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Interior Design’s Best of Year is the design industry’s premiere design awards program, honoring the most significant work of the year as well as recognizing designers, architects and manufacturers from around the globe.

This year, you can help the Natural Pod team win Best of Year! We have two fantastic entries in the Educational Furniture category, our Reach Table and the Christine Play Loft. Voting opened September 27, and we’d love your vote to amplify the great work we’re doing to create safe, healthy and sustainable education environments with our beautiful, durable learning furniture!

Voting is open until October 11, 2021 – You can vote once each day, but only in one category, so please choose which you appreciate the most; either the Reach Table or the Christine Play Loft, and vote every day until Monday October 11th!

 

The Natural Pod Reach Tables are our core component for creating beautiful, flexible and collaborative learning environments. Natural Pod’s goal is always to create better learning environments at the intersection of sustainability, pedagogy and great design. The benefits of natural materials that bring the outside in, together with clean, elegant design, support teaching and learning. Natural Pod furniture and particularly the Reach Table provides that simple, sustainable solution for early years and K-12 learning environments.

The Reach Table is at the center of Natural Pods better learning environments as it provides the anchor for creating flexible, beautiful, calm spaces, while also complementing other furniture pieces in the space. The table design is based on flowing curves that not only are beautiful and echo the lines found in nature, but also allow them to interlock with other adjoining Reach Tables, creating longer or wider work areas as needed; offering flexibility for both educators and students. Although incredibly durable and strong, the table is also easily moved, thereby supporting multiple teaching methodologies and spontaneous teaching moments alongside providing spaces for collaborative learning or individual study as needed. In addition to offering differing widths and sizes of worktop area, the Reach Table also offers differing heights through its adjustable legs; as learners grow in age and size so can the Reach Table. The adjustable feature can also be utilized to create a stage; all Natural Pod tables have strengthened undersides to make that possible. The exceptional strength and durability of the table comes from our layered wood construction with alternating grains, resulting in a product that is stronger than solid hardwood. This material construction is held together by a unique wood joinery system, to ensure multiple layers of performance for the long-term.

This functionality is one of our core product design components alongside beauty and sustainability. The practical, as well as the social and emotional needs of learners and educators were deeply considered while designing the Reach Table. By having access to such beautiful, thoughtfully designed sustainable learning furniture that’s been created with the students in mind, lets them know they are valued and they matter. The result being they gain greater confidence in their own abilities and a deeper connection to their own learning. When that furniture is made from high quality natural materials like wood, it additionally offers that connection to nature and all the well documented benefits nature provides. Our sustainable products also support environmental education by engaging the learners in the story of why the furniture got designed? Where the materials were sourced? Who manufactured them? And what else could they be? This is a beautiful contribution to engage young learners in environmental stewardship and conversations around sustainability.

The Reach Tables are ethically manufactured in British Columbia, Canada, and made with FSC® Chain of Custody Group certified materials; these meet LEED credit standards, and are PVC-free. Our commitment to great design and investing in sustainable practices is fundamental to our support of children, community, and planet.

The Natural Pod™ Christine Play Loft was designed with the social and emotional needs of early learners in mind. The intention was to create a space that was all children’s own, where their imaginations could transform the loft into any environment they wished. This unique play loft, named after the educator whose own imagination inspired it, is beautiful, sustainable and extremely durable.

The Christine Play Loft provides endless invitations for open-ended play; where young learners can make their own decisions for how they would like to interact with their environment, experiencing no wrong way to play, and expressing themselves freely. This allows children to be more creative and imaginative, helping to foster their curiosity while expanding their problem solving and social skills.

The Christine Play Loft is one of twelve Natural Pod™ Play Lofts, each of different sizes and features, designed to meet the developmental needs of young learners, as well as the available space. Ethically manufactured in British Columbia, Canada, and made with FSC® Chain of Custody Group certified materials. Our commitment to great design and investing in sustainable practices is fundamental to our support of children, community, and the planet. The exceptional strength and durability of the Christine and all Natural Pod™ Play Lofts comes from the layered wood construction with alternating grains, resulting in a product that is stronger than solid hardwood. This material construction is held together by a unique wood joinery system, to ensure multiple layers of performance for the long-term.

For young students having access to a beautiful, sustainable play loft and environment that has been thoughtfully created just for them, lets them know they are valued and that they matter. The clean simple design offers a calm backdrop for the vibrancy that children bring and lends itself to complementing other furniture pieces in the space.

The flowing curves of the uprights on all our lofts were designed to echo the lines found in nature, which along with using natural materials like high quality wood, offers that additional connection to the outdoors and all the well documented benefits nature provides. Our sustainable play lofts also support environmental education by engaging young learners in the story of where did the materials come from? Who made them? And what else they could be? This is a beautiful contribution to engaging young learners in conversations around sustainability and environmental stewardship.

The Christine Play Loft is unique in its quality of design, quality of materials, and quality of open-ended play invitations. Its clean lined design offers an inviting and nurturing environment where children can thrive; where there is no fear of making mistakes as there is no right or wrong way to utilize the space. This freedom allows young learners to take risks, explore new ideas, observe cause and effect, and engage their creativity.