The Big Question

As a society, how do we make education relevant for the 4th industrial revolution?

Education needs to be relevant and accessible to all. We feel that too much of our education today is focused on misplaced ideologies. It is out of date. Our creative industries contribute enormously to the economy, yet the system often cuts back on subjects such as the arts. And technology is moving so fast we simply don’t know how to teach or benefit from it.

Redefine the education system for tomorrow.

The focus has to be on people with a new 21st Century curricula that is broad and adaptable, focusing on skills and creativity for all ages (not just those who fit the pre-prescribed window of ages 4-18).

And who would be the teachers? Maybe they shouldn’t teach something prescribed — perhaps they will prompt, provoke or simply inspire.

Beyond the curricula, what about the space we learn in? Our schools, colleges and universities have changed little over hundreds of years.

So how can we build and create environments that stimulate intrigue and curiosity? How could they be used beyond the classroom?

If it is too ideological to make a new curricula, there is nothing to stop us from making the buildings amazing, flexible and inspiring places.

Case Study
Learning by doing

With at least 30% of jobs lost due to automation by 2040, it’s now more important than ever to ensure the next generation children are educated in relevant ways. Over the last decade education has focused on technology application and computer-based learning, but we also still need to promote a hands-on approach or ‘learning by doing’ and empower the next generation to develop the skills, values and courage to meet the challenges of our constantly changing world.

The answer might be in starting early. OjO is an educational toy company for future innovators aged 3-8. They make problem-solving kits based around real-world problems that stimulate children’s curiosity and critical-thinking skills, brought to life by characters, playful narratives and colourful design. With workshops and activities focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, they are enabling young children to flourish.

Build a curricula for the construction industry.

“The construction industry has a poor track record for investing in research and development, skills and learning.

It has allowed itself to become a low-level option, failing to appeal to bright creative people and is hindered by that lack of collaborative and diverse thinking.

All this, despite technology offering us so many opportunities to revolutionise building design, create specialisms and appeal to a new generation of builders and makers.

With robots and gamers now found in architects’ offices, the means to make our sector engaging in order to make a difference has never been so aligned.

How and where can we drive new standards in construction education? Should it come from the school, university or the workplace?”

Case Study
Inspiring education through work

With a 35% rise in employees wanting to work from home, flexible working is high on the agenda. This sits alongside an increasing need to consider the well-being and mental health of our colleagues. Spatial design can of course play a huge part in the relief of this with many organisations investing heavily in making offices look and feel more like home. But is that the answer? Like many consumers who seek brands with purpose, couldn’t our offices be driven by the same thing?

The Building Society is a workplace created to do just that. Imagined by the team at Elliott Wood it’s a place for those who work in the built environment. But more than that, it’s a platform driven by a purpose — to engineer a better society.

Here the focus is on people working and thinking together. A break from the usual monotony of 9 to 5 and a place where a diverse, eclectic mix of professionals are encouraged to inspire and drive each other to learn new skills.