6 Inventive Outdoor Learning Spaces for Higher Education

November 5, 2023

Outdoor higher education learning space

In recent years, the concept of outdoor learning has gained significant traction in higher education. Recognizing the benefits of fresh air, natural surroundings, and the flexibility of outdoor spaces, universities, and colleges are investing in innovative outdoor learning environments. If you're considering creating outdoor education spaces on your campus, here are six inventive ideas to inspire your planning and furniture choices.

1. Canopy-covered Workstations

To protect students from the elements, consider canopy-covered workstations. These shaded areas can be equipped with sturdy tables and chairs, creating functional outdoor classrooms that shield students from rain or harsh sunlight while allowing them to enjoy the fresh air. Many options incorporate solar roof panels that allow for powering laptops and phones.

2. Weather-resistant Lounge Areas

Encourage relaxation and collaboration with weather-resistant lounge furniture. Durable outdoor sofas, chairs, and coffee tables can transform your outdoor spaces into comfortable and inviting places for students to work on projects, socialize, or simply unwind between classes.

3. Adaptable Seating Arrangements

Create flexible outdoor learning spaces by investing in adaptable seating solutions. Consider modular furniture sets that can be easily rearranged to suit different teaching styles and group sizes. These versatile pieces make it simple to transition from lectures to group discussions or individual study sessions.

4. Collaborative Outdoor Tables

Promote group work and collaboration with large outdoor tables. Choose tables with built-in power outlets and charging ports, ensuring that students can stay connected and work on group projects while enjoying the outdoor environment.

5. Comfortable Individual Study Nooks

For students who prefer solitude while studying outdoors, provide comfortable individual study nooks. These can consist of ergonomic chairs with integrated writing surfaces or small, private workstations equipped with lightweight chairs and adjustable tables.

6. Mobile Furniture for Flexibility

To maximize the adaptability of your outdoor learning spaces, invest in mobile furniture. This allows you to easily rearrange seating, create collaborative areas, or adapt to changing weather conditions. Lightweight, stackable chairs and tables make it simple to configure your outdoor classrooms as needed.

When selecting furniture for these outdoor spaces, consider durability, weather resistance, and comfort to ensure that students can make the most of these innovative learning environments. By embracing these inventive outdoor learning ideas, you can create a campus that not only educates but also connects students with an inspired learning environment.

PURE Workplace is proud to be an Authorized Knoll Dealer based in Kansas City, Wichita, and Topeka. We've enjoyed helping our clients realize their dream spaces for over 25 years in the higher education market.