How could you create a space on your campus to inspire creativity and collaboration? Consider finding an underutilized room for your faculty and staff that would become an energizing source for building and supporting a Maker Culture.
From 20% Time to MakerSpaces. For decades we've learned about the power of creative time and space for the workplace and our schools. The reality of how it is implemented varies widely -- as it should be given the creative intent.
"How might we create these spaces for our faculty and staff?" -- A conversation with a visionary vice principal several years ago on the topic of MakerSpaces for faculty and staff.
We talked about the many ways it would benefit the faculty and staff and the students. We looked at spaces that were currently underutilized on campus that might be accessible and centrally located.
Creative environments support open-mindedness, spark creative thinking and problem-solving. Creativity also drives the desire to learn. It increases imagination and opens the mind to creating possibilities to previously unexplored paths. The shared space increases collaboration and empathy -- allowing your faculty and staff to learn more about their colleagues through a new lens.
Concept: Combination Inspiration + MakerSpace Room
For this campus, the faculty lounge was a great selection. Underutilized and often empty, the dedicated space would allow for a quiet workspace separate from the faculty workroom with its focus copying and other classroom production work.
The amount of wall space would allow for the display of creative projects, that are both in-progress and completed.
Encourage all types of creative works -- visual art, poetry, digital media, performance art, craft, technology, and more.
Psychologists have found, for example, that we're more likely to be creative in rooms with:
• Views of nature or a water feature
• Lots of daylight
• Leafy green plants
• Natural material finishes -- wood surfaces with a lighter stain and visible grain are great at relaxing us into a mood that's good for creative thinking
• Ceilings that are 10 feet high or so
• Warm-colored light bulbs that make the space relatively (and comfortably) bright
• A few intriguing, thought-provoking items -- say a couple of paintings
• Moderate visual complexity -- not starkly empty or packed with stuff
• User controls, for example over temperature and interesting conversation pieces
• The tools in place for the planned task
Recommended Reading: "Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow's Schools, Today". By Eric C. Sheninger and Thomas C. Murray. Chapter 4: "Designing Learner-Centered Spaces" and Chapter 5: "Making Professional Learning Personal".
"Building Maker Spaces vs Building a Maker Culture". By A.J. Juliani, April 19, 2017