Furniture design vs. Learning experience, by RICA Studio.
‘English for Fun’ Madrid’s school is a great example of when furniture design can shape experience and affect the subject in processes of playing and learning. RICA Studio has achieved it once again.
‘English for Fun’ is a place for learning. With a revolutionary approach employing the five senses geared towards children of any age or physical condition. This pedagogical technique is derived form the basic understanding that every child is special and unique.
Local architects RICA Studio designed the two-storey Madrid flagship of the English for Fun linguistic school, aiming to booster the schoolchildren’s creativity, imaginations and stimulate all five senses.
The proposal was to overcome cliches of spaces designed for kids, being non figurative and open to multiple interpretations. The goal, as expressed by the architects, was to create a space in the spirit of the adventurous playgrounds where the play-objects [not toys], develop their full potential in the interaction with the kids.
The strategy employed by Rica Studio proposes a thick structure instead of thin partitions to configure the class room space. An inhabitable wall that would store all furniture and objects when not in use, making the reconfiguration of the class very easy.
The broken geometry of the structure creates a series of nooks, to be inhabited by the kids. Different typologies of objects were reduced to a minimum, establishing a generic module that can be used in multiple ways. It is not simply a chair, table, tower, play kitchen, car, box for stones, or helmet, but all the above.
The function of this thick inhabitable wall was twofold, first creating smaller spaces to be owned by the kids, and second to provide storage space facing both, the classroom and the corridor. So the space that usually only serves as circulation, is now activated and can be used as common ground for kids, teacher and parents. It also transforms the corridor into a showcase of the learning process, blurring the limits between the classrooms, and expanding the perception of the space, avoiding the conventional compartmentalisation of the classrooms.
When a building makes you want to interact with it, it means that there is a big project in the background. This is another great example.