designing collaborative spaces for schoolsAs the world continues its journey within the 21st century, many changes are evident. Among them is the way students are learning and teachers are educating. In the past, schools presented a very utilitarian structure. A teacher taught in a traditional classroom; pupils sat at desks and listened. However, that concept is evolving. In fact, the NEA is at the forefront of this evolution clarifying the vision of the 4 Cs. Ultimately, the actual words themselves encourage flexible learning spaces – critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. Essentially, these words spread a combined vision among architects, designers and facility owners of higher education facilities. Consequently, they are designing collaborative spaces for schools so that students and staff can reach their goals.

Designing Collaborative Spaces for Schools

First, let’s examine these collaboration spaces to better understand how they work for students and staff. Basically, it’s an open space that goes beyond the traditional squared classroom full of desk-lined rows. Within this open space are options to enjoy individual learning, small group collaboration or assembly style instruction.

In the past, these flexible learning spaces were occasionally evident in higher education facilities such as universities. Rarely, were they seen in K-12 schools. Yet, the tides are changing. After much research on learning styles and environment, many educators turn to these open spaces in order to open minds. These open spaces provide more opportunity for hands-on tasks and interactive education. Moreover, the overall design encourages inclusion for all students and staff. Often, students face each other rather than just the teacher. Similarly, the extra room and flexible space is even more accessible for special needs students who use wheelchairs and equipment.

Furthermore, collaboration is becoming a key element in the workforce. Therefore, it’s imperative to teach it. Creating an environment where students learn not just together, but interactively with and from each other is important. Largely, it’s a reflection of the world they will soon enter.

Solutions for Collaboration Spaces

To help you begin designing collaborative spaces for schools and higher learning facilities, AD Systems has solutions. Foremost, two of their sliding door systems enhance the use of space and movable walls: OfficeSlide™ and InsetSlide™. Overall, the use of sliding doors means that you can quickly and easily open or close areas. As any educator knows, the faster you can transform an area, the better.

For a brief overview, both doors operate similarly to barn doors. In other words, they slide against a wall rather than opening like a traditional swinging door. Not only does this free up valuable floor space, it reduces wear and tear on hardware.

Speaking of valuable floor space, InsetSlide even frees up wall space as it tucks neatly into the wall! Ultimately, this leaves room for student’s projects and educational material.

A few other features of this door system include:

  • Space-saving design with top hung rollers for smooth maintenance-free operation
  • Easy-to-clean aluminum frame system wraps and protects wall construction
  • Acoustical perimeter seals standard; optional drop seal
  • Soft-close dampening system
  • Integral sidelite that can feature almost any glazing or infill panel up to 1” thick

Contrary to its moniker, OfficeSlide is not simply for offices. AD Systems works regularly with schools supplying doors for collaborative spaces. From meeting areas for students to office and planning space for staff, it’s an excellent design fit. Its features include:

  • Fully customizable sizes and configurations
  • Flush wood, aluminum or wood stile and rail doors
  • Tested acoustical performance up to NIC 39
  • Single or bi-parting pairs of doors
  • Standard soft closers

Important to note, both door systems have smoke-rated options per UL 1784. Plus, there are options for ADA-compliant locking and latching hardware. Additionally, there are multiple pulls and decorative choices available.

Contact AD Systems

AD Systems prides itself on delivering sliding door solutions that don’t compromise on design or performance. So, if you’d like suggestions for your collaborative space designs, contact them at 425-374-1360. Or, request a free quote online.