4 black RBM Ballet chairs in an art classroom with red abstract painting on aisles

How classroom design can improve student engagement

Turn ceaseless babbling into focused and productive learning with a well-planned and inspiring classroom design. Learn what has the biggest impact, and how to improve learning engagement.

Tired of getting your motivation and enthusiasm crushed by your student's lack of focus and never-ending chatter? Sorry to disappoint you, but for young students, it probably feels more exciting talking about the weekend's events than finding out the derivative of a function. With the right classroom interior design, you can turn that babble into more focused student learning.


Learn how Flokk can help you with your learning environment

classroom with rows of blue RBM Noor chairs with red sledgebase legs at Hebekk School, Norway
Hebekk School, Norway. Photograph: Eli Haughen Sandnes, Planforum Arkitekter | Pictured: RBM Noor

The importance of the school environment for productivity

Already when the students walk into the school building the surroundings influence them. In the same way that the interior design of your home affects your emotions and perception, the school environment affects your students. They need a learning environment that stimulates, engages and inspires them to work more productively and creatively, which in turn improves student engagement. 


Classroom design has a huge impact

A study conducted by the University of Salford in England (2012-2013) along with the architects' Nightingale Associates showed that classroom design contributed to 25% of the student’s progress over the course of an academic year. The differences between the students from the worst designed classrooms and the best-designed classrooms were mind-blowing – a FULL year’s worth of study.

bright classroom environment with pupils working on tables featuring black RBM Ballet chairs
Pictured: RBM Ballet and RBM Eminent

Design parameters for conducive learning

The study found that six of ten classroom design parameters had the most powerful impact on student learning:



The quality of the furniture in the classroom is important, and that includes ergonomic tables and ergonomic chairs in an interesting design, that supports the students feeling of ownership to the classroom.



A greater school building with fresh and unique surroundings that catches attention, in balance with orderliness. 73% of the variation in student performance can be explained by the building environment factors measured in this study.



The possibility to easily rearrange the furniture to have a classroom design that works with different kinds of teaching approaches and activities. It is also important that your classroom can accommodate all students without getting crowded. When you are looking at ideas, make sure that your classroom displays work in unison with the layouts you propose.


Read - Choosing cafeteria chairs for learning environments

Black RBM Noor chairs and RBM Eminent tables in the chemistry room with science experiments on the tables
Pictured: RBM Noor and RBM Emiment
RBM Noor and RBM Eminent in the music hall


A clear and clean corridor with quick access to classrooms and connections with other spaces. The pathways should be wide and clear.



Give your students a generous amount of visual stimulation through colour on furniture, walls and floors. Colder colours for older students and warmer colours for younger students.



The quality and quantity of natural light affects a student's level of learning, but it is important to be able to control the level of the lighting.


So stop complaining about your student's lack of focus and start working on a better and more inspiring classroom design. With the right planning, the design can push your students to perform better and enjoy the lessons more.


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