Stengård School

Using UN Sustainability Goals to improve learning spaces

Client: Stengård School
Our role: Facilitating engagement workshops, Data treatment and analysis, Place strategies
Location: Gladsaxe, Denmark
Year: 2019
Status: Finished

Making Space for the Future
The Municipality of Gladsaxe is currently working on an ambitious project called "The school of the future", where they are developing their schools and physical learning environments to better facilitate new teaching methods and learning objectives, preparing the students for a society that will require different skills than the one we have today. Eight benchmarks form the basis for the “The school of the future”. These benchmarks focus among other things on future competencies, flexible and co-created learning environments, collaborations with the local area, better use of school facilities etc.

Exploring New Learning Environments
Stengård School is a building from the 50's whose learning environments must undergo a vital boost to support the new development. On the foundation of the benchmarks arki_lab has collaborated with the school and its students to co-create a new learning environment for the 6th and 7th graders. 100 students have participated in three workshops, and explored new opportunities for the future learning environment both inside and outside the building. They have contributed with creative ideas and design solutions and worked to integrate the Sustainable Development Goals in their designs. One of the tools used was our app ArkiCity in which the students created collages of their ideas.

The end product was an exhibition for teachers, parents and municipal representatives, showcasing the learning process and the students' design work. Furthermore, we translated the design ideas into one design proposal for the 6th and 7th grade area. The designs reflect a need to open up the classrooms, rethinking the connection between the classrooms, the hallway and the outside and create flexible spaces that allow for activity and group work as well as reflection and quiet time.

More than Physical Change
The project aimed not only to change the physical layout of the learning environment but also to kick start a change in the way teaching is understood and practiced - which is equally necessary to reach the goals of "The school of the future".

Teaching, whether elementary or higher education, has always been an evolving discipline, with methods and tools changing over time. Re-thinking the practices of teaching and the spaces it inhabits is a challenging process. To this end we used our new tool, the Course Puzzle, that offers a tangible way of re-thinking and brainstorming teaching methods. The Course Puzzle consists of 3 decks of cards: scenario cards, theme cards and obstruction cards. Groups of 2-4 the participants discuss, analyse and develop cross-course scenarios, based on their existing knowledge of subjects and their application. The tool facilitates brainstorming and idea development by bringing together educators from different disciplines.

    We strive to use the Sustainable Development Goals as a structuring framework for our projects. This is how this project contributes to a more sustainable future

    Involving young people in designing the spaces they live in strengthen the educational system as a places that promotes an active and engaging attitude towards your surrounding society

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