26 Nov 2020 • İstanbul, Turkey
Private Sezin School
A multi-disciplinary team conducted over 100 hours of fieldwork and analyzed trends in education. The design research included interviews with teachers and students, cultural inquiries, and collaborative workshops. Innovating its way beyond the conventional educational space design practices, ATÖLYE aimed to transform the primary and kindergarten areas of the school into flexible pedagogical areas that encourage learning and collaboration.
A mental model that guided the knowledge-centered experience towards the student-centered was used. To tap into the creativity of all the stakeholders involved, we organized visualization and modeling studies with the teachers, administration, kindergarten and primary school students. The drawings emerging from these works, reflecting the imagination of the students, helped to understand the needs and expectations. It inspired innovative architectural and furniture scale designs.
With an eye towards utmost functionality as well as sustainability, ATÖLYE developed modular classroom furniture made from ecologically sustainable and locally sourced materials that allows students to shape their bodies, with carefully designed angles and contrasts with the static seating arrangement in traditional classrooms.
To emphasize a student-centered approach, the teachers’ desks are designed as the same size as the students' desk. This way, a new dynamic was created that equalized the relationship within the classroom. Realizing in our research that current schools prioritized the needs of an extrovert student, we team developed an inclusive loft-within-the-classroom approach with cushion seating that allows for multiple functions such as reading, peer-to-peer learning, resting, or an intimate conversation.
The spatial graphics used throughout the primary school area contained a playful and genderless character that emphasizes inclusivity and challenges the idea of schools as an "overly serious" institution for both students and teachers.