As times and educational thoughts change, learning has become more diverse. Thus, education does not just happen in classroom, and all the spaces and environments on campus are also important to learning and cultivation of core competences. “Design Movement on Campus” executed by Taiwan Design Research Institute under the commission of the Ministry of Education is the first-ever large-scale cooperation between the design industry and education system, helping public and private senior high schools, vocational schools, junior high schools, and elementary schools in the nation through open selection of professional design teams. Through introduction of design thinking, the schools and design teams jointly complete aesthetic transformation of campuses and inspire new educational thoughts and solutions. Since its inception in 2019, “Design Movement on Campus” has set examples of aesthetic transformation at 75 schools throughout Taiwan.
During the open selection period of “Design Movement on Campus 4.0” in 2022, a total of 190 schools submitted applications. Through three stages of review and onsite inspection by professional jurors, 20 schools were selected to jointly complete aesthetic transformation of learning environment with 18 design teams. In addition to continually optimizing and transforming classrooms of different subjects, such as chemistry and physics, dance, astrology, home economics, and music, the project also transformed “wall-less classrooms” on campus, including kennel of school dogs and cats for life education and mahogany ecological space, carrying forward the spirit of the “108 Curriculum Guidelines” and encouraging children to physically enter learning sites for exploration. Moreover, more public functional sites, which are shared and used by everyone on campus and universal in all schools, participated in the transformation project for the first time, such as recycling and waste disposal site, sports equipment room, and outdoor playground. It also marked the first time industrial vocational schools were selected, including National Ilan Commercial Vocational High School, New Taipei Municipal New Taipei Industrial Vocational High School, and National Yuanlin Agricultural and Industrial Vocational High School, which completed transformation of Chinese traditional music classroom, corridor of Molding Division Building, and signage system respectively.
Introduce Design Energy to Forgotten Functional Corners on Campus, Open Up Sites of Life Education
Recycling and waste disposal site, sports equipment room, health center, and library on campus are spaces with a single function but provide various services to the entire school; these are places frequently accessed by teachers and students every day, but also the corners on campus most easily overlooked. The recycling and waste disposal site at Kaohsiung GuangWu Primary School was an old-fashioned temporary structure of bricks and iron sheets. The inside was dim and outdated, and lacked proper ventilation and storage. The site was located near the school gate for easy access by garbage trucks, affecting the first impression of the school. The design team, Meta House, boldly broke the conventional enclosed layout and switched to steel sheets with matte surface and metal fences for lightweight and see-through wavy walls on a landscape slope decorated by diverse plants. Through the variations of the ground and walls, the design team outlined comprehensive and clear functional zones and traffic flow. The transformation not only softened the stereotypical image of waste disposal site being dim and full of junks, giving it brighter and refreshing qualities, but also redefined the dialoguing relationship between the inside and outside, opening up the site for observation of waste disposal procedure and adding to the site of life education a new dimension of display and interaction.
▲ Kaohsiung GuangWu Primary School, Kaohsiung City
Use lightweight and see-through wavy walls as continuation of the gentle slope; diverse plants are incorporated into parts of the walls, creating a bright and clean recycling site.
Also in Kaohsiung, WUN-FU Elementary School has only one sports equipment room for the entire school’s 120 weekly periods of physical education class. On average, as many as 24 classes access the room daily; however, the space lacked overall planning, resulting in inconveniences when borrowing and returning sports equipment. The design team, ULI DESIGN, utilized perforated wall panels for storage on the walls, which enable quick identification of categorized balls; spatial flexibility reserved for future layout change is another focus of campus transformation, and portable low cupboards for large balls have been specially designed for easy access by students of all grades. The cupboards can also be moved around to cater to class needs. With functional issues resolved, the design team also gave the room a new atmosphere and created a visual image resembling running tracks through bright color lines and flowing natural light, building a practical and aesthetic “WUN FU SPORTAG”.
▲ WUN-FU Elementary School, Kaohsiung City
Specially designed low portable cupboards for large balls for easy access by students in different grades.
In recent years, old playground facilities at many schools are no longer compliant with current laws and regulations, but the schools face the problem of limited fund and insufficient space on campus, so they are unable to make improvement to the facilities and can only pull up warning tapes to prohibit access. When completing the second-phase construction of school buildings 22 years ago, Penghu County Chung Cheng Elementary School also constructed four long concrete slides at Smile Square, which was once the most crowded place on campus full of laughter. All graduating students “slid” their way into the next stage of life. Four years ago, the slides were closed off after failing inspection; the school did not want to demolish this place full of memory and joy but could not find a good solution. The design team, DOZOW CONSTRUCTION, transformed the existing slides into two climbing slopes, and utilized the steps between the slides to create a larger slide that met all safety requirements! Smile Square, a place full of emotions and memories, has gained new life and will continue to carry the laughter and memories of the teachers and students.
▲ Chung Cheng Elementary School, Penghu County
The new-look Smile Square once again ignites laughter and energy of students.
