This project is a design for a series of smart classrooms for underprivileged elementary schools in rural South Korea. Samsung has been providing under-resourced schools with digital technology and consulting for how to best utilize these resources in the classroom, since 2012. Recently, the client decided that physically redesigning the classroom could have an even larger positive impact on student learning.
From the start, it was clear that designing a smart classroom would require more than simply creating space for new digital technology, the design would need to facilitate new methods of teaching with said technology.
In South Korea, many K-12 schools share a similar classroom design: students sit in a phalanx of desks facing the teacher at the clear front of the room. In this design, engagement flows in one direction: from the front of the room; unless input from the students is explicitly requested. Our design sought to challenge this notion of a single front in a classroom (i.e., frontality) and the model of learning that it reinforces.
We first sought to soften the prevailing mental image of the classroom by rounding the corners of the classroom. A curtain runs along a rounded rectangular path inset from the wall, capable of dividing the classroom into halves for two separate activities or encircling the whole room for a large activity. By softening the rectangular form of the room, the sense of a single frontality is diminished.
The addition of multiple “fronts” to the classroom builds on this affordance and provides teachers with the flexibility to rearrange the classroom to best suit their lesson plans. Teachers can easily go from giving a traditional lecture in one period, to holding a reading session and a writing session in different halves of the classroom using the curtain to divide the class in another, and then wrap the curtain around the whole room to gather students for a movie, all before lunch.
This project is a design for a series of smart classrooms for underprivileged elementary schools in rural South Korea. Samsung has been providing under-resourced schools with digital technology and consulting for how to best utilize these resources in the classroom, since 2012. Recently,&n...
- Year 2021
- Work started in 2020
- Work finished in 2021
- Client Samsung
- Status Completed works
- Type Schools/Institutes