How to create flexible learning spaces that focus on the needs of students and teachers

Purchasing the right furnishings can make a difference in creating positive and efficient learning environments. Manufacturers such as National and KI, offer a complete range of products covering the full needs of teaching institutions, from the reception area to interactive learning stations and computer labs. All components are designed to meet your requirements in terms of ergonomics, flexibility and the integration of new technologies.

When it comes to creating a fluid, tech-savvy, and collaborative learning space consider the following solutions:

THINK ADAPTABILITY 

The wide range of options provides flexibility and functionality making it easier to adapt to different teaching approaches.

Tables & Seating Solutions

Fold Tables by National

Move tables together to collaborate or apart for focus time, or move them out-of-the-way entirely.

Solution highlight: durable casters and flip/nest capabilities allow users to reconfigure with ease.

Essay Seating by National

Essay by NationalFrom classrooms to informal settings, Essay is prepared and ready to perform in any situation. Easily hang a bag or backpack on the chevron-shaped back and feel comfortable that it won’t end up on the floor.

Solution highlights: The optional double pivoting tablet arm offers a non-handed dual work zone allowing users to swivel the worksurface into the perfect location. Add an optional upholstered seat cushion to any Essay model for extra comfort.

Ruckus by KI

Rickus by KIRuckus innovative seating promotes student movement and lets users choose how they relate to their learning spaces. The Ruckus collection fosters student engagement, enables a wide range of teaching styles and adapts to a variety of users and uses.

Solution Highlights: With Ruckus chairs, users can quickly and easily change from focused to collaborative work on the fly without the disruption of rearranging furniture. Seating is non-directional to improve sight lines, and the chair back is perch-able to facilitate tiered classrooms without the need for stools.

Ruckus_KI

TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION

Interactive technologies are at the heart of the modern school. A collaborative classroom setting that enables easy integration of today’s and tomorrow’s technologies is essential in every campus.

The Right Tools

The Power Tower by National

Power To wer by NationalThis Power Tower is power hub that can be used in a variety of ways. Simply position it among a cluster of chairs or tables in a lounge, student center, or meeting area to provide 360 ̊ of power to a group of users.

Solution highlight: The power tower provides access to 9 power receptacles and 6 USB charging ports.

 

Power Tower by Nationa;

Connection Zone by KI

Connection ZoneConnection Zone Screens move where you move. Spark creativity and facilitate collaboration with writable surfaces that create and define classroom zones. Screens can be used individually or ganged together for division of space, or to provide a larger canvas.

Solution highlights: A variety of insert materials are offered, from acrylic to steel, to tackable fabrics. Easel hooks support writing pads, while accessory trays give quick access to Collaborative tools and dry erase items.

 

Stylish Solutions for Healing Environments

Spruce

 

In the ever-changing world of healthcare, we recognize the need for cost-effective, efficient facilities that serve the patient needs, satisfy government regulations, and offer productive spaces for today’s healthcare professionals.
Manufacturers of healthcare furnishings are focused on creating products that are durable, sustainable, and affordable and yet full of style and comfort. Today we are highlighting three different spaces

 

WELCOME AREAS | Feel at home

Delgado by National

This seating collection offers components that are stunning so that together they embody spectacular design. Delgado’s plush comfort and unconventional beauty accentuate its design, while the bent plywood back offers angular appeal.

Solution highlight: Its clean lines and crisp details are enveloped by rich wood or tailored upholstery to create a versatile seating collection.

 

QUIET SPACES| Function and Sophistication

Zola Privacy

Zola Privacy provides a unique level of comfort for higher-back modular seating: a supportive contour that’s been specifically designed to make extended sitting a pleasurable and healthy experience.

Solution highlight: Made to withstand the rigors of heavy use, including bariatric applications, with features such as removable and replaceable upholstery covers, so covers can be cleaned, repaired or replaced as required; modular construction allows damaged components to be easily replaced, and allows for complete cleaning and disinfecting of each unit. 

PATIENT CARE| Distinctive and Diverse

Meadow by Kimball Health

Meadow is a holistic family of recliners designed for human needs within the healing environment.

Solution highlight: Fit for all patient body types and sizes, Meadow offers comfort, smooth motion, and features that support spatial efficiency in a variety of applications

 

Everyone Needs a Place to Plug In

Flexible work environments need to provide more flexible products. Since we are relying more and more on our mobile electronic devices, so does the need for keeping mobiles, laptops and tablet devices charged. Consequently, a good portion of the furniture manufacturers have answered the call and are incorporating charging points into upholstered seating as well as desks and tables.

Let’s take a look at some of those options:

Highlights:

≡ The PowerCube by Knoll is a lounge table that does double-duty as a digital charging hub and an analog communications tool,  with whiteboard writable surfaces on all sides.

Jolt by Kimball Office has a USB charger and a wireless power-charging surface that seamlessly integrates technology vital to connection, collaboration, and productivity.

≡ The Pairings Lounge Collection by Kimball Office merges simple sofa/lounge collections with the more informal space where people work, team up, and gather, creating adaptable, lounge-based work settings that host teams and technology in comfort.

≡ The Power Up Arm available in the Fringe Lounge Seating Collection by National Office offers extreme flexibility. It features two power outlets and
two USB ports.

Charge it!

 

The Power of Ergonomics to Increase Productivity in the Workplace

ergonomic

 

Ergonomics is all about efficiency, less downtime, and better performance, which leads to increased productivity. Isn’t that what all businesses want? Technology has created a variety of tools for the workplace, computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones changing how we work.  Each tool presents new opportunities, as well as challenges for workers. Addressing ergonomic issues affects staff emotionally as well as physically, because it expresses the company’s core values to employees that their health and wellbeing matter.

