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Collaborating to Create Better Learning Environments ~ At Natural Pod, we have the fortune of working with a wide array of stakeholders who aspire to create better learning environments. Recently, we worked with Dave Ferguson, Principal at ZMM Architects in West Virginia, to outfit Kindergarten classrooms at the Explorer Academy in Huntington, West Virginia.

Ferguson’s primary focus, in his over 30 years with ZMM, has been design and construction for schools from Pre-K through higher education. He connected with Natural Pod through one of our customers, the MUEE Stem Academy, who suggested our furniture and philosophy would be a good fit for Explorer’s Expeditionary Learning approach. As an architect and designer, Ferguson agrees that Natural Pod furniture fully supports and complements their curriculum delivery. After seeing the children and educators in their new learning environment, he fully appreciates how the furniture can serve as a tool that becomes an integral part of the learning process.

Ferguson explained that collaborating with Natural Pod was one of his first experiences working directly with a furniture manufacturer to outfit and design a space. (Usually he works with local dealers who might represent various manufacturers.) He admitted that when he was first introduced to Natural Pod, he wondered about the logistics of working with a company that was not local but was very pleasantly surprised how easy it was to work with us through the use of technology and frequent phone calls. He was in the programming phase for the new school and feels that this was an ideal time to begin collaboration. Natural Pod and his firm’s interior designer collaborated on the design and we were able “to fully support the planning of the new Kindergarten classrooms.” Ferguson added that the success of this partnership was largely due to the fact that we “knew the possibilities of our products” and how they could support the school’s curricular goals.

After working with Natural Pod and seeing how our pieces inspire collaborative and flexible learning spaces, Ferguson agrees that our furniture is well suited for upper elementary and middle school environments, in addition to preschool and early elementary spaces. In fact, Ferguson notes that many of his new clients and colleagues have been compelled to visit Explorer Academy to see firsthand the innovative solutions that Natural Pod furniture offers.