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Creative Director: Stephen Burton
Art Director: Lindsay Tucker
Created by: Lindsay Tucker, Stephen Burton
Programming and Development: Nathan Brown
Copywriter: Stephen Burton
Image Retoucher: Danny Joslyn
Video Producer: Ben Amos
Photo Credit for POMO Studio Image: Lucas Muro www.lucasmuro.com.au

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The Better Schools by Design Initiative is a project that's aimed at engaging high school students to help designers to create better learning environments.

We're giving school students the opportunity to tell us what
they want their schools and their classrooms to look like.
What would inspire them to want to come to school?

How can we create environments where teachers and students alike can thrive, where we break down common barriers to learning and we create places that foster collaboration, original thought, independence and social responsibility? How can we create schools that our young people love going to and helps them to enjoy learning?

Is the best model for inspiring young people still the same model we have had for hundreds of years - rows of desks facing a teacher at the front?

We think it's time to challenge the things we have come to accept about our high schools by giving voice to those who we believe know them best - the students themselves.

For example, can we be better utilising the common areas of our schools to foster collaboration and problem solving? Can we be adapting some of our run-down outdoor areas into flexible play/learn environments? Could the green spaces of our schools be multi-purposed into environmental or agricultural student-run enterprises? Can we be empowering our young people to take responsibility for sustainability and conservation in their schools and if so how? Wouldn't it take less time to get to class if our kids could ride there on their scooters or skateboards? Could a giant scrabble board be a more effective way to engage kids in spelling?

In recent years designers are increasingly looking for ways to create physical environments which engage, stimulate and inspire their users. It's happening in the public spaces of our towns and cities and the private spaces of our workplaces and homes. We think it should be happening in our high schools too. One crucial piece of the puzzle that designers are missing right now is an understanding of what it is that might actually engage, stimulate and inspire our students. We need to know what students think and what they want. The Better Schools by Design Initiative is aimed at finding this out.

WHAT'S NEXT?

We are seeking the support of interested high schools to allow us to run two student workshops. The workshops will consist of two hands-on sessions, run at school and aimed at giving students a chance to work collaboratively on generating ideas, designs and even prototypes of the things and places they would like to see in their high school environment.

We are also seeking the input of a passionate educator who can volunteer to help us create the framework for the best possible workshop.

WHAT'S THE OUTCOME?

The information gathered from these workshops will be used to build a free open-source toolkit. The toolkit can be used by designers and policy makers who are involved in creating new schools or upgrading existing schools. It will also contain useful tools for educators, parents and importantly students who are looking to improve existing schools on any kind of budget.

As this entire project is voluntary, the extent to which we are able to engage with students and the time-frame for the creation of the toolkit is at this stage unknown however if you have something to contribute, want more information or want to get involved please fill out the form below.

EXPRESSION OF INTEREST

If you'd like to gain access to POMO's unique methodology for any project, don't hesitate to contact us today on 07 5441 6605.

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