EDUCATIONAL COMMONS CONCEPT
Learning Center of the Future
Concept & Propotype Design
The Learning Center of the Future was a commissioned design concept and prototype proposal, developed in collaboration with a partner branding agency, who provided holistic re-branding scope for a company providing after-school and primary education facilities nationwide. Our focus was to translate those objectives into a rethinking of their physical spaces and a concept proposal that could be used as a prototype for developing future locations.
We proposed defining a centralized open area in each property, dedicated to an educational commons and conceived as a multi-purpose “third space” in each of their centers. Operating in different modes at different times of day, defining this space would enable them to add additional programming for children teachers and parents, to create learning and play areas that could be used as an extension of their classrooms, and also to provide a dynamic hub for their community.
Organizing the experience of a connected path around an articulated central spine set up a clear spatial concept for the commons, delineating zones of varying sizes, levels of openness and proximity. The spine functions as an undulating partition-height bookshelf, shifting in profile to create nested zones for a range of activities, ages, and times of day. Uniquely integrated experience moments are situated along the spine, each of which serves as a tool for educating and a key component of children’s daily routine. These features would be replicable across KinderCare’s various building typologies to ensure a coherent experience from location to location, while the spine could adapt its exact form, detail and even materiality within a range to suit different spatial contexts and local conditions.
In this way, the project was not intended as a specific design solution, but rather as an in depth concept proposal that provides a developed organizational and programmatic strategy, with detailed guidelines for form, palette, atmosphere and performance.