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Aug 12 2015 - 08:00 PM
Inventing the New Modular Classroom

According to researchers at SAGE, an architecture project of the Center for Public Interest Design at Portland State University, portable classrooms account for over 40% of the $5 billion spent annually on modular construction in North America. In recent years over 300,000 USA mods have housed millions of students for several hours each school day. And while the rationale for an outsized sampling of mobile classrooms remains rooted in their impermanence, economic realities necessitate more and more modular constructions becoming de facto long-term school spaces. The impact of mods on students and the environment tend to fly under the radar.

Since 2012, the SAGE (Smart Academic Green Environment) project has been tackling the architecturally abject, cheaply constructed, designed-to-disappear classroom with its own neat version. Faculty and students at PSU work with research and design firms, builders, environmental nonprofits, and government to create healthy and green modular spaces that are built to last. The attitudes of the SAGE team toward heating and ventilation, materials, and natural light sit at the intersection of function, aesthetics, and health. Their award-winning designs are situating environmental stewardship and student well-being alongside cost-effective ways of gently expanding school footprints.

Could the brick and mortar classroom be a thing of the past? Join the discussion on Vialogues.

Excerpts from the discussion:

@00:33 AbdulMalik: When architecture students are asked to develop the structure and setting of a classroom, the experiences they once had in classrooms will contribute immensely to their level of innovation. Having students help design classrooms for other students is certainly a step in the right direction.

@00:54 abagigah92: The biggest advantage the modular or portable classroom has is that it is easy to build. It also gives the schools the option to design the setting of the classrooms based on themes or subjects.

@02:26 Kafou: I think learning setting is important. When the environment is healthy, safe and clean, it helps students perform well. It allows them to breath clean air, feel safe and also engage them toward their learning.

|By: Jacob Albert|772 Reads