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A makerspace is exactly what it sounds like. A space designed to encourage making, building, designing, and collaboration among students. The movement began with the onset of 3D printing but has grown to encompass all kinds of functions. They can be used for STEM classes like robotics or physics, or they can be designed for art classes like sewing or woodworking. Makerspaces can also be found in community centers, libraries, or any special elective classroom.
Their purpose is to encourage creativity, while also creating a systematic way for teachers to assess a student’s creativity. Makerspaces teach students real-world skills like the importance of learning from failure, problem-solving and completing a project. They are redefining what the classroom environment looks like, as they emphasize hands-on learning, collaboration, and technological innovation.
So now that we’ve convinced you on the importance of them, the next question is how? How do you cultivate a makerspace environment? Any space can be transformed into a makerspace with the right furniture and design. It should be versatile, mobile, and durable while also aesthetically pleasing and creativity encouraging.
Imagine working at the Smith System Interchangeable Squiggle Table while sketching the blueprint for a remote control car. The curves of the table might inspire you to think beyond straight lines. The ample space might allow you to draw six different drafts. The 20 color options might remind you of the outdoors. These unique tables are perfect for a creative makerspace, instead of traditional rectangular tables. Their curved shape also means they can be pushed together and arranged in a variety of different configurations to provide even more collaborative space.
On the other hand of a colorful and creative aesthetic is an urban and industrial inspired makerspace. Versteel achieves this design with its butcher block topped tables and steel constructed stools. Whether it’s a utility table and stools to sit in the center of a makerspace, or a mobile whiteboard to travel around the room for collaboration, Versteel’s Maker Project offers a series that exemplifies the maker movement.
If there’s one theme apparent in the maker movement it’s mobility and versatility. And seating options should not be overlooked when crafting the perfect makerspace. Chairs with wheels are crucial, like the Smith System Plato Mobile Stack Chair, which can also be easily stacked and put to the side when more space is needed. Another flexible seating option is the Smith System Oodle Stool which offers five different colors and can be stacked on top of each other to accommodate different heights.
Other choices include Versteel or Hon Stools and Perch Seats to facilitate a sit-to-stand work environment. Sometimes the best way to get the creative juices flowing is to also get the blood flowing. Sit-to-stand desks and chairs allow for easy reconfiguration between sitting and standing while creating a flexible work environment.
Makerspaces, with their energetic and dynamic environment, require some sort of dividers to split the room into zones. Whether the zones are divided by quiet versus noisy, clean versus messy, or individual versus collaborative, strategically placed storage can create this organized chaos. The Smith System Cascade Storage Bins provide customizable, mobile storage options. This line offers options with whiteboards, pegboards, or notepads attached to the side in order to maximize the uses for these storage systems. Whether you’re trying to store reams of paper or soccer balls, the Cascade System has a customizable option to fit anything.
Depending on the functionality of a makerspace, instructor equipment could be a vital peace. In a classroom setting, a teacher will find themselves constantly on the go. This means rather than a desk, instructors will need mobile carts. The Smith System Cascade AV Mega-Case is the perfect all-in-one to replace a traditional desk. With five interior outlets and four exterior outlets, it can hold anything from a laptop to a 3D printer to a projector. It also has storage shelves, locking doors, and a durable worktop.
It’s Monday morning and you’re walking into the office with a green juice in your hand and a package of protein balls in your bag. You’re the epitome of the ever-growing health trend, and for good reason – who doesn’t want to live to be 95 with wrinkle-free skin? But no matter how many green juices and protein balls you consume, sitting at a desk, staring at a computer screen from 9 to 5 every day will not bless you with eternal youthfulness.
Hence the need for a healthy workplace environment. This doesn’t mean weekly office yoga sessions, but an office that promotes physical and mental wellbeing via ergonomically designed furniture. This kind of healthy office has lasting benefits, not only for employees’ health but also for company productivity.
A quick and easy way to fix the sitting all day dilemma is sit-to-stand desks. These high tech desks can be adjusted to different heights with the touch of a button. Whether you’re exhausted from your morning exercise class and need to sit down, or you need to get the blood flowing and the heart rate up, these desks can accommodate a healthy workplace for anyone.
So allow a few hours each day to stand at your desk. Start first thing in the morning to get your heart rate up early and to kickstart your metabolism. Then stand again after lunch. Studies have shown that after eating a meal, blood sugar levels return to normal, faster when standing versus sitting.
In between these hours, add a perch seat to complete your ergonomic desk. These tall, backless chairs relieve pressure on your spine after standing and provide an adjustable complement to sit to stand desks.
Another quick fix to boosting workplace health are Zenergy or Runtz ball chairs. Once upon a time, the biggest health trend sweeping elementary schools nationwide was replacing desk chairs with aerobic exercise balls. The ball chair is essentially the office version of the exercise ball in the classroom. Its lack of a back promotes better posture (goodbye 80-year-old hunchback) and it’s less stable center increases core strength (hello spring break abs).
So keep drinking your green juices and eating your protein balls, but don’t forget about the importance of a healthy work environment. Your 95-year-old self will thank you later.