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/

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.