Design trends: Innovative nursery in Dubai prepares children for the future

posted on Friday, 3rd May 2019 by Chris Jenkins

Education  AR  Inspiration  Industrial design 


A project by Roar Design Studios for Dubai has been described as ‘the nursery of the future'.
“The biggest challenge facing education designers is that we’re preparing children for jobs that don’t yet exist” says Pallavi Dean, Founder and Creative Director at Roar (formerly Pallavi Dean Interiors). “So we designed a space where children would not just learn specific skills such as maths and reading, but would fall in love with learning itself. That meant designing a learning experience that’s playful, stimulating and social. Learning by doing is so much more powerful than a conventional lecture-style set up.”
Ora, the Nursery of the Future, is the latest addition to the Future Collection, the UAE Government’s suite of programs and initiatives focused on the UAE 2071 vision for innovation, including Dubai Future Foundation, Dubai Future Accelerator, Dubai Future Academy and Museum of the Future.
The design brief was to create a world-class learning experience that instils the habits of innovation and futurism that will stay with children for life.
Nursery -of -the -future -roar -dubai -architecture _dezeen _1704_col _hero4

Nursery -of -the -future -roar -dubai -architecture _dezeen _1704_col _17

One of the ways to bring this theory to life is by shunning traditional classrooms, instead creating ‘learning studios’. These spaces are flexible, adaptable and nimble, to accommodate different teaching and learning styles. They break down the ‘them and us’ barriers that exist between teachers and children in many education spaces, replacing them with a fluid, sociable, inclusive environment.
One of the most striking architectural features is the cloud-like shape of the external structure we created in collaboration with Dubai-based AR gallery.
The design team incorporated the latest research from paediatric neuroscience to inform the design. The design is very conscious of the fact that during the first three years of life, a child’s brain will form more than a trillion neurological connections known as synapses. You won’t find bright colours and cartoon characters. Instead, surfaces are neutral to encourage children and educators to become the main sources of stimulation.
Another example is a move away from screen-based technology to an environment where child-safe technology is integrated into floors and walls. “With the touch of a little hand, surfaces light up or display nature-inspired images or children’s artworks,” says Pallavi. “We believe that all elements of a school’s environment – physical and human, interior and exterior – impact its educational framework, so it was imperative that the structure be transformed into a third, ‘silent’ educator, that also facilitates bonding, learning and self-discovery.”
The heart of the 600-square-metre nursery is called Mars Lab – a nod to the UAE’s ambitious Mars space programme. The Mars Lab is a community space, where children of all ages, along with teachers and parents, gather in large or small groups.
Nursery -1

The space features a library and a ‘reading cloud’ (a giant inflatable cushion to snuggle into with a book), a ‘Sky House’ (a play on the traditional tree house) and a mini ‘Coding Hub’ where children can experiment with the idea of programming.
The team used emerging design methodology and materials to create the design. In one approach, Agata, Design Director at Roar employed computational design to create a sculptural reception space with free-flowing curved ceiling and walls.
Pallavi says: “Research shows that children find curves far more soothing than harsh angles, but constructing rooms with right angles is much easier. We solved this problem by using Agata’s parametric design skills, then working with a boat-builder in Dubai to make it. It was very experimental for them – they’d never worked on interiors before – but it’s worked beautifully.”
Pallavi concludes: “We’re exceptionally proud to have been part of this project, and genuinely believe that Ora really does help redefine the future of early-years education design.”

Nursery -of -the -future -roar -dubai -architecture _dezeen _1704_col _12

Chris Jenkins

Inside ID contributor Chris Jenkins is a freelance technology and industry journalist working for a wide range of consumer and B2B magazines and websites

Share this!

Have your say...

Sorry guests can't post comments.

Please Login if your an existing member or Register a new account.


Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\TagCloud.xslt

Latest Review

Latest Feature