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We had a very special and unique opportunity to collaborate with this group of mixed grades 6 and 7 students at York House School in Vancouver, Canada, to help and support them in creating their dream learning space. The school is expanding and they will be moving into a new classroom. Their educators felt strongly that the students themselves should be considering and making decisions about how they learn best and be given the opportunity to design their own learning environment.

Natural Pod has previously worked with York House on kindergarten and Grades 1/2 learning spaces, so they turned to us again to outfit their new Grade 6/7 space as they love the flexibility, multi-purpose use, sustainability and beauty that our furniture affords them. The process began with the educators showing their students a video about ‘the classroom as the third teacher’ to give them context around how learning environments can greatly influence learning outcomes. Then Roxanne, Natural Pod Senior Account Manager, had the opportunity to show the students other learning environments and talk in greater depth about the role furniture can play, which gave them some great starting points around what is possible.

It was a fascinating process, and the students were really inspired and came up with all kinds of creative and wonderful ideas of their own. Working through these ideas together, there was group discussion about what presently works and doesn’t work, and what they ideally need to engage with all the different subject content, their teachers, and their peers. Many of them started sketching their creative ideas on paper, which was an insightful education for all the adults in the room, as they really thought outside the box.

Next we were able to borrow a classroom that already had a variety of Natural Pod furniture so the grade 6/7’s could really play and experience it, move it around, see how many different ways one piece of furniture could be used, and explore possibilities. This they loved, especially when they heard that the tables not only can be nested together in all kinds of configurations, but are constructed to be strong enough to double as a stage! Of course they had to try this out.

This was our initial collaboration with this great group of creative students, and it will be an ongoing process for the next few months as they spend some more time working through all the ideas that were discussed, and collaborating with each other to find a design that works for everyone. We are thoroughly looking forward to seeing where their imagination takes them.

Sketching Out Ideas

Gathering Inspiration From The Natural Pod Ideabook

Having A Collaborative Discussion Around Nested Natural Pod Tables

Exploring And Recording Further Ideas

Investigating What Else A Bench Could Be And Seeing What’s Possible

Further Recording Of Ideas

Seeing How The Tables Nest Together

Discovering The The Natural Pod Tables Can Also Be A Stage

Testing Out The Strength And Functionality Of This New Stage. It Passed The Test