What Matters

March 2020 Issue

Stay the Course

It’s mid-Winter. We’re way past the holidays and even past Presidents’ Day Weekend.  The days are getting longer, but it feels like a long stretch to get to Spring let alone Summer.  Students may need a little push and encouragement to keep their heads down and press on with their hard work until Spring Break.

In this edition of What Matters, we take a look at how architecture and interior design in American and Swiss primary and secondary schools have changed the educational experience.  From open floor plans to mobile desks to a brand new school in our own backyard, these well-studied design techniques are influencing how students interact with their curricula, teachers, and each other.

Mobile Learning

Space Matters.  This article explores how redefining classroom space and therefore function as it relates to brain science leads to a more creative classroom experience. More.

Breaking the Rules

In Switzerland, educators are rethinking shapes, lighting, color, and art to infuse classrooms with new ways to engage students and improve educational outcomes.  The point is that architecture and design matter. More.

We’re Big Fans

Look what has happened in Arlington, VA!  Don’t you want to go back to high school just for this?  The Arlington school board not only focused on new ways for students to interact with their school surroundings but also added loads of greenspace, color, and I’m just going to say it… they added FUN to school.

And this is not fake news, people! Just ask Sarita… her son happens to be one of the lucky Arlington students to attend this incredible school. The morning battles to get him up and out the door have sharply declined this year. More.

Washington Matters

Inspired by this new school in Arlington, we’re making recommendations for staycations in Washington DC this month.

Featured Partner: Buildlane

If You Build It, They Will Come

By Jason Claire, Chief of Stuff, Interior Matter

When retail companies like Room + Board or Restoration Hardware offer free design services, they’re effectively devaluing the work of professional interior designers and hiring glorified salespeople to sell only their brands. When they offer “custom” sofas, but buyers have only a few size options and a dozen textile options, then that’s not really custom.  Further, when Restoration Hardware offers “trade pricing” to the public, they are devaluing the extensive network that interior designers have with trade-only resources that build high quality furnishings without the baked in fee of having to advertise through 500 page catalogs or to open 50,000+ square foot retail showrooms. Big box retailers have borrowed our words and language, which makes sense. The home furnishings industry is nearly $35B.

A company called Buildlane is at the intersection of interior design, technology, and manufacturing. Located in Los Angeles, Buildlane is a technology platform that acts as a conduit between interior designers and American makers (of upholstered goods, case goods, and more). As design professionals, we can create the perfect pieces for our clients, load them into Buildlane’s software platform, get pricing, samples, and a firm timeline for production…all made in America. The quality is exceptional, the size, feel, comfort, and aesthetic are perfect for our projects, and the cost is approximately the same as what people pay at big box furniture retail chains. I had the pleasure of meeting with Buildlane’s CEO a few weeks ago in LA and touring one of its factories. Buildlane is better, and custom does not mean expensive.  We hope to help you with your next interior design project and perhaps we can build something together – just for you.

 (Sofa and ottoman in photo above by Buildlane.)