Over the wall-approach

"Group spaces for the future should be adequately sized and flexible enough to accommodate a wider range of users and various ways of learning." - Schools for the future. DfES. (2002)


Schools not only adopt many new functions through the concept of community schools. The school can literally no longer be contained within its walls. Education no longer looks only at itself when problems need to be solved. Ideas from the corporate world, such as the "open working landscape" in the office, slowly seep into educational premises. Schools work together in school communities and even within international programs.

Over the wall-approach

Educational paradigms

Holistic - Flexible - Social - Theory vs. practice

These days, the need for a thorough educational reform can be heard in pedagogical circles around the world. Learning should be more flexible, more focused on experience, creativity should be given more importance, new technology should be incorporated, the school must adapt to the ever present internet...


Firstly, education must become more flexible. People talk about individual learning paths, talent-driven approach, organic learning. In the past, education was linear, almost without any effort for individualisation. Learners with additional needs got left behind and often ended up in the alternative (special) education system. Modern education pradagms state that all pupils should be given all the chances and guidance necessary. For example, we speak of inclusion when children with certain disabilities are taken to "regular" education. Thus, education becomes more organic, all pupils start at their own specific knowledge level and follow a path that is outlined just for them. This road may change over time because the proposed development paths, projects or programs are not being followed rigidly and at all cost.


Our resources are finite
It is clear that schools around the world also reflect more often and more deeply about their responsibility as a part of their community to integrate their structure into their surroundings with as little environmental impact as possible. From the geographical location to the layout of the school campus (eg close to public transportation hubs or bus stations and kiss & ride zones integrated in the campus) and from the orientation of the building and its functional entities to the physical building and its finishing (eg north oriented, semi-underground with a green roof, blinds and triple glazing). This concern for smart environmental solutions also finds its way into the school building and its facilities. Given the choice, more and more school administrations and architects will prefer more sustainable procedures, materials and concepts.


Different users

"Incorporating categories like Hanging Out, Messing Around and Geeking Out, creates an understanding of why young people really want to learn in one context and not in another, while the available resources are the same. Depending on what we want to achieve, we exhibit different behavior. Internet is the real world." - Mark Schoondorp (Winkwaves). (2010)


Users differ both in physical terms, as well as in the way they use various technologies. Physical differences are clear. Children grow, some are more robust, have longer legs, some wear glasses... The furniture should be either adjustable within certain limits, or different sizes of furniture should be put in place.


Visual culture

"The group of nearly 60 million individuals born after 1979, represents the largest generation of young people in the nation's history, and the first to grow up in a world saturated with networks of information, digital devices, and the promise of perpetual connectivity."
- Youth as E-citizens. Kathryn Montgomery. et al. (2004)

We live in a visual culture. Even more, we live in a rapidly changing, flashing, digital multimedia world. The young people of today grow up in a zap culture: a world full of choices, but also one in which they are strongly encouraged to search for themselves. Before, when you read an interesting book, that book guided you form the beginning to the end. If you read an article in the internet, you click on a link, another link and another link, which requires different assimilation and filtering skills.

Visual culture

See clearly with Opti+

The adjustable footrest

Optiplus schoolfurniture

The adjustable footrest makes Opti+.move appropriate for primary school children and higher education students. The concept of adjusting the height of the floor gives the user the sustainable comfort of "Balanced Seating."