Back to School: Get Ready with Quality, Reliable Furniture

Summer might be just starting to heat up, but it’s never too early to start planning for next school year. Classrooms should be comfortable, dynamic and durable enough that the furniture makes it to the end of the year and beyond. Make sure to invest in furniture that focuses on quality, reliable design, and in the event of an unfortunate disaster, a stellar warranty and quick shipping turnaround times. 

Quick-Ship Ready

One of our core values as a company is extreme customer care, and we believe quick turnaround times are a huge part of this. We have a robust selection of classroom products that are ‘quick-ship’ available and ready to go. These range from Q5 standard laminate desks to Q10 for premium desk laminates. We have a number of products available at this ship time, including our Hierarchy Cantilever Desk and Cloud 9 desks & tables. Be sure to check out our website to see a full list of these quick-ship items, or reach out to speak to one of our customer service specialists. 

MooreCo products shown

Durability is Key

As a sustainable company, we also believe educational products should be well-built and long lasting. If you have to come back next school year, so does your teacher’s desk! Many of our products, including desks, tables, and carts, have a 12 year (for MooreCo products) to 15 year (for Vanerum products) limited warranty. We understand how tough kids can be on a classroom and we design to accommodate this. We have full faith that our products will last 12+ years, but in the event that they don’t, we want to make things right with you.

On Time Delivery

We understand that a school’s worst nightmare is not receiving their orders on time. Students are weeks from coming back to class and you have enough to worry about without adding missing furniture to the list. We’ve heard your frustrations with manufacturers overpromising on lead times in the past and we strive to counter this with our own delivery process. We take careful consideration when forecasting our manufacturing and shipping times and strive to have an open and honest dialogue with you as the customer about when items will be delivered. You won’t find our lead times slipping to 26 weeks like some of our competitors. 

We take pride in delivering reliable, sturdy educational products to our customers. We create products that have the ability to multi-task and suit any type of learning environment. Give MooreCo and Vanerum products a try and you’ll be sure to have everything you need to start next year off right!

Privacy Without Boundaries – The Cocoon

With its plush upholstery and serpentine shape, the Cocoon is a great piece of furniture to include in classrooms or common spaces. This is yet another one of our products that fits under our ‘privacy without boundaries’ umbrella. Let’s take a deeper look into the ideologies that led us to develop the Cocoon. 

Eye Contact

Studies have shown that maintaining eye contact with students during lessons increases attention and work performance (1). We incorporated these studies into our designs when working on concepts for the Cocoon. In order to accommodate the need to stay within the eye-line of students from all angles, so we created a curved shape with lower upholstered seating at the front with a raised tabletop with room for stool seating at the back. This allows teachers to created a tiered effect in their classroom, allowing more students to see at one time. 

 

Proximate Comfort

One-on-one meetings between students and teachers are stressful enough, and conducting these reviews over a teacher’s desk makes a student feel like they are being talked down to. We designed the Cocoon to be a versatile solution to this issue in the classroom – you can use it as a relaxed, comfortable meeting place to talk with students person to person. Teacher’s and students can sit next to one another either on the upholstered bench, or in chairs with the tabletop surface in front of them. There’s even enough room on the Cocoon to seat several students to discuss group projects. 

Organic Shapes

Studies have shown that “shapes with gentle curves as opposed to sharp points” are more appealing and relaxing to the eye (2). We took this bit of research to heart with the design of the Cocoon. Most lounge seating units are rectangular or square in shape, but we wanted to encourage relaxation and a bit of fun with an organic, elliptical contour to our seating unit. 

Common Spaces

The Cocoon isn’t just for classrooms – it’s the ideal lounge seating option for commercial spaces as well. The curved shape gives you the ability to combine Cocoon units together, creating longer serpentine shaped seating spaces, ideal for common areas or atriums. 

