An Interview withh Jolene Levin, Director and Space Futurist at NorvaNivel
Classroom Name: Future Ready Learning Space by NorvaNivel
Design Team: Jolene Levin, Director and Space Futurist; Franco Modolo, Architect
Vendor partners: ELB Education, NorvaNivel, Tandus Centiva, a Tarkett Company
What was your concept in designing this classroom?
NorvaNivel is committed to creating agile and inclusive learning spaces that will equip learners for the skills needed for the future workforce. The way that we achieve this is through a varied range of learning zones that students and educators can quickly reconfigure to facilitate the different learning activities required for future-forward pedagogies. Additionally, with a focus on variety, purpose, textures, color, weight, and movement, we design and manufacture furniture that help learners feel safe and comfortable, increasing learning engagement.
The classroom has distinct spaces to gather, collaborate, present, create, and reflect. From Socratic circles to hands-on STEAM activities and student presentations to spaces for introspective learning, we have considered the primary needs of any future-ready learning space.
What role does technology play in the space?
Any future-ready space must be quickly adaptable for purposeful technology use. Our environment facilitates the use of mobile devices, robotics, and other hands-on technology. For EDspaces, our primary technology integration is the use of interactive Prowise screens from ELB Solutions that support presentation as well as group collaboration. The large touchscreens are all equipped with a mobile lift system, which is ideal for our reconfigurable space, allowing presenters to share and present within any zone. The Prowise screen can also be used as a surface for small groups to collaborate around.
How does the design and technology plan encourage attendee interaction?
The technology has been chosen because of its flexibility and responsiveness to the requirements of the space and session content. We have two connected 80” screens to allow for presenters to effectively share content to attendees throughout the large space. We have an additional multi-touchpoint 65” screen for in-depth sessions, additional supporting content, or for collaborative activities.
How does the choice of furniture impact the space?
NorvaNivel designs with intent and has only ever designed furniture for the education industry. Each of our pieces is designed to address a specific need for education and each piece considers increased engagement in all types of learners. For example, we have integrated texture through the incorporation of the GRASSYOTT™ Ottomans. We have used almost entirely whiteboard surfaces for our tables, such as our SUNSHINEONACLOUDIEDAY™ Foldable Table, which are ideal for visual learners, note-taking and group collaboration. Our primary considerations were the responsiveness of the space. This requires lightweight products like our ROCKER OTT™ Seating and select pieces on casters. Lightweight, movable pieces are essential to being able to flip the space for different learning activities. We also have a zone dedicated to hands-on learning with our STEAMSPACE™ range of furniture. Durable, functional, and full of storage, this furniture is designed specifically for a hands-on STEAM curriculum.
What do the flooring choices say about your classroom?
We are a big proponent of carpeted spaces. Color and texture are a huge consideration for any learning space and for the impact on learners. For this classroom, we have partnered with Tarkett, a Tandus Centiva company, to create distinct zones with the carpet. The colors and pattern create a directional feed in the space, orientating attendees.
How will this space work for presenters?
The design of the space and furniture allows for presenters to change the space according to their needs. Whether they are STEAM advocates, want to facilitate collaborative activities, or simply share information with the group, the space can achieve all of this. We want to share with and show the market how agile spaces can facilitate the future of education.
What do you see as the largest benefit of being chosen as a design team winner?
One of the biggest disconnects at education conferences is space and content. Thought leaders speaking about future-forward educational practices, trends, and so on can’t be limited to a stand and deliver environment. We don’t expect K-12 learners to learn this way so we can’t expect adult learners to learn this way either. We have created an authentic, purposeful space to help presenters from a range of background and areas of expertise to present from.