Phillips is proud to bring specialists from every market to our clients to provide the best service possible. Samantha Keefer is a Workplace Interiors consultant with Phillips Office Solutions, and her expertise is in the Education market. Sam has an interesting perspective on the evolution of classrooms (primary, secondary, and post-secondary) and education itself. Thank you for sharing your expertise, Sam!
Q: What current trends are you noticing in the Education market in regards to furniture appearance & functionality?
A: Mobility - the option to rearrange classrooms for differnt lecture and group styles. Many classrooms are shared by different teachers or professors. They each have their own teaching style. Research has also shown that the retention rate is higher in students that are involved and "active" in the classroom.
Q: What type of furniture has been the most popular in Higher Education institutions (colleges, universities, etc.)?
A: Mediascape! This allows students, faculty and staff to share what is on their laptop, smartphone, or iPad, and it displays on a monitor. It is used for group discussions, group projects and HD video-conferencing.
Q: What furniture solution has been the most popular in Secondary Education institutions (junior & senior high schools)?
A: Storage and charging carts or lockers for laptops, tablets and iPads. Many schools are allowing BYOD (bring your own device) or are supplying laptops or iPads to students. During lunch or gym when they are not using their device, they need to have secure storage and charging capabilities.
Q: Is there a new (or upcoming) product that you are excited to introduce to the Education market? What is it and how will it benefit classroom environments?
A: There are many new products being introduced on a regular basis. We have our Industry Tradeshow, Neocon, coming up soon here in October. It will be exciting to see many of the new products. Technology integrated into furniture is a hot topic i.e. lounge pieces with charging capabilities built in.
Q: For a school with a limited budget, what would you suggest for them to implement first?
A: Tables and seating, both with casters to allow movement or flexibility in the classroom. You can rearrange the classroom in seconds, allowing for minimal disruption and more time for the lesson.