2023 Designed Classrooms

EDspaces learning environments serve as vehicles for experimentation with education sessions taking place in classrooms designed by top architects, designers, and manufacturers. This gives you a first-hand experience in modern approaches to teaching and learning through innovation in planning, design, and products. 2024 Classroom designers are hard at work on their groundbreaking spaces, but take a look the immersive learning experiences from last year by exploring the unique features of each award-winning classroom below.


Classroom E216AB: Building on Media, an EDmarketplace Learning Commons

EDmarket A&D Council Design Team: JCJ Architecture, Naylor Wentworth Lund & Ratio Design

Building on Media will demonstrate that the modern library space can embrace the past and build on traditional teaching methods with current technology to become a flexible and effective learning sanctuary for students of all ages and interests.

Library, media center, learning commons — whatever the name, this educational space acts as both a repository for traditional media and a sanctuary for learning. In the past, the library was made up of a comprehensive collection of available written sources. Today, it features a curated collection of important and relevant materials to engage the learner and build a knowledge base from a variety of formats, including traditional media, digital resources, and hands-on experiences.

The Building on Media learning environment is an example of how traditional resources can be integrated with new technologies to transform the modern library into a place for students of all ages to connect with others, explore new ideas, be inspired, and most importantly — learn.

EDmarketplace Partners:
Certwood, Correll, Flash Furniture, Group Lacasse, Hirsh, Jonti-Craft, Lesro, Marco Group, Mumble by Design, Nook Pod, Paragon Furniture, Screenflex Portable Solutions

Flooring Partner: Interface

STEM Resource Partners: Lakeshore Learning

Technology Partner: ClearTouch

Classroom E217: FULL STEAM AHEAD: Activating Minds through Student Led Discovery by DLR Group

DLR Group’s classroom design creates a framework for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) learning activities in a flexible environment that adapts with students as they engage in an iterative, problem-solving learning process inspired by an inquiry-based learning model. The reimagined classroom demonstrates how a space intended to cultivate interest in STEAM also fosters Sensory, Transformation, Energy, Agency, and Movement. The careful curation of diverse furnishings provides flexibility and a variety of choice-in-learning spots demonstrating that more than just tables and stools belong in a STEAM room.

The space visually illustrates the activation of different areas of the brain through the bold use of color, a shift in flooring, and furniture options to delineate different activities and stages we experience as we think. Color ranges from cool to warm shades based on the level of stimulation associated with each given activity. Mirroring the neuron firings of brain activity seen in a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan, each color zone seamlessly blends with another to reinforce the natural flow of the learning process our brains experience as we actively engage in problem solving. Blue indicates a focus zone for concentrated work and problem introduction; Green represents the technology zone for idea launching; Yellow denotes a brainstorm zone for collaboration; and Red signifies a build zone for creation and presentation of solutions. As the learning process ramps up and the mind is activated, we see that the colors in the different learning zones support this progressive ignition.

 A variety of seating options and heights ensure the space is appropriate for all ages. Interactive elements and instructional manipulatives allow students to fidget, move, and communicate their ideas in a multitude of ways. Students will intuitively flow between each zone to utilize the varied resources throughout as they continue problem-solving. Mobile screens, writable surfaces, moveable furniture, varied postured seating, interactive displays, a central trellis, and a brain break zone are all elements that contribute to the inclusive and flexible nature of the classroom, allowing all learners to find an individualized path best suited to their unique learning modality and processes.


An adaptable and inclusive learning environment is necessary to engage every student throughout their educational journey, from early learner to graduate and every year in between. This classroom provides the space for students to meaningfully collaborate, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate any given problem. An exciting and inviting design creates the foundational framework that empowers learners to discover and embrace their unique strengths and joy for learning while developing critical skills needed for life-long success outside the classroom!

Agati, Allsteel, Bonitz, CEF, Clarus, i3 Technologies, Gratnells, Interior Elements, KI, Lakeshore Learning, LiteZilla, Office Environments, Patcraft, Smith Systems, Surface Works  

Classroom E218: Nurturing Nimble Minds by Harriman

As school designers we create spaces that not only inspire young minds but address their fundamental needs. With the use of thoughtfully created spaces and nimble furniture arrangements we can create environments that are visually and physically supportive of the Social Emotional Learning aspects of today’s learning environments.

