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Design to support a 21st Century Education

Now that I am back on American time, I wanted to share an amazing experience I had in Germany last week.  American Days with VS Furniture was both fun and enlightening.  Not only did I get to network with 130 other designers and school administrators but I learned a great deal about VS and their ongoing efforts to support 21st Century Educational Design.  The new release of product called Cultural Shift is a novel flexible furniture solution for k-8 learning environments and one that I will be introducing to clients this week.  I believe it is a great solution that allows teachers to transform learning spaces to facilitate different teaching methodologies within minutes.  How fantastic is that?

I also listened to a number of lectures that were intriguing as well.  Dr. Dieter Breithecker kept my attention (even with jetlag) during his lecture about “Bodies in Motion – Brains in Motion”.  He illustrated the importance of moving while learning and it works!  Being able to move throughout the day is important, it is even important while you are seated.  Therefore, VS has incorporated that concept into a number of their chairs.

Another lecture by Robert Moje stressed the importance of designing learning environments for the whole child.  We should consider not only academics but emotional wellbeing, health/play, Social/Civic and Creativity.

Last but certainly not least, I have a new found respect for German red wine – who knew?