Technology Wing

Design a New Technology Wing for Your School - Remixed

Transform an old computer lab into a digital learning space for 21st Century Learning.

Define The Problem

Use these parameters as a guide to transforming an existing technology space

Your design for a new technology education wing might include the following types and sizes of new rooms and furniture. These are just suggestions. Feel free to revise this and incorporate other spaces you think may be needed.

Technology wing space planning rules of thumb

Collect Information

Gather more information about your existing technology classrooms by taking photos, sketching, conducting interviews, or doing additional research.

Think About

  • In what ways do you use technology inside the classroom during a typical day at school?
  • In what ways do you use technology outside the classroom during a typical day at school?
  • In what ways and in what types of classes is technology currently taught at your school?
  • What types of room does technology learning take place in now?
  • Do you enjoy working in these rooms? Why or why not?
  • Are these rooms designed any different than a typical classroom? Should they be?
  • How do you collaborate around technology with other students? Where do you do this now?

Try This

  • Take photos of your school's library, the media center, computer or technology lab, or any other classroom that includes technology used by students.
  • Take photos of how and where you typically use a computer or other types of technology at home.
  • Measure the size of this room. Is it crowded now or does it have empty space?
  • Make a list of all the features and items currently found in your school's technology lab.
  • Make a list of all the things you like about these rooms. Ask several friends and your teachers their opinions.
  • Make a list of all the things you dislike about these rooms.  Ask several friends and your teachers their opinions.
  • Read about the CyberCafe in a University of Chicago library.
  • Read about how Emory University transformed their old computer lab into a new a digital learning space.

Brainstorm Ideas

Think About

  • Most technology labs are just rows of computers or individual computers inside cubicles. But is this the best way to use and learn about technology today?
  • How does collaboration occur if each person is looking at their own screen? 
  • Think about the possibilities of using technology in more comfortable places, such as on lounging on a couch or sitting under a tree. How can you incorporate these more informal spaces into your design?
  • Where will this new technology wing / addition be located at your school so that all students can take advantage of it?

Try This

  • Make lots of sketches to get your early ideas down on paper. Learn from each different idea.
  • Based on the information you collected above, brainstorm the types of spaces you’d like your new technology wing at school to have. The space planning rules of thumb in the chart below may be helpful for comparison.
  • Walk around the exterior of your school building and take photos of possible locations for the new technology wing.
  • Use Google Maps to view and print out an aerial photo of your school. Identify a location for the new technology wing. Which side of your school should the addition be constructed on?
  • What other classrooms are currently near your proposed technology wing addition?
  • Contact your school's building or maintenance department. They may already have a floor plan of your existing school building to use as a reference or base drawing.
  • Sketch bubble diagrams to figure out the spatial relationships between the different spaces. Which spaces will be adjacent to each other? Which spaces should not be next to each other?
  • Make lots of sketches, learn from each one, and figure out the best way to arrange the spaces in the technology wing.


Develop Solutions

Now's the time to take what you've learned from the steps above and develop your own solution for a new technology wing.

Try This

  • If possible, build a rough physical study model of your technology wing. You can't really understand the building's shape until you make a quick study model. Don’t worry about making a fancy finished model at this time. Instead, use cardstock, scissors, and tape to quickly create the large 3D form. See how it looks. Break off different sections, add new pieces, and try new ideas.
  • Take a photo of your model and upload it to your student account.
  • Sketch or use software such as Google SketchUp, AutoCAD, or Revit to put your ideas on paper.

Final Design

The final step of the design process is to create more finished drawings that illustrate your ideas to others. Remember, your explanation text and the types of drawings, images, and models you share need to tell the whole story of your project.
  • For your final design, you will want to post a short but effective paragraph of your process and the unique solutions you found and developed. Tell us about your ideas and how they may or may not have changed over the course of the project.
  • What essential skills have you learned? Think about where you started this class or project and what you know now. Practice writing about this here - it might come in handy for a job or college application!
  • You might want to share floor plans, elevations, renderings of your digital model, photos of a physical model, or a video animation of your model.

What should I upload in the Final Design step?

  • final hand or digital renderings
  • images of your finished physical model
  • or your finished digital model
  • You can even include links to a YouTube or Vimeo of a digital walk-through like this one:

What else should I accomplish as I finalize my project?

Review your design and test it against your original success statement that you wrote for the Define step. Does it meet this criteria?

Make a list of your ideas, sketches, and study models. For your final design you will want to write and post a short but effective paragraph of your process and the unique solutions you found developed. Tell us about your ideas.

As your ideas have changed through the project, be sure to explain your thinking and let others know about the new work you have posted to your account. Go back to the virtual drawing board and revise your project based on the feedback of others.

Revisit prior steps of your project and make sure they are well-written and clear.

Your teacher and architectural mentors will be looking for these things:

  • originality in your design
  • your ability to creatively solve the design challenge
  • the quality of images, sketches, drawings, and models you have uploaded in each of the five design process steps (Define, Collect Info, Brainstorm Ideas, Develop Solutions, and Final Design).
  • how well you have written about and explained your thinking in each of the design process steps