When we refer to our community we’re talking about you: all the educators, administrators, parents, architects and designers who pull together to make the experience of learning better for children. Because that’s what is at the heart of this work; creating and holding space in order for them to thrive.
The best way the Natural Pod team knows to accelerate this aim is through collaboration and conversation: as often, and with as wide a community as possible. It’s why we chose to be part of IDS (The Interior Design Show) Vancouver this year. It was a great opportunity to connect with people across a variety of industries that don’t necessarily focus on learning spaces in the way they could. We’re delighted to report, that the connections made really have impacted the work of creating better learning environments. By elevating the conversations around intentional design and materials, this community, by working together, is furthering the transformation of learning spaces to a more student-centric model.
Our involvement at IDS included showcasing our Better Together collection installation – a mixed-material collection of foundational elements that offers a welcoming sense of home within learning spaces. This beautifully designed collection, created from durable, sustainable, reclaimed materials, was developed between five BC-based companies: Natural Pod, ChopValue, UnBuilders + Heritage Lumber, LifeSpace Gardens and Halfmoon. By coming together they highlight the collaborative, climate-positive potential in the industry.
To support the physical installation, our Founder and CEO, Bridgitte Alomes, shared her thought leadership in her keynote: ‘We are Better Together: People, partnerships, place – At the intersection of design and nature we can create meaningful environments for the next generation.’ Her session invited reflections on how design impacts emotions and imagination, and ultimately the outcomes of the users of the space. Through her keynote and the Q+A interview with May Globus afterward, Bridgitte offered insights on how each of us can:
- Challenge the fast-furniture industry, be conscious consumers
- Be advocates for children when it comes to designing spaces where they can thrive
- Re-think single-function furniture; student-centric spaces need multi-functional furniture
- Elevate the need for indoor/outdoor learning, it can’t just be a nice to have anymore
- Prioritize the use of sustainable materials – essential for fostering environmental stewardship
By outlining the collaborative work that’s needed between all stakeholders, including students, educators, parents, architects, planners and community, Bridgitte illustrated how people, partnerships and place, can come together to ensure learning environments have a meaningful impact on wellness, learning outcomes and environmental education for the long-term.
This is a conversation each and every one of us can be involved in whenever we can, to keep students’ wellness and potential at the center of the work of creating better learning environments. If you would like to connect with any of the Natural Pod team to explore how you can improve your learning space, please reach out to us.