Most ergonomic injuries happen slowly over time, so they may not be initially detected. It may seem like things are going fine in your business, but gradually poor ergonomics will become more apparent in workers from eye strain, to issues like carpal tunnel, and  back and neck strain slowing productivity. Simple things can be done to design a workplace that minimizes fatigue, stress and injuries to workers that keeps business running smoothly. Many companies are creating tools that can be easily implemented into your business.

Photo of Knoll Remix Chair, Courtesy of Knoll
Photo of Knoll Remix Chair, Courtesy of Knoll

Knoll takes an approach called “holistic ergonomics” in the development of products that address ergonomic concerns.  As the company states in a research paper produced by Knoll, called “Holistic Ergonomics™ – A New Approach”, “Thus, holistic ergonomics is all about creating products and workspaces that support how people think and move.”

Knoll’s popular Remix Chair™ is a prime example of this approach. The chair is designed for performance, as well as comfort.  “Inspired by the idea of bringing pre-existing elements together to make something entirely new, Remix pairs upholstered comfort with innovative Flex Net Matrix™ technology for active, all day support. Remix delivers unexpected performance in a familiar form. By combining traditional and innovative elements, Remix infuses movement into a traditionally static upholstered chair,” according to Knoll.

remic_01Knoll’s popular Remix Chair™ is a prime example of this approach. The chair is designed for performance, as well as comfort.  “Inspired by the idea of bringing pre-existing elements together to make something entirely new, Remix pairs upholstered comfort with innovative Flex Net Matrix™ technology for active, all day support. Remix delivers unexpected performance in a familiar form. By combining traditional and innovative elements, Remix infuses movement into a traditionally static upholstered chair,” according to Knoll.

Joya_02
Photo of Kimball Joya Chair™courtesy of Kimball

Kimball Office is also committed to creating ergonomic workplace solutions.  According to Kimball, the Kimball Joya™ Chair is designed with advanced ergonomics in mind that perfectly fits all body types and offers back support and fits any workspace.  Advanced ergonomics and material technology give the Joya its smooth-flowing movement. Thoughtfully scaled seat and back components support a wide range of body types comfortably encouraging healthy postures and reducing physical stress. Optional sliding seats modify thigh and back support for people with long legs while an adjustable lumbar option personalizes lower back comfort.

joya7

 

Both sitting all day and standing all day can be tough on the body. The Humanscale workstation standing desk makes it easy to create some balance. The QuickStand height-adjustable workstation is easy to operate.

sitstand_01
Photo by Humanscale

SitStand_03

 

National’s ergonomic keyboard kit includes a keyboard mechanism with a tray that adjusts from -15° to +15°, 360° swivel, and arm tilt that moves up and down. The mouse tray can be moved to support right or left-handed users. The keyboard kit also includes high density polyethylene tray platform, foam gel wrist pad, and thermoplastic mouse tray.

Basic_Keyboard
Photo courtesy of National Office

 

NeoCon 2016 | A Look at The Latest Trends and Products

In case you did not have the opportunity to attend this year’s NeoCon show in Chicago, do not worry….we got you covered.

Let’s take a look:

 DIRTT Environmental Solutions

 

Kimball Office

Knoll

Let’s Meet |Tips for Creating an Efficient Conference Room

 

Eblast 004 2016 Lets Conference Header

Whether you are designing a new meeting space or updating your existing conference room,  consider the following basic tips that we have prepared for you:

  1. Think about your brand and the image you want people to see when they attend a meeting. If you are a trendy, cutting edge company you may want to consider a modern, bold look for the room. But if you are more traditional, choose rich woods and more conventional colors.
  2. If you are starting from scratch, think about how many people you want to sit at the conference table.  Use this number as a guide for how much square footage you want to allocate for your conference room.  If you want to sit 12 people, your minimum room size requirement should be at least 12’ x 10’.
  3. Choose a color palette for productivity. To improve efficiency and focus, you may want to try a restful shade of green. To trigger innovation, try a mellow shade of yellow. And if what you want is the room to feel stable and calm, try a soft shade of blue.
  4. Make sure there is enough room for attendees to move around.
  5. Do not cramp the table. Leave enough space between chairs so people have some elbow room.
  6. Choose comfortable, upholstered chairs with ample seat room and back support.
  7. Presentation tools and technology integration are a must. Aside from the basics such as a telephone, make sure you have data ports, outlets to charge laptops and other electronic devices. Audio visual equipment, flat screen displays and white boards are staples for every conference room. Make sure these are user-friendly.
  8. Add a buffet credenza to use as a place to set up drinks and snacks to complement your meeting. That ensures that attendees do not have to leave the room to get refreshments.
  9. Proper lighting is essential for every conference room.  Indirect candescent and diffused fluorescent will offer the most lighting flexibility.Let’s look at some beautiful ideas:

 

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Knoll

 

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Kimball Office

 

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National

 

 

A Must for Every Campus

gathering Spaces

Gathering Spaces

With the advances in technology, learning can take place just about anywhere on campus. The student union or commons area, also referred to as gathering spaces, can provide a way to enhance the academic experience.Envision a casual, creative atmosphere like a technology-enabled cafe.  A flexible learning environment gives students a sense of community. 

When considering creating a gathering space on campus, examine these ideas:

1. Mix furniture styles for individual work, one-on-one meetings, and large working groups.

2. Furniture with built-in power and communication access is a must.

3. Select durable, adaptable, and sustainable furniture.Let’s take a look at a few space plans ideas by Kimball:

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Some other great ideas for your gathering space:

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National Office
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Knoll
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Knoll
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Knoll
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Knoll