The value of using colours and shapes in school building design

  08 June, 2021      Industry Insights
The value of using colours and shapes in school building design

The use of colour has long been a key focus within interior design, and in recent years we have seen more emphasis on its use in public buildings, such as schools and other centres of learning.

With the psychology of colour increasingly the focus of research for psychologists, and many leading paint manufacturers investing in creating palettes based on this research, it’s no surprise that the planned use of different colours is making its way into the classroom.

And it’s not just the use of colour which can benefit students: shapes, particularly in early years education, are also beneficial.

In this article, Lee Hartley, Chief Operating Officer at Novus Property Solutions discusses why incorporating colours and shapes into school building design – whether for a new build or property refurbishment – not only contributes to creating the ideal environment for learning, but can also be used as a method for implementing Covid-secure measures following the return to the classroom.


Education and the psychology of colour

Recent years have seen more recognition of the impact that colours can have on mood and behaviour, which has resulted in its increased application in school building design.

In collaboration with its education sector clients, Novus has designed and carried out work on a number of new school buildings, extensions and refurbishments that consider the subconscious influence that colour has on learners.

“bolder colours like red and yellow encourage excitement and creativity”

For example, certain shades of blue are soothing and are therefore best used in calmer environments such as the school library, while bolder colours like red and yellow encourage excitement and creativity.

By drawing on these connotations, those working on school designs can utilise colour in a way that inspires young people and assists teachers.


The shape of learning

Not only should the use of colour be carefully considered in the design of education settings, but incorporating irregular features through a variety of shapes and lines can in itself act as an inspiring teaching tool.

“Particularly valuable in early years education, unusual room layouts can fire up the imaginations of young people.”

Particularly valuable in early years education, unusual room layouts can fire up the imaginations of young people.

As a result of this, learning environment designs are increasingly being pushed in directions which don’t conform to traditional norms.

Novus has undertaken several school refurbishment projects which increasingly incorporate the use of shapes within the education sector.

Our approach involves taking a proactive and inclusive consultation process to ensure end-users have an input into the future legacy of the building.

By working in partnership with the full supply chain – from architects, interior designers and landscapers to those supplying furniture, carpets and signage – contractors are able to implement atmosphere and wayfinding in creative ways.


Colour and shape in the ‘new normal’

As disruptive as the pandemic has been on young people with schools temporarily closing, it provided contractors with an opportunity to carry out building refurbishments while students were at home, which will prevent further disruption now that schools have reopened.

However, it is important to still consider the impacts that Covid-19 restrictions may have on education settings going forward.

Using colour and shape can be valuable in new ways when incorporated into school design post-pandemic, and should be an important consideration when it comes to new buildings and refurbishments.

“bold colours are ideal for highlighting certain areas of a room such as handwashing stations, while the clever use of shapes can be used to discourage crowding”

The planned use of colour and shape in school design provides an ideal way of implementing rules relating to continued measures, particularly for younger students.

For example, bold colours are ideal for highlighting certain areas of a room such as handwashing stations, while the clever use of shapes can be used to discourage crowding.

By allowing designers to innovate with the use of colour and shape in the education sector, local authorities are not only encouraging an environment that is conducive to learning, but they are also adapting to post-pandemic measures in a way that is well-suited to young people.

 

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