“We shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us.”, quoted Winston Churchill. The architecture of any kind we build shapes us as an individual as well as society. Architecture is of its space and time, yet it reflects the future of us and society. Architecture is related to individuals as well as society. Architecture is an integral and indispensable part of human life.
Children are one of the most integral parts of the society and future. Schools are apart from their homes, where children spend most of their time learning, growing, and exploring their surroundings. There are several research conducted on that how school architecture influences studies, academic performance, and the growth of children. One such research says that school planning influences about 25 percent of child development in one academic year positively or negatively, a study conducted by the school of design.
Since childhood, they tend to spend most of their time in school alongside their teachers and peers, focusing on studies, however; holistic development of children is also important. There are various aspects that how child development and school are connected. The physical environment classrooms, and workspaces all matter along with the safety and adaptability that the school environment offers its students. Physicality impacts child development, consciously as well as unconsciously.
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The focus, concentration, and overall learning experience of children can be impacted by the physical environment of a school. The degree to which students can participate in the learning process can be impacted by elements including lighting, acoustics, temperature control, and air quality. A favorable learning environment can be created in well-designed classrooms with enough natural light, adequate ventilation, and low noise levels, which can improve cognitive and academic achievements.
The physical environment of classrooms, libraries, and workspaces with various volumes, and colors impact the brains of children. The more use of bright and engaging in the learning environment. The use of bright colors makes children productive and reflects in their behaviors and performances.
Additionally, using the vertical and horizontal space engages children in activity and engagement. Alongside, sometimes using various patterns for seating arrangement could make a difference in the performance of the studies. Various types of research have been conducted which says that classroom and classroom seating arrangements influence academic performance as well as social behavior.
Safety and Security
Safety and security measures should be given top priority in school buildings. A safe and well-kept physical environment can improve students’ feelings of well-being and provide a favourable learning environment. Controlled access points, suitable emergency exits, and well-planned traffic flow patterns all contribute to students’ safety, lowering tension and allowing them to concentrate on their academic growth.
The physical entity of the building also impacts the children and their behavior. Children should feel bound by the sense of safety that schools as an entity offers them. The idea of safety and security that schools indulge in in the mind of children allows them to freely explore themselves and the opportunities around them, allowing them to learn, fail and grow at the same time, with well-wishers beside them.
Social Interaction and Collaboration
The design of schools can encourage student collaboration and social engagement. Common rooms, libraries, and outdoor areas built for group activities are good places to promote teamwork, social contact, and peer-to-peer connections. These places’ style and design ought to promote interaction, teamwork, and the building of wholesome relationships, which will aid in kids’ social and emotional growth.
Creating spaces that engage conservation and learning not only allows children to study but also their social skills will improve as a result of social interactions. The space can host various activities timely, allowing children to participate and expand their interaction vertically, not limited to their batches.
Flexibility and Adaptability
Flexible and adaptive learning environments allow schools to accommodate various teaching philosophies and pupil demands. Active learning and student involvement are promoted by flexible classrooms that may be quickly changed for a variety of activities, such as group work, solo study, or hands-on projects. Flexible school design promotes intellectual development and creativity by allowing for tailored learning experiences and accommodating various learning styles.
Connection with Nature
Children’s growth may benefit from using natural features in school architecture. It has been demonstrated that applying biophilic design principles, such as including gardens, greenery, natural light, and vistas of the outdoors, can help people feel less stressed, concentrate better, and live healthier lives. Students’ exposure to nature in the classroom can also foster environmental awareness and foster a sense of stewardship.
“Good Architecture lets nature in,” says Mario Pie. The studies says that access to open spaces and green spaces, influences children positively and the mind growth. The green spaces boost energy and allows them to breath fresh which ultimately elevates their body functions, helping them to study better and have their body energetic. The green spaces improve cognitive function reducing stress and anxiety in students, promoting creativity and imagination. Children who spend time outside are more likely to engage in physical activity, develop a connection to nature, and develop environmental responsibility.
Inclusive Design for School Architecture
School architecture should consider the needs of all students, including those with disabilities or special requirements. Facilities that are accessible and inclusive promote equal participation and foster a sense of belonging for all students. Design elements such as ramps, elevators, wide corridors, and appropriately equipped classrooms ensure that students with disabilities can navigate the school environment independently, encouraging their overall development and integration within the educational community.
An inclusive approach in design, not only will allow easy access but children will develop a tenderness for specially-abled students and their helping nature will develop. However, the goal of inclusive design is to eliminate the obstacles that demand extra effort and cause division. It makes it possible for everyone to engage equitably, self-assuredly, and autonomously in daily activities. An inclusive design philosophy gives fresh perspectives on how we engage with the built environment. Some of the key aspects that could be included while approaching inclusive design such as equitable use, flexibility in use, simple and intuitive use, perceptible information, tolerance for error, low physical effort, and size and space for approach and use.
In conclusion, school architecture has a profound impact on child development. Thoughtfully designed educational spaces can create a positive and supportive environment that enhances learning, promotes social interaction, and fosters students’ overall well-being and growth.