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Winner - Platinum
Designer: Steelcase Design Team
Design Type: Product, Furniture
Company / Organization / School: Steelcase
node Steelcase Inc, a global furniture manufacturer, designed the node™ chair to be an active learning classroom solution. Based on extensive ethnographic classroom research, node includes a variety of features to support the new ways students are learning, and their expectations for an active classroom, similar to their everyday interactions. Steelcase research shows a variety of active teaching modes occur in today’s classroom, such as group discussions, team collaboration, and lecture -- all of which contribute to more effective learning and instruction. In turn, educators are turning to multiple teaching modes to support multiple learning styles. However, while teaching methods have evolved, the classrooms themselves have remained static and unchanged for decades, and are not designed to support multiple activities or the transitions required to employ them efficiently. Many traditional classrooms actually inhibit current teaching methods by creating physical and social barriers between students and teachers. They have been designed for one-way learning with tight rows of desks and chairs that limit movement and interaction, keeping instructors restricted to the front of the room, where there are few opportunities to connect with students. Now that's changed with the node system.