ICFF 2011: Classroom Of The Future Designed By Eighth Graders

ICFF 2011: Classroom Of The Future Designed By Eighth Graders

A collaborative project between a school, design consultancy, and manufacturer both teaches and generates good design.

Dave Pinter, PSFK
  • 19 may 2011

Without a doubt, the highlight of the 2011 International Contemporary Furniture Fair was the Tools at Schools project.

Design studio aruliden, together with Bernhardt Design, conceived Tools at Schools as an initiative to teach eighth graders the value of design as a problem-solving tool at The School at Columbia University. Forty-four eighth grade students were immersed in the entire design process, from research to ideation to 3D modeling and ultimately launch. What started as a simple effort to get involved in the community grew into a much larger realization that design has a role in the classroom. Their success was not only in their concepts, but in the awareness each student gained in the process. The result was a collaborative vision of today’s classroom – designed for kids by kids.

A couple of things impressed us about this project. First (as you’ll see below) the design solutions represent that perfect balance of function and beauty. Sadly, school furniture’s reputation is some of the most uninspiring and impersonal stuff produced. The eighth graders did a remarkable job of channeling their experiences towards improving the furniture.

We also liked that the students themselves were on hand at the show and were effectively in charge of presenting the project to visitors of the stand. Not only could they speak about every detail of the project, they offered some interesting insights. For instance they decided on the gradating blue tones on the locker doors because it was simply “cool”.

We’re looking forward to a special exhibition at the Museum of Art & Design this fall with will feature the ‘Tools at Schools’ project. Also head over to the website to check out a series of videos which chronicle the development process.

Planning, Inspiration and Design boards produced by the students.

Desk showing modular tray configured for art studio.

Math class application uses tray well for a book rest.

Details of various tray uses.

Clever storage hooks are incorporated into the desk leg and seat back.

Lockers integrate a name tag which can be pushed open to reveal a mail slot.

Locker interior makes efficient use of space and includes a magnetic dry-erase board.

School at Columbia University student explaining the locker and desk.

Bernhardt Design
The School At Columbia University


Dubai And The Future Of Humanitarian Design

Design & Architecture
Technology october 21, 2016

Concept Camera Designed To Only Take Unique Photos

Camera Restricta is tool that prompts photographers to only capture one-of-a-kind images

Design & Architecture october 21, 2016

Fragrance Will Release The Smell Of Data If Your Private Information Is Being Leaked

The device is designed to create a physical cue for the potential dangers lurking online


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Retail october 21, 2016

LYNK & CO Is A New Auto Brand That Promises Mobile Connectivity On Wheels

Online access and mobility sharing are driving the company to disrupt the auto industry

Related Expert

Vivien Bohme

Fashion Entrepreneur

Travel october 21, 2016

Become A Citizen Of The First Nation In Space

Asgardia is a new concept for a floating society above Earth

Entertainment october 21, 2016

Speaker Displays Song Lyrics As Music Is Played

The device is able to generate the graphics on a translucent screen and retrieve the words from a connected database

AI october 21, 2016

Travel Assistant Scans Your Emails To Make Planning Easier

This AI add-on will sync with your inbox and sends reminders to make sure you don't miss anything important


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 20, 2016

Wearable Tech Expert: Designing Technology To Empower Connection To Ourselves

Billie Whitehouse, Founder of Wearable Experiments, shares her new vision for the quantified self

PSFK Labs october 21, 2016

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Millennials october 21, 2016

FOMO Survival Kit Helps Millennials Cope With Social Anxieties

The satirical product is meant to be a playful diversion for people who feel like they are missing out

Food october 21, 2016

New York Restaurant Uses Tomato Sushi As Its Newest Meat Alternative

fresh&co is using sous vide Roma tomatoes to create a vegan option that has the texture and taste of tuna

Advertising october 21, 2016

Red Bull Converts Sao Paulo Payphones Into Data-Driven Bus Schedules

The booths allow city residents to check local transit times through a simple toll-free phone call

Work october 21, 2016

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

Retail october 21, 2016

Why Experiential Events Could Replace Trade Shows

Marketers are seeking creative and impactful new ways to connect with influencers

Children october 21, 2016

Modular Kit Teaches Kids How To Make Their Own Robots

MODI features magnetic modules and a platform for programming to encourage experimentation

Infants october 21, 2016

Work Table Doubles As A Baby Seat

Designer Kunsik Choi created the furniture to facilitate emotional communication between between parents and their children

Technology october 21, 2016

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

No search results found.