CLOUDIE™ Table

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  • 2018

  • Product Design
    Furniture and Lighting

Designed By:

  • Avron Levin
  • Norvanivel

Commissioned By:

Norvanivel

Designed In:

Australia

The Cloudie Table looks light-hearted, fun and you might think that it is produced purely for aesthetic reasons. In reality, the Cloudie Table is the result of extensive school classroom observations and design work. It is a thoroughly considered design solution to the difficulties of encouraging students to collaborate.


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  • In his 2015 book, Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education, Sir Ken Robinson talks about the need to transform schools into places that encourage creativity and nurture each student’s individual talents and interests. He calls on schools to move away from an industrial model of education and acknowledges the importance of collaboration in boosting both learning and creativity. The CLOUDIE Table is designed for classroom collaboration. It is consciously designed to be a non-tessellating table, so that teachers and students cannot fall back into previous habits and arrange the classroom into factory-style rows of desks.

  • We spent time in classrooms (particularly Northern Beaches Christian School) observing collaborative work. We noticed that not all students feel enthusiastic about collaboration: some would prefer to work alone. Others have an inseparable friend they always need as part of their team. The CLOUDIE Table was designed to accommodate everyone. There is a small, slightly more distant semi-circle for self-sufficient students to sit at comfortably whilst still being part of the action, large semi-circles for best buddies to share and all sorts of places in between. The cloud shape encourages creativity but resists being lined up in neat rows.

  • The most significant impact of the CLOUDIE Table is social. It allows students with different personalities, including students who are reluctant to join groups, to find a space where they feel comfortable in collaborative situations. It doesn’t force students into unwanted proximity, whilst offering a large central area for joint work. Just as industrialised education prefers rows of rectangular desks, so do table component manufacturers. Because the CLOUDIE Table is non-tessellating, it is difficult to cut efficiently from laminate board. To alleviate any environmental/waste impacts, we use offcuts in making other products such as WORKPAD Caddies and SCATTERPOD Ottomans.

  • The CLOUDIE Table’s work surface is deceptively large, allowing for a lot of collaboration, without the intimidating, formal feeling of a similarly sized rectangular table. The organic edge to the CLOUDIE Table fits a surprising number of students, with everyone still able to reach the central collaborative area. The curves are safe in active classrooms and avoid awkward social issues such as: Who is at the head of the table? Is anyone stuck uncomfortably at a corner? The fun cloud shape (and light construction) encourages students and teachers to move the CLOUDIE Table around the classroom to wherever collaboration is happening. CLOUDIE Tables don’t make classrooms feel cluttered like similar-sized rectangular tables do. Our most popular version of the CLOUDIE Table comes with a writable surface to increase collaborative options (sorry the sample is non-writable). We offer the CLOUDIE Table in sizes accommodating primary school students through to adult learners. The bases offered include a low table through to standing desk heights, and flip frames on castors. When writable CLOUDIE Tables are placed on a flip frames with castors, they double as mobile whiteboards and can be easily used by students to present the results of their collaboration to classmates.