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Estonian company is setting new standards for the classroom of the future

Estonia’s leading furniture company Standard is furnishing the e-Estonian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai with a custom-made café, collaboration area furniture, and creating a new concept for a classroom of the future.

Standard is looking to expand the business in the Gulf region that has been on the radar of Standard since 2015. They have furnished nine hotels in Oman, Dubai and Saudi Arabia as well as the offices of one of their biggest global clients in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Standard aims to reach beyond the existing network in the region – the six gulf states and the wider region. Standard hopes to find new customers for the hospitality furnishings and build up a distribution network for our office and school furniture – to have resellers and representatives in each country of the region.

Standard’s international breakthrough as hospitality outfitter started in the Nordic market in 2004, when Estonia became a member of the European Union. The first large direct contract was for furnishing 200 rooms in Scandic hotel in Oulu, Finland. In 2013-14 big tenders of international hotel chains followed as preferred supplier for Scandic Hotels and with a contract for Radisson in the EMEA region.

The year 2014 can be called a global breakthrough. By now, Standard has furnished more than 250 hotels, more than 40,000 rooms. Each hotel is unique and will always be designed, planned and produced accordingly.

The furniture of the EXPO pavilion is a chance for Standard to showcase its possibilities and flexibility. There are pieces of the office furniture series, the special production for the café and, as a new concept, smart classroom furniture.

Design to encourage creativity and individual learning paths

The idea for a classroom of the future was born with the EXPO team and created as a team effort to share Estonia’s education success story. The design bureau Kuubis has great experience in designing schools in Finland and combined their knowledge with the production skills of Standard. It’s a combination of digital learning and flexible interior.

As the design and architecture of a modern school needs mobility and flexibility, so it would be possible to rearrange the classroom setting effortlessly during a lesson. According to Standard, a classic old-school classroom can be transformed into teamwork setup, communication and presentation set-up within minutes. Each student has his own workplace that can be relocated and set up easily for different functions. The set-up can be changed to task-based, learning-pace-based or level-based.

There are mobile podiums to train performing and presentation skills, mobile walls and separators can be rearranged quickly to resize the room. Design can encourage interaction, mobility and confidence as well as nurture initiative and creativity instead of putting kids in ready-made boxes with standardised learning paths.

The furniture is mobile and dynamic and as such empowers social skills. But the school furniture also has to be sturdy and durable. It’s playful and colourful according to the age group. The single desk and chair are light enough so that kids can manage to rearrange the set-up by themselves.

Some of the elements will have access to communication networks, sockets and loading stations. So, perhaps this new innovative line of school furniture together with smart digital learning tools, will come to benefit kids in the Gulf region and beyond.

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