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From local schools to the world’s largest companies, today’s design solutions more often involve dynamic/malleable spaces – with mobile and multifunctional elements that allow customizable configurations. Designers must bring informed perspectives and innovative mindsets – considering possibilities of every nook of space – to address different needs and purposes, and fit different styles and situations.

Practical to stimulating, sometimes disruptive, awareness-nudging spaces can help spur unexpected experiences, new collaborations, mindfulness and innovations.

Jason Jensen recently discussed these topics with uncle-in-law and Chief Technology Officer for Dell EMC Services, Bill Schmarzo. Schmarzo’s predominant focus on Big Data sparked interest in Jensen’s perspectives on smart entities and agile design, which resulted in this blog post by Schmarzo, where he astutely articulates how “agile design supports the execution of smart.”

Schmarzo touches on machine learning as an actuator that helps make adjustments in a range of critical processes throughout daily life – and changing needs and roles of human actuators. From workflow innovations and communications, to health and well-being, a smart design is deeply considerate of those that experience the space – along with the community, environment, and/or industry in which it lives.

To do this effectively, a design team must immerse itself in the client’s practices and culture. We need to know how museums and city halls and fire stations work – what their people need and want, combined with the analytical data – to be able to create appropriate, comfortable, stimulating, productive, and highly functional spaces.

Schmarzo writes, “In the design of a smart classroom, according to Jason, the first step in creating a smart school is to divorce teachers from their classroom ownership.”

“In designing a smart classroom, the classroom is no longer defined by the teacher who occupies the classroom. Instead, the students and the type of learning and teacher-to-student interactions that are occurring in that space define the smart classroom. If a classroom subject requires small workgroups, then teacher creates a group study area. If the classroom subject requires individual lessons, then the classroom needs to be able to be morphed into a study area with various seating options where the students can define their optimal learning environment.”

From learning patterns per subject matter and teacher/student styles, to, yes, types of chairs – design recommendations and specifics should come from exhaustive data gathering and the resulting analytics to inform the team’s critical thinking and purposeful decision-making throughout the design process. More here.

Dell EMC Article