 

  1. http://www.gu.edu.pk/New/GUJR/PDF/June-2014/11-Eye%20contact%202(1).pdf
  2. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/do-our-brains-find-certain-shapes-more-attractive-than-others-180947692/

Unconventional Solutions for Common Spaces

These days, the common spaces between rooms are becoming more and more important in the planning of workplaces, schools, and businesses. The rise of the “resimercial” design philosophy has launched a movement to include more dynamic, comfortable, and relatable furniture in these shared spaces. As noted by Interiors + Sources, “it’s now become an industry standard to provide informal areas for relaxation and collaboration, which align closer to a hospitality aesthetic and residential comfort”. Designers and users alike are gravitating towards spaces and furniture that exude a more relaxed, home-like vibe. So how can you implement this philosophy into your common spaces? Our open plan furniture adheres to this ideal, but with a bit of a twist. Let’s take a look at some specific instances where conventional common spaces became exceptional by using the right furniture. 

The Children’s Hospital

For children, hospitals can be an intimidating and scary place to be. We strive to make this experience as stress-free as possible by providing interesting and comfortable spots for children and their parents to relax in the hospital lobby. There are several specific zones subdividing the space that can be used differently depending on the mood of the child or parent. The versatile and colorful Cocoon placed in a serpentine pattern in the center of the lobby creates a central hub for children and parents to play and work on. The Cube seating surrounding the Cocoon is covered in durable yet plush fabrics that echo textiles you would find in a children’s room at home. In the far corner, a TV nook with movement encouraging Jokum stools are in place to burn any excess energy that children might have. 

The High School

For a pass-through area in a high school, we focus on furniture that is flexible, durable and easily moved so students can reconfigure the space as needed. Students know what works best for them when they need to collaborate with each other, so why not give them the ability to set up their own configurations? This type of freedom is a nod to the flexibility they have in their own home, where they can alter their rooms and study spaces to make them more suitable for their needs. Like the Cubes in the previous room, the Cloud 9 stools and Variable Height Ottomans are upholstered in resistant yet cozy fabrics, making for a more comfortable collective experience. The organic shapes of the Cloud 9 and ottoman enable the pieces to be nested against one another, creating a fluid and progressive environment.

The Takeaway

Making the space useful, comfortable, and beautiful are the three most important rules when designing a successful common space. Keeping these ideas in mind will set you on the right track to finding a configuration that works for you. Throw in some unexpected geometry and textures for added interest, and you’ve found the ideal solution for creating the perfect open concept space.

 

  • https://www.interiorsandsources.com/article-details/articleid/21397/title/the-resimercial-takeover

Privacy Without Boundaries – The Privacy Pod

In our last blog post, we spoke about our philosophy of “privacy without boundaries” and how it can be used to create a more inspiring and dynamic classroom. Today, we would like to touch on the experiences and concepts that led us to develop this idea and our products that support it, specifically our Privacy Pod.

Teacher Outreach

We constantly have our ear to the ground and are listening to feedback and ideas from the people that use our products the most – in this case, teachers. When several teachers approached us with concerns about classrooms being too “stiff”, with few fluid solutions to student seating, we knew we had to help. The limited visibility that teachers have when using standard educational study carrels was another point that hit home for us. After these conversations, we took to the drawing board to develop some new ideas to solve these problems. This is how the Privacy Pod was born.

Privacy Pod Case Study

In order to develop a product that would provide an innovative alternative to the expected educational furniture solution, we focused on comfort and privacy, while making sure usability was still a key factor.  We wanted to emulate the privacy you get from one of the uncomfortable study carrels, while adding warmth and providing an opening for teachers to keep an eye on students. The Privacy Pod’s built-in table provides a personal writing surface for students, while the semi-circle wrap around pod wall provides the perfect amount of privacy. The opening on the other side ensures that teachers can keep an eye on their students, while keeping the prowling eyes of other students at bay.

