'Don't Just Build Schools: Reinvent Education'-Prakash Nair, Education Design Architects

There is a need to move away from factory-like school buildings and create conducive learning environments.
By: Education Design Architects India Pvt. Ltd. (EDA)
CHANAKYAPURI, India - May 5, 2014 - PRLog -- New Delhi, India -- Education Design Architects India Pvt. Ltd (EDA)  organized a talk by their co-founder & director Prakash Nair on the subject “Global Shifts in Education” at Hotel Leela Palace on May 2nd 2014.

Prakash Nair is a futurist, a visionary planner, an award winning architect and President, Fielding Nair International USA, one of the world’s leading change agents in education design. He is the Managing Editor of DesignShare.com which attracts over two million visitors each year. Mr Nair is also the co-founder & Director of EDA (Education Design Architects India Pvt Ltd) with branches in 5 cities in India.

Educationists and representatives from leading schools and education institutions like Lotus Valley International, Shiv Nadar School, Ryan International, Rai Foundation, Vega School, Gurgaon, Achiever's Academy, Nagpur, Vantage Hall Girls Residential School, Dehradun, Bhoomi International, Shalom International, Gurgaon, Shri Ram New Horizons attended the talk focused on new and innovative School designs that not only enhance the learning experience but are also cost effective as compared to conventional school designs.

Addressing the Education fraternity present, Mr. Nair's talk  highlighted the following:

How education is changing around the world drastically and what India should ideally do to embrace the change. The skills and competence level Indian students may acquire or possess by the time they enter into the real world after completing education would be a tad less in comparison to their global peers. The world is becoming smaller by the day and it is important Indian students also experience world class education empowering them to face the challenges of what lies ahead.

Unfortunately, over 90% of the educational infrastructure worldwide predominantly provide for only one form of learning, which is the lecture format or teacher directed approach. However, there are plenty of other ways in which one can learn and education facilities today do not support any of the others such as team collaboration, peer-to-peer learning, independent study, project based learning etc. Hence, it’s important that buildings and physical infrastructure are also built to serve the purpose and create conducive learning environments.

Don't Just Build Schools: Reinvent Education

The presentation made plain to educators the hidden messages that our school facilities and classrooms convey and how they support or restrict certain kinds of learning. It demonstrated how, deep into the 21st century, we are still stuck with a quintessential 20th century educational model, dictated largely by factory-like school buildings that a majority of students around the world attend.

The classroom is a relic, left over from the Industrial Revolution. Classroom-based education lags far behind when measured against its ability to deliver the creative and agile workforce that the 21st century demands.

New research on education points to the fact that how we learn is directly related to the physical design of the learning space. For example, integrating a corridor into the classroom or making it a recreational/performance area has shown that it can vastly improve the dynamics of learning. Every square foot of space on campus has the potential to be an educational space. School designs offered by EDA are not only less expensive to develop but also offers better return on investment as more than 80% area can be utilized as learning space compared to 60-70% in conventional school design.

The overall theme is the “alignment” of the design of places in which we teach and learn with our stated educational priorities with strategies to leverage even modest investments of school building expenditures to achieve transformative changes in the educational model. Monies already being spent today on school facilities can be redirected in ways that directly and positively impact the educational bottom line.  In other words, capital spending should be seen not just as a way to build and rebuild existing schools, but rather as a catalyst to reinvent education.

Prakash Nair and his architectural firms have worked in 43countries on 6 continents and interestingly have had the opportunity to work with the governments of Puerto Rico, Singapore, Qatar, Oman, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand amongst several others on school projects. In many cases they extended more than just architectural & designing services, but education services also which actually had profound impact on the performance of new facilities and resulted in both teachers and students being productive than ever before.

The talk was followed by interactive and Q&A sessions

About Prakash Nair:

Prakash Nair is the recipient of several international awards including the prestigious CEFPI MacConnell Award, the top honor worldwide for education design. He has written extensively in leading international journals about school design and educational technology and their connection to established educational research. He is also the author of two guidebooks on school planning including the landmark publication, The Language of School Design which he co-authored with Randall Fielding. Prior to co-founding Fielding Nair International, Prakash worked for 10 years as Director of Operations for a multi-billion dollar school construction program for New York City.

Education Design Architects India Pvt. Ltd.(EDA) is a new generation architectural, designing and consulting firm born out of collaboration between Fielding Nair International, USA and DSP Design Associates, India. EDA is a specialized organization focusing on innovative campuses & education facilities to incorporate 21st century learning and teaching techniques.  Principals of EDA have won numerous domestic and internationally acclaimed awards over the past several years. The joint firms have provided consulting services to local, regional and national governments, education districts and other educational clients in 43 countries on 6 continents.

Visit: www.fieldingnair.com  and www.educationdesign.in

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Tags:School Design, Prakash Nair, Education India, School Architecture, Education Design Architects
Industry:Architecture, Education
Location:Chanakyapuri - Delhi - India
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