The Heart of the Competition

Jurors for the 2005 Educational Interiors Showcase sifted through more than 100 examples of educational interior design in two days when they met in Overland Park, Kan., in May to decide which projects would receive citations in this year's competition. Their sights were set on designs that incorporated “givens” such as safety and maintainability, but also explored innovative methods to accommodate student comfort and health, as well as community interaction. Citations were granted based on the following criteria:

  • Functionality: Furniture and other interior elements are used to support the function of the space.

  • Sustainability: Use of natural light. Connection between interior and exterior spaces.

  • Craftsmanship: Details of the space carry the design to the next level.

  • Cost-effectiveness: Bang for the buck. Clever use of palette given.

  • Community connection: Active and passive community involvement.

As the judging session closed, the jurors reflected upon the projects they had seen and considered the future of educational interior design. One of their hopes is to see more projects address adjustable and appropriate ergonomic integration. With more computer and technology-specific workstations being used in schools, particularly for younger age groups, and also in universities, architects and designers should consider ergonomic health in the design stage.

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