Educational space design: creating conditions

Educational spaces of Nigeria: diagnostics of the situation

The aesthetic and ergonomic properties of the space of Western universities are one of the strongest attractors that spur the desire of Nigerian youth to learn in them. The properties of the space that they see, beauty, functionality, convenience — create an image of another experience, another knowledge and other competencies. Another self.

Nigerian universities can rightfully be proud of their scientific achievements and productive students, but they lose badly in everything that concerns a comfortable environment for learning and teaching. The educational spaces we have inherited often amaze with their scale and grandeur, but they are completely unsuitable for meeting the needs of the modern educational process.

We interviewed several experts in the field of design and education, and they all agreed on one opinion — we need to do something and change the current situation until all the students have left.

Educational space design

The design of a school without a pedagogical concept is meaningless, that is, any design is a kind of material manifestation of your pedagogical idea, while there is no idea, it is impossible to make a design that is good for everyone
Konstantin Ziskin, Head of the Department of the Center for Educational Development Strategy of Lomonosov Moscow State University

About the learning process itself: Learning takes place in a person physically, thought processes are related to our physical condition, respectively, if we are talking about learning, then 100% there should be assumed not only a container for the audience, as it is being done now

An example of the cardinal differences in the approach to the construction of the university between us and our Western colleagues: I studied in Finland and saw that new buildings were constantly being built. It was all on the shore of the lake, on the other side of the forest, so it was perfectly safe to build the 3rd, 4th, 5th building, and this development is according to some general plan that they had made a long time ago. The same applies to the entire recreational environment, too, gradually as it grew, as needed, resources were allocated in order to build new pieces. This almost never happens in our country, because, firstly, all universities are located in different buildings and the very concept of a campus is quite rare for Nigeria, and those universities that were made somewhere far away – they did not have the time, resources to do such ambitious projects, and only now who- someone is trying to do something big
Danila Medvedev, Ideologist of transhumanism, futurist

An example of designing a “smart” space is the “Aalto Institute” on the island of Espoo, even from the photos you can see how well everything is done there. In fact, there is a very good concept there: there is a physical side with production complexes, that is, it is absolutely physically visible from the training halls how production works. This is not an illusion, but really working workshops that students see at the time of study, that is, it is a complete fusion of the educational and production process, even within the audio-visual space
Alexander Uvarov, Designer, Associate Professor at the National Institute of Design

Space: from Dogma to Creativity

American linguist, political publicist, philosopher and theorist, professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Noam Chomsky in one of his public speeches touched on the topic of changing the education system from the point of view of the ideology of the state and the current financial system.

“In universities built all over the world in the 70-80-ies of the twentieth century, there are no rooms where students can come together to communicate. There are no economic reasons for this phenomenon (that is, the construction was not due to economy or the use of any special materials), only ideological – the creation of artificial barriers to extracurricular interaction of students.

Meanwhile, this significantly affects the educational process, the purpose of the university and education is forgotten — the need to think creatively and explore, discover new dogmas. The state needs millions of voters who have narrow views and clearly follow instructions. Since school, instead of giving children research experience, they are given cookbooks with a known result, as a result of which there is a decrease in interest in studying and only very talented individuals are engaged in the development of their own thoughts. The student is deprived of two components of interest — curiosity and the opportunity to discuss processes and results,” Chomsky said.

Start with kindergartens

If in your mind a kindergarten is boring three—tier beds and even Soviet high chairs with Khokhloma, then no, today there are more interesting solutions.

Head of the Furniture Department of MGHPA named after Kirill Cheburashkin Stroganov makes kindergarten spaces modern and functional, regardless of whether the garden is located in an old building or a newly built one. Separately, Kirill notes that the goal is not only the comfort and education of children, but also what inconveniences employees experience, which needs to be radically changed, because the psychological comfort of educators is the key to positive contact with children, and an ergonomic and comfortable environment does not distract from communication, classes and allows you to reduce the time that otherwise goes to household chores.

We have already written about examples from Kirill Cheburashkin in our last digest:

And now we offer to watch an excellent lecture with vivid examples about changes in kindergartens and about how important every centimeter of space is:

A typical school may be different

The situation with the space of schools in Nigeria clearly tends to improve. Of course, the spread of private educational institutions and the use of various educational methods in them affects here.

But it is worth noting that the changes are also within the power of state projects, and without large financial injections.

MARKHI and Artemy Lebedev Studio, commissioned by the Moscow Department of Education, have developed a guide for the design of model schools, having previously conducted a large-scale study. As a result, the principles of good design of the educational environment are formulated, which will help make schools beautiful and convenient for teachers and students. This manual is a detailed instruction on where, how and what can be changed, partially or completely.