Our resources are finite
It is clear that schools around the world also reflect more often and more deeply about their responsibility as a part of their community to integrate their structure into their surroundings with as little environmental impact as possible. From the geographical location to the layout of the school campus (eg close to public transportation hubs or bus stations and kiss & ride zones integrated in the campus) and from the orientation of the building and its functional entities to the physical building and its finishing (eg north oriented, semi-underground with a green roof, blinds and triple glazing). This concern for smart environmental solutions also finds its way into the school building and its facilities. Given the choice, more and more school administrations and architects will prefer more sustainable procedures, materials and concepts.


Different users

"Incorporating categories like Hanging Out, Messing Around and Geeking Out, creates an understanding of why young people really want to learn in one context and not in another, while the available resources are the same. Depending on what we want to achieve, we exhibit different behavior. Internet is the real world." - Mark Schoondorp (Winkwaves). (2010)


Users differ both in physical terms, as well as in the way they use various technologies. Physical differences are clear. Children grow, some are more robust, have longer legs, some wear glasses... The furniture should be either adjustable within certain limits, or different sizes of furniture should be put in place.


Visual culture

"The group of nearly 60 million individuals born after 1979, represents the largest generation of young people in the nation's history, and the first to grow up in a world saturated with networks of information, digital devices, and the promise of perpetual connectivity."
- Youth as E-citizens. Kathryn Montgomery. et al. (2004)

We live in a visual culture. Even more, we live in a rapidly changing, flashing, digital multimedia world. The young people of today grow up in a zap culture: a world full of choices, but also one in which they are strongly encouraged to search for themselves. Before, when you read an interesting book, that book guided you form the beginning to the end. If you read an article in the internet, you click on a link, another link and another link, which requires different assimilation and filtering skills.

Visual culture

See clearly with Opti+

The adjustable footrest

Optiplus schoolfurniture

The adjustable footrest makes Opti+.move appropriate for primary school children and higher education students. The concept of adjusting the height of the floor gives the user the sustainable comfort of "Balanced Seating."

Movement & ergonomics

"Traditional furniture encourages children to sit up straight and still. We think this should be a thing of the past. Health, well being and learning depend on movement, even when students are sitting."
- Dr. Dieter Breithecker - Ergonomist. (2005)


We live in a sedentary society; we spend more time sitting than standing or lying. While humans originally evolved to being able to stand on two legs, we spend the majority of the day standing or sitting on 6 legs. And to add more atop of that, the ergonomic tradition mposed the throne-model as the most ergonomic way to sit. Straight back, feet on the ground and remain seated!

But those days are over. Finally, ergonomists and designers of all professional inclinations start to understand that it is not sitting still but rather moving - even while being seated - that people like doing most. Try to watch a child for half an hour that is sitting on a chair, and count the number of different positions that it takes. It will show you what sitting is all about.



"What we need urgently are people who can contribute to change and innovation." - Sir Ken Robinson. (2009)


In recent years we have seen several 19th and 20th century technology and production facilities move to emerging industrialized countries all over the world. Only high-tech businesses in specific niche markets stay in our regions. In order for the
economy to survive, highly innovative companies are needed and therfore very innovative employees. Creativity and innovation are becoming ever more valued in our society, while values such as analytical thinking were more important before.
In this context, we often speak of left and right brained people.