Borderless Learning, Transforming Wall-less Classrooms of Life and Ecological Education
Carrying on the spirit of the 108 Curriculum Guidelines that designates life education as a mandatory course, “Design Movement on Campus” followed up last year’s transformation of chicken coop by taking on a new challenge of transforming sites of life education. In addition to focusing on transformation of places home to animals and plants, the project also put emphasis on creating a relationship of interaction and dialogue between men and life. Taipei Municipal Fuxing High School cooperated with design team HH2O Design Workshop+Architects, utilizing the semi-outdoor sunken space between two buildings and expanding it to the fan-shaped platform to create a livable environment for the adopted school cats and dogs perfect for living, interaction, and teaching. Through observing behaviors and habits of animals, the design team built a safe home that met their basic needs and protected them from rain and wind; the design team also designated a teaching area by the entrance as the life education promotion base of the Animal Protection Club. The fan-shaped platform surrounded by large trees was turned into a showering area with integrated functions of water and electricity, as well as an open space where teachers and students could befriend the little animals. Based on the concept of encouraging teachers and students to live and thrive together with the animals, the design team hoped to create a campus space of respect for life, care and companionship, and mutual learning, for life education.
▲ Taipei Municipal Fuxing High School
Using the fan-shaped platform by big trees to create an interactive area, which is an open space for teachers and students to shower the animals and establish relationships.
Surviving the 921 earthquake, the old mahoganies that accompanied Nantou County Chung-Feng Elementary School through its reconstruction are the spiritual icons of the school. The outdoor platform circling three of the mahoganies presented a rich and diverse ecological landscape that was home to plants and insects. It was a wall-less classroom for the school-based curriculum that followed the seasons. However, after years of exposure to the elements, the wooden platform’s condition was deteriorating. The design team, 3muzimmer.tw, cooperated with artisans to create a steel platform of interlocking levels in organic form, and use nets in place of traditional stairs. With pathways at different heights and the tree house, ecological observation and experience are no longer horizontal, offering students different angles to approach the trees, as well as paths of diverse exploration of nature full of pleasant surprises.
Design Inclusive Learning Space for Children with Special Wings to find Peace and Freely Showcase Their Talents
Every school has special education classes, and this is a crucial part to Taiwan’s promotion of inclusive education on campus; however, every kid has different special mental, physical, and learning needs, and resource classes offered by schools must adjust the software and hardware accordingly. Kaohsiung City SihWei Elementary School had three special education classrooms for ungrouped students of special education, but each room was shared by two teachers, and with teaching tools of different types and sizes taking up the space in the rooms, the quality of group conversation-based teaching was affected as the rooms were filled with various objects. The design time, AAAID, redefined the three rooms, dividing them into teachers’ and public space, flexible space, and open space, so teachers can select a suitable teaching site based on the curriculum and number of students. Also, the team designed systematic storage cabinets, teaching carts, and portable furniture, to increase storage space and flexibility, in aim to develop new possibilities of supportive environment construction, while also rebuilding a special education classroom that focuses on the needs of teachers and students.
▲ SihWei Elementary School, Kaohsiung City
Utilize portable furniture to not only give the space greater flexibility
but also create a relaxing and calming space for students.
The annual “Design Movement on Campus 4.0” held an achievement sharing on April 17, 2023, which was hosted by Deputy Minister Lin Teng-chiao of Education. The event gathered 20 Design Movement on Campus cases across northern, central, southern, and eastern Taiwan, as well as the outlying island of Penghu, for an annual presentation and sharing. Moreover, Taiwan Design Museum (in Songshan Cultural and Creative Park) launches the “Open School” exhibition from April 18 to June 18, showcasing transformation cases by 41 schools and 28 design teams from 2021 to 2022. We look forward to more schools across Taiwan to carry on the effort of introducing design thinking to campus and jointly create greater possibilities of learning environments.
2022 “Design Movement on Campus 4.0” Teams
Supervisor｜Ministry of Education
Organizer｜Taiwan Design Research Institute
Retrofitting School × Design Team
- Guo-Hua Junior High School, Yilan County x 3+2 Design Studio
- National Ilan Commercial Vocational High School x Üroborus_studioLab
- Zhong Shan Elementary School, Keelung City x Mounts + C.Y.Chao Architects & Associates
- Taipei Municipal Fuxing High School x HH2O Design Workshop + Architects
- New Taipei Municipal New Taipei Industrial Vocational High School x Üroborus_studioLab
- New Taipei Municipal Zhongping Junior High School x Hung Ma Interior Design + Mico Studio
- Kuang Jen Catholic High School, New Taipei City x Cloudform Laboratory
- Hsinchu Municipal Sunshine Elementary School x Serendipity Studio
- National Changhua Special School x Primary Design
- Hudong Elementary School, Changhua County x YUNGCHEI.plus Architects + CROST DESIGN
- National Yuanlin Agricultural and Industrial Vocational High School x Fontana Design Co. Ltd.
- Chung-Feng Elementary School, Nantou County x 3muzimmer.tw
- Siluo Junior High School, Yunlin County x YUCA
- Lan Tan Elementary School, Chiayi City x Yamakawa design co.,Ltd.
- Hsinkang Junior High School, Chiayi County x Grow A rchitecture
- SihWei Elementary School, Kaohsiung City x AAAID
- Kaohsiung GuangWu Primary School, Kaohsiung City x Meta House
- WUN-FU Elementary School, Kaohsiung City x ULI DESIGN
- Chih Shang Junior High School, Taitung County x YUCA
- Chung Cheng Elementary School, Penghu County x DOZOW CONSTRUCTION
Epoch Chemtronics Corp.
Champion Building Materials Co., Ltd.
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