Ulferts Kids spoke to Jeremy Lee, principal industrial designer at Atmos Space Designs about his childhood experiences he draws from when tasked with creating better learning spaces today. These are some perspectives shared by Jeremy:
How I function in learning environments
It is our responsibility to ensure that learning environments are nurtured the same way children are nurtured.
When I was a child growing up in a learning habitat such as a school or classroom, I can recount the content in spaces that mattered to me. It was filled with familiar objects such as wooden construction blocks, Robert Munsch children books, chairs infused tables, rough carpeting, alphabets with unique artwork, large windows and storage boxes full of knick knacks. My recollection of these things were absolutely visceral and tangible. Only till now, I recognized that the relationships I fostered around learning artifacts and people within our environments practically brimmed with tactile and intellectual energy. This energy motivated me to learn and as such, constant experiences of familiar and accessible tools helped me to develop my sense of character, interest and future aspirations.
Things I found such as pictorial literature, music, roleplaying, tacit knowledge, arts and craft were one of the main attractions I really enjoyed in school. As a designer, I was also blessed to been raised in an abundant and down to earth environment. In my grade 1 classroom, I can remember that furnishings were friendly, warm and comfortable, ceilings were filled up with hanging school projects (which created an air of serendipity), and manipulatives were nestled in an assortment of arrangeable storage containers. Classmates who I grew up with thrived under the premise of learning and building each other up by navigating through content and sharing ideas.under safe and open conditions.
As though relationships were formed through contents and activities in a given surrounding, this continuous flow of diversity and familiarity created a healthy sense of balance that ensured structured and open learning can integrate in the same environment. Though, it is quite remarkable how so many activities can fit inside such a small room, but, with good design, healthy learning environments can act as a living testimony to those who took the time to ensure education is centered around children and their distinctive learning habits. Organization and items within a learning environment is like a second parent or teacher, by which children are constantly discovering new ideas and challenges when engaging with day to day activities.