For children to succeed at school, it is important that they are educated in a comfortable work environment. This means that the classroom chairs are of top quality (perhaps even ergonomically-friendly). The classroom tables should be at the correct level for their height, and an emphasis put on the provision of quality school furniture.
According to Prakash Nair, President of Fielding/Nair International LLC and an award-winning architect, and his partner architect Randall Fielding, the company’s Principal, there are eight truths that should be upheld vis-à-vis student learning conditions. Nair and Fielding believe:
a) Comfort matters – the more comfortable the student, the better they will work. Research on environmental design has shown the “positive effect comfort can have on learning, human productivity and creativity.” This leads to
b) There should be absolutely no discomfort for the student at school.
c) There is a link between breathing and learning and comfortable classroom chairs. The better the breathing, the better the learning.
d) Louder areas are NOT conducive to good learning.
e) School furniture should be designed small with children in mind. School furniture and their classrooms should be inviting for children, rather than spacious and overwhelming.
f) Even a café can be conducive to learning. Cafés are generally small and intimate and therefore can be a place of student creativity.
g) Make the outdoor spaces in the school comfortable. Outdoor spaces can expand the learning environment that started inside the classrooms. Finally,
h) Emotions play a role in comfort in classrooms. As Nair concluded, “It is difficult to overemphasize the need to create environments where students can feel both secure and significant.”
If Nair and Fielding’s findings are followed by school design teams, students will end up with quality school furniture, comfortable computer tables and classroom tables and ergonomically-approved classroom chairs. This will provide them with potentially the most comfortable work environments and the most successful learning experiences.