2014 NEXT Competition // Shannon Myers

We are pleased to announce that our own Shannon Myers has been selected as a semi-finalist in the 2014 NEXT Student Design Competition.

The judges met in Grand Rapids earlier this week to select 5 semi-finalists and 5 honorable mentions. Here’s a clip from their website:

Most education spaces today are decades old and as a result, inadequately support student engagement, learning retention and other key elements of a successful learning environment. As new pedagogies emerge, it’s an ideal time to explore how space can better support learning and improve student outcomes.

That’s why we challenged future designers to join us in this student design challenge to create the NEXT education environment.

Junior- and senior -level students are competing against other CIDA-accredited programs to gain global recognition from Steelcase, the opportunity to be published in the Steelcase® 360™ magazine, as well as cash prizes for the student and the university. Finalists will also receive an all-expenses paid trip to Steelcase to spend time with thought leaders and explore what’s NEXT in both workplace, education and healthcare environments.

About Shannon’s project:

NEXT University is a small liberal arts school practicing divergent and critical thinking processes to create new ideas and solve problems. They prepare students to be the leaders and innovators of the future by teaching them how to think and adapt to evolving technologies. They use new learning pedagogies and take a hands-on approach to learning to increase student’s engagement and retention of material.

The student-centric design of the space reflects the processes taught at NEXT. Divergent thinking is a process using different perspectives, the exploration of many possible solutions, and looking outside of the problem to generate creative ideas. Being able to observe, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate multiple solutions before coming to a final solution. NEXT teaches students to look at ideas and issues from different points of view, applying outside experiences, context, and opinions in new ways.

The space encourages students to learn through experimentation, discussion, and feedback. It provides a variety of settings for different types of learning and exploration to happen. NEXT understands that every student learns differently and provides students with a range of posture choices, public and private spaces, and both digital and analog tools. They believe that learning happens everywhere and the space blurs the line between social and academic experiences. Frequent student-faculty interaction and small groups in classrooms, foster discussion, stimulate thought, and create a comfortable environment for sharing ideas and opinions.