

    Classroom design trends are helping teachers transcend the age-old — and often dreaded — group project and tapping into the power of collaborative group learning to facilitate more profound skill development in students. These moves nurture communication and connection among students and break through the individual isolation that has been so common in classroom designs of the past. Intelligent design solutions will consider noise concerns that arise when students are encouraged to be more conversational in class — incorporating elements that reduce acoustic distractions and create designated quiet zones in the classroom.

    The more collaborative learning environments we expect to see in 2024 won’t only seat students at tables together. They’ll also offer modular furniture solutions that can flex to support various learning styles and forms of teamwork. Most importantly, students will be able to reconfigure classroom furniture themselves with minimal, if any, assistance needed from their educators. As we’ve seen this trend take off, it’s added a sense of autonomy in the classrooms it touches. 

    Trend #2: Personalization and Accessibility

    New advancements in inclusive design further honor students’ diverse learning styles through multisensory design elements that activate auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learning. Technology is being strategically integrated into furniture to increase accessibility for students with disabilities. Ergonomic comfort for students of various heights and sizes, all housed in a single classroom, is getting more attention, too. Adjustable desks and chairs reduce discomfort and distractions. Creating these customized learning experiences improves learning outcomes across the board.

    The K-12 Huntsville School, encourages learning in non-traditional expanses and multi-purpose areas to open up possibilities for learning. Typical chairs in their classrooms are interspersed with rocker chairs, wobble stools, and stand-up options in multiple classrooms to increase student engagement.

    Trend #3: Sustainable and Green Classrooms

    Sustainability is advancing far beyond a ‘nod’ to nature. Classroom design trends in 2024 will emphasize this evolution as educators become increasingly aware of the connection between student performance and green classrooms. We have already seen an increase in the use of non-toxic building and furniture materials, and in the next year, we expect to see schools intentionally seeking these out. 

    Biophilic design, which focuses on reconnecting built-environment occupants with the benefits of nature, is also on the rise. Peyton Stuart from the Green Building Alliance says, “Biophilic design can offer schools a low-cost, high-impact way to bring students and educators back to their roots, all while boosting test scores and improving students’ mental health.” Features like ‘green walls,’ more plants incorporated into classroom spaces, and layouts that maximize natural light and air will leverage nature for better learning outcomes.

    Trend #4: The Agile Classroom

    While the challenges of COVID-19 put stress on educators to alter their spaces, reduce class sizes, and adapt their learning environments — it also inspired new visions for what was possible in existing classrooms. Teachers now see the benefits of agile classroom design that allows distraction-free transitions between forward-focused teaching, whole-class discussions, and group activity-based learning. 

    Lightweight, movable furniture that students can maneuver themselves is just one of the agile classroom design trends 2024 will bring. Multi-purpose furniture that can accommodate group and individual learning and tech, such as laptops and iPads, will be essential to agile classrooms that quickly adapt to new active learning environments and classroom learning trends.

    École Champs Vallée School championed its vision for embracing every learner’s unique principles and needs with classroom design that fosters learning through movement. The highly flexible and rotational furniture we added to their space allowed tables and chairs to shift seamlessly from individual to group learning. 

    Trend #5: Safety and Well-being

    In 2024, the post-pandemic era of health-focused classroom design trends will also be in full effect. Both immune and mental health are reaching a new priority level in schools. Preferences for easy-to-clean, sanitize, and maintain surfaces will become even more prevalent as schools see increased wellness and decreased student absence. WELL Building Standards and other organizational efforts will continue to motivate these developments in improved safety and well-being.

    Environments that foster emotional safety will be created through intentional color palettes, amplifying the effects of color on mood and focus. These color choices, combined with spaces dedicated to socializing, studying, and relaxation, will provide functional, inspiring, and warm environments for students that feel more like home. 

    In 2024, dynamic, learning-focused design will seek to honor students’ needs by incorporating modern furniture configurations that adapt as those needs change. Schools strategically approaching each classroom with an eye for the future will put collaboration, accessibility, sustainability, agility, and safety at the forefront of learning. In these refreshed and forward-thinking environments, students and teachers alike will thrive.  

    Ready to get started on your school’s transformation? Meet with a CDI design consultant today.



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