FREE Design Consultation. Learn more or call 1 (800) 770-7042 Fax: 1 (410) 697-1614

Case Studies

Case Studies

Before COVID-19 changed our world forever, people did not have a choice about working from an office or attending a class in school.  Universities had a brief fascination with the MOOC, Massive Open Online Coursesas an educational panacea, but student performance in those classes rarely equated to earning a degree. Hopes for the potential of transformative online education were tempered. Pre-pandemic, in-person events dominated occasions for gathering, from business conferences to university classes. Collaboration and conferencing in-person were requisite.

Enter a new virus, in a globalized world woefully unprepared to rein in a galloping rampage of disease. Since March of 2020, meeting platforms such as Zoom, Teams and Go To Meeting have stood in for office and school facilities with real time virtual meetings and classes.Sadly, despite being 20% through the 21st century, most virtual online experiences were not interactive, especially during peak COVID times. Synchronous and asynchronous alike, “digital learning”exacerbated inequities, swallowed mentorship opportunities, and fractured cohesive in-person social networks where inclusion, collaboration and inspiration fostered positive outcomes.  

In the COVID age, flexibility is not just a catchphrase for institutions of higher education, but an emergent philosophy. As universities consider their mission, budget, and student success in the semesters to come, a recurrent theme for administrators and educators is how important flexibility will be in shaping the interplay between physical space and intellectual pursuit.

The hybrid campus, mind-boggling a mere 12 months ago, is now here to stay. While the arrival of COVID brought on a sudden shock, after 21 months of pandemic learning, higher education administrators have had the opportunity to reflect on what has worked – and what has not. The birth of an adaptive workplace environment on university campuses is a positive development in the higher education landscape, and one that was tremendously accelerated by the pandemic

Walk into the Makerspace at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and you will see Computer Numerical Control machinery, waterjet cutters, high-tech 3D printers for metal and plastic, and whiteboards full of ideas, to-do lists, and calculations. While the spacious downstairs is filled with machinery for students to bring theory into practice, the brand new, multi-purpose classroom upstairs is where much of the teaching and learning will prime students for success.

SMARTdesks completed a makeover of the Dieter Weissenrieder Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Lab in time for the 2021-2022 school year, when incoming students will take on a new set of mechanical, electrical, and industrial engineering challenges
Danielle Romero Dagounis, Supervisor of Instructional and Design Technology (K-12) was interviewed November 28, 2018 to describe the design process that led to the grand opening of the Innovation Lab in September of that year.
The important combination of collaboration space appropriate for the activities, supported by ergonomic placement of the technology and power/data connections was what Danielle was looking for. In her search, she found that many products that were offered as collaboration tables for active learning did not include a configuration for the robotics curriculum, saying, “We need power. People are forgetting the whole computer component of collaboration, including the use of laptops, or Chromebooks, or whatever the smart device is. They are working with robots and I love the fact that in the middle of the table
SMARTdesks worked with Florida Architects to make custom active learning furniture for this entire project. The 93,500 square foot facility promotes innovative partnerships across key sectors of business, industry, government and education within a “future-forward” framework. It functions as a talent pipeline with training and programs directly targeting the local skills gap, leading to lucrative careers in advanced technologies.
The ATC showcases all of the academic programs and entrepreneurial opportunities that are available in this new, history-making facility
Nick Page, Ed Technology IT for University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business evaluated flipIT® and loved the way the display is actually mounted into the desktop. Screens give full visualization of the large displays used in collaboration groups, making it easy to take advantage of the intuitive controls used to permit any screen in class to be selected for display on any screen. Mendoza’s Data Visualization Collaboration Space has total flexibility to not only control a single presentation for the 70-seat classroom, but it also permits local control of eleven simultaneous sessions in full break-out. The space has scheduled free time for individual and small groups to work ad hoc to prepare for class sessions.
We wanted students to focus on the ‘what,’ not the ‘how’. The technology and software choices meld with the furniture and interior design for a superior user experience. We couldn’t be more pleased
At Gallaudet University, the on-campus Harkin Computer Lab meets the varied academic and resource needs of its student body every day. To upgrade the existing computer lab and maximize learning potential, SMARTdesks recently designed and installed a “future proof” digital commons and video teleconference suite.
Federally chartered in 1864 under the Lincoln administration, Gallaudet University’s longstanding mission is to provide the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and heard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English. Its programs and teaching methods prepare Gallaudet students to succeed in a highly competitive, technological and changing world
Folsom High School replaces a dedicated computer lab with an Active Learning Classroom featuring SMARTdesks Pi collaborative learning tables and a Quark mobile standing desk-podium for teacher– Ms. Cavanaugh. SMARTdesks collaborated with teachers and school administrators to design an open plan classroom environment that has revitalized students’ interactive learning experiences.
Folsom’s project leader, Ms. Cavanaugh said, “What the SMARTdesks allow me to do, for the first time in 20 years, is to get rid of ‘the front of the room.’ I love being able to teach from any part of my classroom and the movement and flow of the extra space around the desks allow me to get to the students quicker than in my old lab. Students feel like they are the focus of the room”
Don Bosco Cristo Rey (DBCR) High School and Corporate Work Study Program of Takoma Park, Maryland, minted their brand-new university level Carlyle Computer Lab. In collaboration with designers at the technology, furniture, and ergonomics integration company SMARTdesks, DBCR leaders brought a brand new learning space to life, and one that promises to prepare students for college and the workplace.
SMARTdesks met these technology needs by installing a new, more sophisticated interior environment. As Mr. Korber acknowledged, “The buildings that we use today generally do not fit the collaborative mode or the layout that includes wiring, moveable power, and flexibility. And the key word here I think is flexibility, because when I look at space, it’s pretty much fixed
DBCR’s school is an old building – quite far, design-wise, from the advanced technology centers of today. As SMARTdesks President/CEO Jeffrey Korber reflected, “The speed of access to information has increased at exponential rates in the last twenty years, and that drives the need for the interior environment that gives the end-user access to equipment and to utilize its benefits. But at the same time, it presents architectural challenges.”
Bringing tidy and efficient cable management to the Carlyle Computer Lab presented said challenge, and SMARTdesks Furniture + Furniture Integration Technology (FFIT) elegantly provided a comprehensive solution