First Rob did an overview of architectural principles that go into designing a space for children. For example, young children prefer primary colors, teenagers prefer fluorescent colors, and adults prefer muted colors. He recommended the following process for designing a room:
- Pick a neutral background, either warm (browns) or cool (grays).
- Then select a color palette based on your age group. These will be accent colors used in relatively small amounts to the background color.
- Select lighting that's as close to natural as you can get.
There was some more discussion about architectural things and then we got to the part I really enjoyed, viewing photos of classrooms. Unfortunately, there wasn't much time left for that, so the pictures flew by. The major thing I noted was the use of natural and neutral-colored containers, like baskets, rather than the primary colored plastic bins that seem fairly ubiquitous in early childhood classrooms. Another thing I liked was the use of glass containers so the children could see what's inside for things like paint and other art supplies. I had several presenters over the two days mention that they use glass with children, so apparently this is not unheard of and it can be a good learning tool.
This would not be the only presentation I went to that covered classroom spaces, but it was a good way to start, with foundational material.