Classrooms are unlike the average working environment; they require a little more care and attention, and need to be designed to help people focus, learn, and thrive. From school to university, teachers need flexible classroom seating to bring the best out of their students.
Chairs, stools, and innovative group seating should be at the forefront of any designer, architect, or school procurement manager putting together a classroom seating plan.
Classroom needs have evolved over the years; and the high school chairs and plastic stackable chairs of old are no longer fit for purpose for today’s learners, who need flexible seating in step with modern teaching.
So, where to start?
Classroom seating should assist students and help them stay engaged. It should also be easy to move around to fit different lesson types and teaching methods.
Buro has worked alongside Kiwi education providers for several years, and the same factors continue to be crucial when thinking about modern classroom seating. In our experience, here are some of the main factors to consider when selecting classroom chairs:
Occupied all day by students shuffling, leaning, and moving, a good classroom chair needs to be robust. Chairs in a learning environment have to be durable and comfortable, striking the right balance between the two.
Buro’s Konfurb Fly chairs have been used across a wide range of educational settings, as well as offices and hospitality environments. Their frames are built to last and withstand year after year.
When it comes to classroom seating, looks matter. Modern seating design can brighten the mood in a dull classroom environment and give any learning space a lift. Remember being inspired by the uncomfortable high school chairs of years gone by? Us neither.
3. Adjustable height
With students learning in the classroom and online these days, adjustable, adaptable seating can be arranged to create a tiered or theatre-style seating arrangement, perfect for when there are multiple focal points in a room.
A variation of chair heights with swivel mechanisms and castors can help, giving teachers the flexibility to reconfigure their classes as required.
Buro’s Konfurb Harmony and Konfurb Harmony Drafting chairs feature a swivel, height adjustment and active seating technology. The active seating technology means students don’t need to fuss over manual levers to adjust the chair, instead they can achieve optimal posture effortlessly.
4. Cleanliness and tidiness
While a great office chair has to be durable, good-looking, and adjustable, it also needs to be functional day-to-day.
Classroom chairs have to be kept clean. So, whenever you’re selecting one, make sure it is made of hygienic, easily wipeable materials. With so many people using them every day, ensure the school cleaners can deal with stains and spills.
An often overlooked part of a chair is the glide (the part at the bottom of each leg that provides protection for both the chair and floor).
The type of glide you need depends on the type of flooring you have. Black plastic glides can mark concrete floors, for example, while clear glides are a great all-rounder. Attention to detail is important, and every part of the chair matters.
Buro’s classroom furniture is customisable with a range of glides and castors to suit different projects.
6. A new take on an old classic
Versatile and adaptable, sled base chairs give a modern twist to the old-fashioned high school chair. Buro’s Konfurb Fly Sled chairs have a 12mm solid sled base frame, and are certified Level 1 heavy duty for commercial use up to 150kg.
Sled base chairs like the Konfurb Fly Sled have another great feature — stackability. Stackable chairs for schools make it easy for teachers or cleaners at the end of the day, and keep the classroom nice and neat. The lightweight chairs are also easier to move around — a win-win.
8. Nesting options
Speaking of stackability, foldable, space-saving chairs, known as nesting chairs, can be folded up together and stacked. These options are increasingly popular at universities.
Think about ergonomics — after all, students are spending all day, nearly every day in the classroom. Flexible backs can allow more movement, swivel bases can help students shift to different focal points, and height adjustability settings can help cater for people of different heights.
10. Catering for unconventional spaces
School subjects go way beyond traditional areas like maths, history, and science these days. We have seen an increase in new school innovation centres in recent years.
These centres serve as a single building speciality subject areas dedicated to design, innovation, and manufacturing, among other areas.
The spaces require flexible seating that can serve different subjects or disciplines, and alternative ways of learning.
Architectural chairs on castors are popular in innovation centres. The architectural base provides extra height range allowing teachers to walk between groups and engage at eye level without having to crouch down or sit at a lower level.
Architectural height stools are particularly sought-after in innovation centre workshop classrooms, where people need to sit, perch, and stand. Architectural height stools allow for posture change and support.
Buro’s Konfurb Harmony Drafting chair is popular in schools for creating a tiered theatre-type learning environment.
Konfurb Harmony chairs featured at St Andrew’s Lutheran College
Our seating on show
Buro’s wide range of flexible classroom seating has helped education providers across New Zealand and Australia. Here are some examples of how our seating has been used to improve learning environments and inspire students.
The modular furniture offers flexibility, as individual seating blocks can be rearranged to change the layout of the space, and configured to promote group communication and learning.
The new Centre for Creative Industries at St Andrew’s Lutheran College, on Australia’s Gold Coast, uses Buro Revo stools, which come in three different height ranges, and feature gas lifts and architectural footrings to rest on. The stools provide options for sitting, perching, or working at standing height.
John McGlashan College in Dunedin renovated its school dining hall with Konfurb Fly Sled Barstools and Chairs, creating flexible seating solutions.
The college’s old fixed long bench seats were replaced with the modern Konfurb Fly range, with the college opting for black shells with black powder coat frames.
The Konfurb Fly Series is designed with comfort in mind, mirroring the shape of the human body, with crucial durability for daily hard-wearing use.
The chairs allowed the school to cater for meetings and functions with multiple layouts, and change the look and feel of the space easily and quickly.
The Konfurb Fly range also created flexible seating solutions for Craighead Diocesan School in Timaru.
The glides on the Konfurb Fly Sled Chairs and Barstools protected the school’s heritage wooden floors, while the versatility of the seating enables the school to use the chairs for different functions.
The college prioritised ergonomic furniture that was versatile and durable, while making the most of our Konfurb Quest 4 Leg Tablet chairs with writing tablets (AU only).
Buro’s minimal and softly-upholstered Konfurb Neo chairs added a touch of modern design and ergonomics, helping to make the space more inviting.
Now you’ve got some top tips and some design inspiration, take a look at our wide range of seating options for schools, colleges, and universities.
Need seating for your learning space?
Talk to our knowledgeable sales team about how our seating can best enhance learning.