In order to combat the “stiffness” of most classrooms, we wanted our Privacy Pod to be organic and comfortable. We utilized a round, semi-circle outer wall shape rather than an angular, geometric shape in order to encourage relaxation (but not too much!). To add comfort into the mix, we provided plush upholstery for the seat, but ALSO for the wrap around pod walls. This way students feel surrounded in warmth, creating a more natural and satisfying environment for learning to take place.

The Takeaway

Through the exploration we went through with the Privacy Pod, we have shown that classroom furniture doesn’t have to be angular, uncomfortable, or stiff. Boundaries don’t have to be clearly drawn, but can be more fluid. We’ve applied this concept to other products of ours as well: our Cubes and Cocoon seating options for example. We believe that students and teachers should be in an environment that inspires them, in order to make the learning experience more fruitful for everyone.

The Great Divide: Privacy Without Boundaries

Classroom design has undoubtedly changed in the last few decades. The days of static desks and rigid student chairs placed in repetitive rows are a thing of the past. Teachers and students want to engage in environments that stimulate learning and interaction, with spaces that are comfortable and inspiring. A large part of this new trend is a philosophy that we like to call “privacy without boundaries”: spaces that are accessible yet private at the same time. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at what inspired our design team to develop products around this philosophy and provide some specific examples of how this can be applied to your classroom to create a more engaging and dynamic learning environment.

Dividing Your Classroom Space While Keeping It Integrated

The Divvy Doc Partition (a MooreCo product)

Since today’s classrooms are open and fluid, we need to be creative about the ways we divide our spaces. The word ‘divider’ already establishes a boundary; an isolated space. When developing the Divvy DOC Partition, our team of designers considered three fundamental classroom needs: movement, environmental integration, and the flow of light. By incorporating acrylic panels onto the top of the Divvy DOC, light continues to flow through the room unrestricted. The individual panels can be matched to laminates and fabrics in the classroom, allowing it to blend into the environment. The flat leg design makes it ideal for stacking against the wall when it’s ready to be stored away.

The use of a mobile divider like a Divvy Doc or Glider Mobile Whiteboard allows you to create multiple designated classroom spaces without worrying about permanence. Use these to assign multiple groups of students onto different projects. When the projects are complete, simply roll the dividers against the wall to bring the entire class back together. Since these dividers are mobile, classroom configurations can be reworked at the drop of a hat.

Student to Teacher: One-On-One Interactions

The Privacy Pod (A Vanerum North America product)

Student and teacher meetings, assessments, and behavioral management no longer have to take place across an intimidating teacher’s desk. The integration of soft seating into classrooms is a relaxed and welcoming solution for teachers and students alike. With this idea in mind, our team of designers were challenged to develop a product which could provide both the comfort of soft seating and the privacy of a divider. In response to our ‘privacy without boundaries’ philosophy, the Privacy Pod was created. The upholstered pod creates a sense of seclusion, while the entrance allows for freedom of movement. The built in table provides a personal space for the student to read and write while the teacher sits nearby, making it ideal for one-on-one interactions.

Student to Teacher: Open Interactions

The Cocoon (a Vanerum North America product)

Teachers expect to connect with their students in an open and dynamic environment. When both the student and teacher are comfortable, conversations flow more freely and the students aren’t as timid. Circular settings, in comparison to linear ones, stimulate interaction and promote eye contact, which results in more engagement between participants. Products such as the Cocoon and Vivid encourage these interactions by fostering less formal, more relaxed environments.

When designing your classrooms, think about spaces where the “privacy without boundaries” principle can be implemented. Keep in mind that studies have shown that when students are comfortable, they learn better. Creating these spaces has never been easier with the products that are now on the market. If you have any questions about bringing this philosophy to life in your classroom, please reach out to us. We would love to help.

 

Our Blog Mission

Welcome to the blog of Vanerum North America, a manufacturer of quality products and design solutions for educational and commercial environments. Be sure to follow our blog for industry related discussions, insights, trends, and case studies. Check back soon for our first in-depth post, which will explain how to utilize our “privacy without boundaries” philosophy to make your classrooms more flexible and engaging.