Today’s (and tomorrow’s) media space can be so many things. It is an extension of the classroom. It can be a classroom, a commons, a maker space, a display space, a quiet reading or study space, a noisy collaboration space…so many things. It can be a daunting task to develop a plan for a space with so many requirements, so many possibilities and so many expectations. How do you approach the design…or even the redesign of such a space?
We’ve developed a methodology to help our customers and their customers navigate through the vast waters of media space design. Our Mediaspace Approach methodology is drawn from our years of experience and expertise designing and executing beautiful and successful media spaces for our customers. We’d love to give you the “nickel tour”. Ready?
We need to be on the same page regarding what is required and what the possibilities are in a modern media space. Let’s learn a bit about the Evolving Media Space and some of the design requirements to ensure an accessible, future-ready space.
What design decisions make a space inviting, comfortable and conducive to the intended learning activities? Who are we designing for? Are there special considerations that will affect design decisions?
Let’s take a look at some of the typical areas that are found in most future-ready media spaces. Do any of these examples make sense to you? In addition, we will also review some safety considerations and, of course, we’ll go over some furniture considerations
We have developed a tool called the Mediaspace Planning Questionnaire. You can download it here: https://www.mediatechnologies.com/resources/downloads/forms. In it, you will find several questions that will force you to think about your space in some very concrete terms. You answers will also help us to develop a picture of what you are envisioning for your media space.
We are going to ask you about the Zones you want in your media space. Typical Zones include Instructional Space, Learning Commons, Maker Space, Design Lab, Collections, and Comfort Seating/Lounge Zones. You need not choose all of them. You don’t need to choose any of them. Of course, you can define your own zones. You can define zones that are flexible and can transition from one purpose to another with the use of mobile furniture.
What kinds of activities or functions take place inside the Zones you have defined for your media space? This is where we can get down to the types of furniture you will want to help support the function for each zone. Here is where we employ what we learned about accessibility in our furniture choices. Who are your users? Who is this zone for?
A “Kit” is a group of furniture items that, when used together, support and enhance a function. Say for instance, a table and seating set that is selected to have users sit around it and share an integrated video screen. Kits are a great option when you need to assemble functional furniture for your media space zones.
A great resource for you to examine is our mediaspace Approach Zones and Kits Guide. In it we provide another outline of the mediaspace Approach and we also provide three very graphic examples of media spaces with a complete breakdown of zones and kits that are employed in each space. We also provide a list of the furniture used. You can download this catalog at: https://www.mediatechnologies.com/resources/downloads/catalogs. (5.5MB)
You will see some references made to Scheme and Tone in the Questionnaire. Think of scheme like assembling the pieces of an open-ended puzzle to create the picture you want to see. How do you want users to “flow” though your space. Some of the Safety items we saw in the video will come in to play here – sight lines, aisle widths, etc. Here you will work with the seating capacity of each zone, your collection size, primary Zones and Secondary Zones.
The Tone of your space is conveyed through the design of the furniture you choose and through the materials that you choose to apply to the furniture. You may need to match existing furniture or architecture, or you may be working through a new build. You will determine if your space has a warm wood traditional feel or a progressive feel with interesting metal finishes and laminates.
One of the great benefits of working with mediatechnologies is the incredible flexibility we have in providing material and finish options. We work with some of the very best materials suppliers in the furniture industry. A hidden benefit of such material flexibility is our ability to design a beautiful space with you and then provide several pricing options based on material choices that can help keep your project within budget. You can get the look you want and stay within budget!
mediatechnologies services are here to help!
We would be honored to help you with your media space. If you are ready to begin a project or if you simply have a few questions, we’re ready whenever you are.
The next step is yours… [email protected]