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Open Space, by us! - Rethinking Homerooms

Set the tone for a creative learning environment by giving students creative control over their homeroom. Empower students to modify the layout of desks, walls, and cubbies, and give them the freedom to decorate their open space.

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15 12

Written by DeletedUser

The physical environment that surrounds us plays a large role in how we think, learn, and work. So why is it that students are placed into standardized classrooms, separated into rows and columns of desks, and stuck with decorations that reflect the teachers' personal history and tastes?

My hypothesis is that kids need some creative control over their learning environment in order to foster creative confidence. I believe we can achieve this by empowering students to modify and decorate their own homerooms and create an  open space that reflects the creative identity of the students.

 In urban planning, open space is a natural and cultural resource that is unmarred by planned development. Let's apply that principle to the classroom. 


In this challenge, we want to create ideas with young people, not for them. Outline how you’re planning to involve young people or other end-users (parents, teachers, etc) in designing, iterating or testing your idea during the Ideas phase.

Step 1: Establish a set of broad guidelines for homeroom design to encourage the creation of a creative learning space with teachers and administrators. Step 2: Provide a set of decorative supplies and easy-to-move furnishings for each homeroom. Add in creative tools to the mix, such as whiteboards, post-its, etc. A wall to write on would be a big plus! Step 3: Set aside homeroom time during the first week of school to allow students to collaborate in designing their homeroom. This allows students to meet one another, work together, and apply their creativity from day 1. Step 4: As students move between classes, they will experience the open space of their peers and gain exposure to creative diversity.

How might you envision your idea spreading across geographies or cultures so that it inspires young people around the world to cultivate their creative confidence?

I do not know if homerooms are used in public school systems outside of the United States; however, I believe that with further research, we can introduce a variation of this idea to fit each educational system's specific culture. The goal is for students to have input over their physical learning environment and thus provide a creative channel.

What skills, input or guidance would you like to receive from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?

Input from teachers and administrators, Input from workspace designers, Prototyping advice, Piloting advice, Any other suggestions or feedback from the OpenIDEO community
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Team (5)

Carole's profile
Carole

Role added on team:

"Creative workplace design can definitely be applied to classroom design (and vice-versa)"

Hao's profile
Hao Dinh

Role added on team:

"Hao's "Grow by Design" team is already hard at work educating students in design thinking. His input would be invaluable."

Jeff's profile
Jeff Nagata

Role added on team:

"Jeff's field notes from the Design H classroom were very interesting and I've like to know more about the actual physical classroom space and setup."

Saskia's profile
Saskia Baard

Role added on team:

"Saskia's post on ClassroomC30 is an example of this concept in action outside of the U.S."

Woroud's profile
Woroud Ahdali

Role added on team:

"Vittra Telefonplan is extremely innovative and I'd like his input on how we could adapt that to the U.S. education system"

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Photo of Carole
Team

This is a brilliant idea Wenjie! Starting in schools to re-design the learning environment, we could even think of expanding it to workplaces, so that adults can keep their creative confidence in creative workplaces that also reflect their identity. If the experiment is successful in schools, maybe young people who have gone through it could share their experience with employees in companies working in their communities. They could even facilitate similar open space design sessions in these companies, a nice way for them to apply the skills they will have developed thanks to the support of professional designers helping them in the classroom!

Spam
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Team

DeletedUser

Thanks Carole! I definitely agree, and I know a lot of startups nowadays are designing their offices to foster creativity and innovation. I'd love to get some advice from professional designers who work with physical space design.

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Photo of Carole
Team

Thanks to adding me to your virtual team Wenjie. I look forward to engaging in further conversation and seeing the concept evolving and improving thanks to other OpenIdeators :)

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Team

DeletedUser

Today's businesses with a more open view has discovered that it is better when employees are happy at work.
When they feel comfortable and happy with the essence of the company they tend to work better, and consequently increasing the work efficiency!
You know the company Zappos?!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CcLIPaUz3E
They have a great culture within the company! Ôÿ║
And yes, they do a really great job!

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