Social Emotional Learning in the school environment provides the opportunity for students to develop a head start in lifelong learning. While they are focusing on studying, they are also developing social and emotional skills that will carry through into their adulthood. Thus, greatly improving their personal and professional relationship experiences.

The physical design of a classroom can support SEL with the use of mobile furniture that can be easily arranged for group work where students develop social awareness and work on relationship skills. The furniture can be rearranged for individual work where students can then focus inwardly on self-management and self-awareness. In both scenarios students are learning responsible decision-making skills.

The Watering Hole
is a place for socializing, a place where people naturally move through. A touch down space such as the entrance of a classroom or school Main Lobby. Peers share information, exchange ideas and feel a sense of community awareness.

The Campfire is an area for active learning. A form of social awareness where there is listening and learning.

The Nest fosters small group interaction and collaboration. Where one can practice group decision making as well as relationship skills.

The Cave serves for individual reflection, a place for self-awareness and self-management.

By utilizing fundamental concepts of human interaction with the use of agile furniture arrangements, we are nurturing the overall wellbeing of the student within the school environment and beyond.

Vendor Partners:
Fomcore, Hertz Furniture, WB Manufacturing

Classroom E219A: SENSE Classroom by HKS

The HKS SENSE Classroom advocates for life-long learning across diverse generations by prioritizing health, wellness, and human comfort within an immersive learning environment.

The classroom is organized into quadrants to accommodate ‘K-Gray’ or kindergarten through the workforce and is designed to meet the needs of specific educational phases:

  • K-5      Primary/Elementary School
  • 6-12    Middle/High School
  • 12-20 College/University, Higher Education
  • 21+     Workplace, Professional Development, Career Training

Each zone features muzo furniture selections which promotes safety, wellbeing and incorporates sustainability and ergonomic features to support behaviors that accommodate human comfort. The classroom integrates technology across the lifecycle and reinforces cooperative groups to consider options for virtual engagement across the learning landscape.

As a living research lab, the classroom increases awareness of evidence-based design principles and emphasizes qualitative human-center design aspects within an adaptable learning space. In the K or elementary zone, creative maker studios enable design-thinking and making pedagogies. In the post-graduate and technical training zone, a nursing clinical simulation area demonstrates experiential learning through a technology enhanced robotic manikin. The classroom encourages engagement through sightlines while accommodating collaboration with adjustable furniture, integrated technology, and the inclusion of environmental monitoring sensors. Visible live readings of the spaces’ environmental conditions will make the qualitative data visible to all occupants to engage with the performance.  Sensors measure environmental conditions to emphasis the importance of indoor environment health with metrics such as temperature, humidity, acoustic levels, light levels, indoor air quality (IAQ)- carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds or VOCs and particulate matter.

The Sense Classroom will be instrumental in featuring health and wellness design principles to explore learning environment effectiveness from a human-centered design research perspective. The incorporation of occupant comfort surveys, the integration of technology for collaboration tools with environmental monitoring sensors to monitor performance of the space is an opportunity to create a living research experiment where occupants have access to research that supports social and emotional learning.

Boxlight, Interface, Lightspeed, Muzo, nora by Interface, OnPoint Learning Environments

Classroom E219D: Emerging Spaces for Today's Student by FGM Architects

The following spaces have emerged at the forefront in today’s education market: Makerspaces, Augmented Reality, E-sports, Nature Driven (Indoor/Outdoor), and Commons (gathering spaces). These areas focus on the student by allowing them to thrive based on how they uniquely learn best.

Our classroom aims to shine a light on and give a glimpse of these spaces in action. The design is flexible, allowing for station-based activities or whole group learning. The presentation area is immediately adjacent to an indoor/outdoor setup, providing an intimate ‘fireside chat’ experience. Beyond that is a commons area with a collaborative learn lounge flanked by Makerspace stations. The perimeter features AR/VR and E-sports stations inviting users to take part in the space. Overall, the design allows for the individual user to choose how to experience the space, inclusively allowing for success regardless of learning style.


