Tag Archives: design

IDEO and Steelcase innovate on classroom chair for the future

I am a huge fan of Ideo. I like their thinking, their philosophy, and their drive for execution.

The case that is often cited when talking of IDEO is the work they did with Shimano in developing the coasting bike. Now they have done it again. Steelcase Design Studio worked with IDEO to design a classroom chair that would provide quick and seamless transitions from one teaching mode to the next. The swivel seat allows students to easily rotate and view information being shared throughout the classroom. The open seat design enables them to change postures and positions, offering comfort in multiple settings. Its mobile base offers the ability to move back and forth from lecture mode to teambased learning, without interruption.

Steelcase research shows a variety of teaching modes occur in today’s classroom, such as group discussions, team collaboration, and lecture — all of which contribute to more effective learning and instruction. Educators are turning to multiple teaching modes to support multiple learning styles. However, while teaching methods have evolved, the classrooms themselves are not designed to support multiple activities or the transitions required to employ them efficiently.

Many traditional classrooms actually inhibit current teaching methods by creating physical and social barriers between students and teachers. They have been designed for one-way learning with tight rows of desks and chairs that inhibit movement and interaction, keeping instructors confined to the front of the room, where there are few opportunities to connect with students. Students are confined to chairs that are secured to the floor or are difficult to move, forcing them to struggle to adjust to see the instructor, fellow students or content displays.

“Students today expect a more active learning environment that supports co-learning and group discussion, similar to their everyday interactions; but the classroom has remained largely unchanged for decades,” said Sean Corcorran, director of product development and marketing for Steelcase Education Solutions. “

The node classroom chair provides key features like its swivel seat to maintain open sightlines, casters for mobility and quick mode change, backpack storage and a large adjustable worksurface that supports laptops, textbooks and notebooks.”

My only question is: if this is a chair for the classroom of the future, in the future, do we need classrooms at all?

Classroom for the future


Filed under Innovation

Design, Innovation and Crowdsourcing on a National Scale

Great example of the intersection of design, innovation and crowdsourcing on a national scale! Australia’s highest circulating advertising and marketing magazine B&T and crowdsourcing firm DesignBay are launching a competition to find a logo and tagline that could represent Brand Australia. It’s national branding on steroids. See brief here.

The competition is in response to the Australian Government’s recent announcement that it is looking for an agency to develop a new brand identity to embody Australia in the 21st century. The government through the Australian Trade Commission has set aside a budget of $20 million over four years to promote Brand Australia internationally.

The B&T/DesignBay competition, which is open to anyone anywhere in the world, will run over two weeks, with the winners and short-listed entrants announced in B&T magazine in November. The winning entry will receive a $2000 prize, with cash prizes also given to second and third-placed entrants.
A public vote together with the expert opinions of industry professionals and those of B&T’s editorial team and DesignBay staff will decide the winning entry.

Visit http://www.designbay.com/brand-australia-contest and complete the free registration process where a brief can be found. Anyone wishing to view the entries as they come in can do so at the same URL. The competition is open from 4pm on October 13, 2009, closing at 5pm on October 29, 2009.

B&T editor Tim Addington said: “We wanted to cast the net as wide as possible to get a fresh perspective on what a brand identity for Australia might look like in 2009, and which captures the essence of the nation as a great place for living, education, business, manufacturing and investment.”

DesignBay founder Alec Lynch said: “Australia’s brand is important. We want to find the best logo and tagline ideas that Australia’s creative talent and the world can come up with and we’re going to offer them, for free, to the government. We want to give people the opportunity to contribute to Australia’s brand and we want Australia’s brand to be the best it can be.”

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Filed under crowdsourcing, Innovation