Video of New Oriental Xi’an Growth Education Centre Flagship space introduced by our in50 Design Creative Director and Founder Waterson Lam.
An unforgettable experience for kids, parents and teachers
The story began when New Oriental asks in50 to design a new flagship space for their school in Xi’an. They wanted to improve upon their existing 1.0 space identity and create an all new standards that would be the new flagship space standards for future New Oriental schools. We began with a research mission that took our team to the existing New Oriental classrooms across the 2 cities. We attended actual classes with kids of different ages, we visited teachers office, receptions spaces and parents waiting areas, in search of ways to improve the environment to make the experience great and memorable.
Improving classroom design help kids engage in interactive learning
For kids it was an environment that allow students to hear, see and engage better with teachers making learning fun. To meet this goal we set out to improve the acoustics of the walls between classrooms so that one classroom active kids learning does not effect the classroom next door. We designed whiteboards to wrap around 3 sides of the classroom and reachable by kids of any height. For kids to see better and be more engaged we introduced a massive large interactive touch screen TV that is height adjustable so that students can see and actively participate from anywhere in the classroom.
A social community centre for kids and parents
For parents it was to make their time spent waiting for their kids productive, social and fun. This meant improving the experience of parents that would spend half a day or for some even their whole weekend waiting for their kids. We created a large library and reading area, a coffee and tea area, comfortable seating areas next to the natural sunlight and a large viewing window into the toddler’s play area and classrooms.
The teachers can turn the viewing window on/off with a touch of a button so to not disturb the students or teachers when needed. This large library being open to the community makes this space a social community centre and also helps to foster a love of reading and is very much in sync with New Oriental’s core culture.
To design a great teacher’s environment to attract, retain and empower teachers.
For teachers it was to have a place to do concentrated work before classes, destress and rest between classes, as well as for classrooms to be high tech and user friendly. We created a teacher’s office and lounge area with comfortable sofa, bar tables and large meeting table for discussions with other teachers and sleeping quarters with massage chair and soft lighting effects to relax in. In the classrooms noise cancelling devices and voice amplification speakers and sensing mics was added in the ceiling to helps teachers communicate clearly. The large interactive touch screen TV also doubles as a computer and all wirelessly controlled so teachers doesn’t need to walk around with a heavy computer and trip over wires.
Lines in nature inspired our design of this space
本空间采用的设计语言的灵感来源于潺潺溪流、光影交替、四季更迭中的自然线条和元素。空间中引入植物和其他自然元素形成人与自然更亲近的环境体验。Edward O. Wilson博士和其他学者的研究表明，亲自然的环境有助于人们获得更好的睡眠，更具创造力和效率，并有助于人们全面的身心健康。
The design language of the space was inspired by lines and elements in nature such as the flowing rivers and streams, light and shadow created by sunlight and the seasons in nature. Plants and other natural elements are introduced into the space to allow for a Biophilic environment experience. Research by Dr. Edward O. Wilson and others have shown that Biophilic design environments help us sleep better, be more creative, productive and all round well-being both physically and mentally.