  • Flexibility
  • Inclusivity
  • Universal Design
  • Immersive Learning
  • Biophilic Design

Makerspaces spark creativity by inviting students to take a more hands on approach through exploring and sharing. Virtual environments like augmented reality stations can provide opportunities for students requiring extra assistance regarding attention span and focus through immersive learning, eliminating classroom distractions. Spaces which utilize biophilic design have been known to increase cognitive capacity and lower stress levels for both students and teachers. E-sports have allowed schools to be more inclusive, increasing student engagement while building social-emotional life skills. Learning is experiential and providing an appropriate design which fosters discussion, collaboration, creativity, and focus is critical.

Mohawk Group, Smith Systems

Classroom E220A: Trauma Informed Design Classroom by Cuningham

By designing through the lens of Trauma Informed Design, we seek to avoid negative stimuli in learning environments and create spaces that are restorative and uplifting. The design of this classroom is guided by the six principles of Trauma Informed Design outlined by Design Resources for Homelessness:

  1. Empowerment and Personal Control
  2. Security, Privacy, and Personal Space
  3. Sense of Community
  4. Beauty and Meaning
  5. Dignity and Self Esteem
  6. Stress Management

Arranging the space into a variety of intentional zones offers presenters and learners choice and control in the space. Soothing textures, plants, and adjustable furnishings create a comfortable and welcoming space.

Trauma Informed Design revolves around design of the built environment that is rooted in equity and empathy toward all occupants of the space. It is a concept that is rapidly gaining traction in the design industry and beyond, and it is important that designers can understand and thoughtfully apply Trauma Informed Design principles in conjunction with other project criteria. We must recognize the impact of the spaces we design on occupant well-being and emotions and respond by designing supportive and healing environments to resist the impacts of trauma that all people have experienced in some way.

Educational environments have a distinct challenge to address as young people today are facing considerable mental health challenges. According to the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, in the past decade students have increasingly reported being impaired by feelings of sadness or hopelessness — there has also been an increase in attempted suicides and students who have skipped school because they felt unsafe.
We must recognize that schools are not neutral environments. They are sometimes sites where traumatic events can take place. Schools can reinforce and remind students of class and socio-economic divisions. They are places where students may encounter bullying and discrimination from peers or teachers based on race, gender, or other identity factors. There are also educational factors such as test-taking and receiving grades that are inherently stressful.

While buildings alone cannot solve these societal scale challenges, Trauma Informed Design offers a lens through which school design can create positive outcomes and reduce harm for their occupants and communities.

Clear Touch, Intereum, J+J Flooring, MillerKnoll, VS America

Classroom E220E: Expanding the Potential for Learning Classroom by The HON Company

Students develop, learn, and connect in a wide variety of ways. Understanding and embracing those differences is the first step in building inclusive learning spaces that foster growth, creativity, and engagement. Whether they’re focused within a traditional lecture style classroom or engaged in a hands-on collaborative environment—or a hybrid of both—an effective educational setting should remain flexible, mobile, and designed to reflect the needs of everyone who uses the space.

Flexible learning spaces offer the power of choice. This environment, equipped with the same offering of products—can be easily reconfigured in support of teacher and student goals, depending on the needs of the day and the lesson. Encouraging users to collaborate on design and classroom concept allows individuals to determine where to sit, stand, study, or socialize. Whether students prefer to sit at a private desk, engage in teamwork within a learning pod, or relax on soft seating, each furniture solution is designed to support the comfort and safety of the user. A flexible classroom environment is amplified by incorporating a warm, welcoming design and imaginative color palette. A classroom can promote a sense of psychological and physical security, making it less intimidating to focus on the activity at hand.

At HON, we believe thoughtful learning spaces begin with a deliberate focus on cohesive design and multifunctional purpose. Environments that offer creative layouts, colorful, comfortable furniture, and flexible mobility have been proven to reduce anxiety and stress. By including products that can be easily reconfigured to support the needs of everyone, both students and teachers can customize their own learning experience. Whether you’re conducting a lecture or letting imaginations take flight with a collaborative project, you can trust in HON’s assortment of A+ classroom solutions.

Milliken and Company, Neat, Top Notch Productions Inc., Zoom