Sep 11, 2019

The Game Changer Classroom by RATIO | OnPoint

An Interview with with Mallory Hyde and Emily Dunneisen

Design Team: Emily Dunneisen, IIDA, RATIO; Mallory Hyde, Assoc IIDA, LEED AP ID+C, RATIO; Kristen Ambrose, AIA, CSI, LEED AP BD+C, RATIO

Vendor partners: Mien Company, Muzo, Mannington Commercial, Boxlight, Lightspeed

What was your concept in designing this classroom?
The Game Changer classroom creates a central focal point that fosters engagement and inclusivity at the core. The arena-style classroom is divided into three groupings that are reinforced by the floor pattern and collaborative style furniture.

What role does technology play in the space?
By integrating multiple presentation displays at the center, each zone engages content in multiple modes: the speaker and the visual display in lecture mode, the individual zones in a collaborative mode, and a combination of the two in competition mode when the zones are matched against each other in an inquiry-based activity.

How does the design and technology plan encourage attendee interaction?
Our approach to this classroom’s technology provides attendees a view of the content and each other with ample opportunity to engage with the speaker throughout their presentation. With no true “front of classroom”, it creates a level playing field for communication and collaboration between “teacher” and “learner”. 

How does the choice of furniture impact the space?
The furniture selections feature a diverse range of soft, lounge seating in-between tiered, collaborative style desks/tables and chairs meant to accommodate different vantage points and learning preferences. The layout spurs learners to engage content and appeal to the competitive spirit.

What do the flooring choices say about your classroom?
By using one pattern in three different color-ways, we have created a bold but uniform experience that is visually separate without creating physical barriers.

How will this space work for presenters?
This classroom offers a unique opportunity to push the presenters out of the comfort zone of a standard, front-of-room teaching style. Unlike classrooms of the past that feature rows of traditional desks and chairs all facing forward, this design allows presenters to have free reign to walk about the classroom engaging individuals more personally.

What do you see as the largest benefit of being chosen as a design team winner?
RATIO takes a special interest in creating K-12 educational spaces that encourage life-long learning and cultivate future generations of leaders.  We believe that schools are beacons of diversity, culture and identity for communities and are humbled by the opportunity to share our passion for learning environments at EDspaces.

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