Spaceoasis teams up with leading neuroscientist and develops classroom designed to optimise learning experience

  • The Spaceoasis Classroom will be unveiled at BETT 2017
  • Collaboration with neuroscientist Dr Tim Holmes has established six key principles for the optimum learning environment based on neuroscientific understanding of human behaviours
  • The Neuroscience of Classrooms report is available to download free here
  • CREATE – Show Edition 2017 here

At BETT 2017, The Spaceoasis Classroom will be unveiled alongside a report that explains why the design is beneficial to teaching and learning based on scientists’ understanding of human behaviour. Spaceoasis is sharing key insights into the neuroscience of the classroom developed through its collaboration with leading neuroscientist, Dr Tim Holmes, an expert in understanding the environmental factors that influence cognitive and emotional behaviour. Spaceoasis, the company that designs, manufactures and installs furniture for amazing learning spaces, will also reveal the six principles of the Spaceoasis classroom, to enable schools to adopt the key learnings.


Why neuroscience could hold the key to optimising learning space design

Over the last 30 years scientists have learned how our sensory processes work and can now accurately predict how we will behave when presented with certain environmental cues. For example:

  • Research shows that people are more invested in environments they create; flexible layouts create a sense of ownership that can increase productivity by up to 32%.

Spaceoasis Classroom – layout one


  • Attention is a finite resource and we tend to ‘spotlight’ our focus on a single subject of interest. If you want that subject to be the teacher, you need to make it easy for the class to focus on them – clear lines of sight are important, so varied height seating can help.

Spaceoasis Classroom – layout two


  • In a classroom with rows of desks, people tend to sit in the same place, which restricts social interaction and encourages cliques. Removing desk barriers encourages discussion and shared learning.

Spaceoasis Classroom – layout three


Simon Hick, Managing Director of Spaceoasis explains, “We have long believed that a flexible learning environment delivers a better learning experience but we wanted to find out whether our beliefs stood up to scientific scrutiny. We asked Dr Tim Holmes to examine our design and assess it from a neuroscientific perspective, we then refined our design with his input. We learnt a huge amount about how people behave and the impact of environment on attention, motivation and behaviour which are all crucial in a classroom. We’re happy to share what we’ve learnt, especially if it helps people improve their learning environments for the benefit of students and teachers alike.”

Dr Tim Holmes, Director of Research at Acuity Intelligence Ltd, a neuroscience based research consultancy and Honorary Research Associate at Royal Holloway, commented: “For some time now, retailers have been leveraging ideas from neuroscience and psychology to effect behavioural change.  Working with Spaceoasis I’ve shown where these learnings are directly applicable to the design of education spaces. With good design classrooms can become more than just a place to deliver learning; they become a tool that can be incorporated in lesson planning and used to improve the education experience for both students and teachers.”

Download the CREATE Show Edition which includes The Six Principles of the Spaceoasis Classroom here.

Download The Neuroscience of Classrooms full report by Dr Tim Holmes here.