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Problems always existed in our educational system, but many issues intensified in the pandemic. One of the biggest is the mental impact on the children, with those in high school tripling in numbers. The spaces these students spend their time has a great impact on their mental well-being. Our schools need to create places for the students to make communities and feel a sense of ownership. Giving students a place to belong and making them proud of their work helps build their self-esteem, relieving some mental health issues.
My thesis is redesigning these environments to create classrooms, schools and a campus that focuses on the complete well-being of the student. These spaces promote mental health, provide safety, inclusivity and give them a community space where they learn the ways they learn best and prepare them to become creative critical thinkers.
The three areas I am focusing on include homeroom pods that unite different departments into a single area to collaborate on a common project, hangout spaces that allow students to relax or work with a group, and outdoor spaces. Bringing Biophilic Design into the school helps increase one’s mental health and learning experience.
By creating new school architecture that focuses on the student’s mental health and gives them opportunities to learn tasks needed in society today, we create schools that will provide for the student’s needs now and in the future.