Keep Portland (and Cities All Over) Flexible
Spacesaver showcases a new product and more at EdSpaces 2022.
Did you know? Portland is home to the largest independently owned bookstore? Sounds like a great choice of host city for this year’s EdSpaces 2022 conference! And the nearly 2500 attendees and 130 fellow exhibitors Spacesaver’s team had a chance to meet with at the three-day affair certainly agreed. Let’s take a look at the sights, sounds, and happenings from the perspective of those who were there.
Sorting Out the Sessions
Today’s classrooms are all about providing room for growth for their students, and many of this year’s sessions were geared toward opening up the space for versatile learning opportunities. School districts are encouraging administrators to utilize more efficient storage for useful items, purge unnecessary materials, and focus on utilizing outside storage in their design process to free up space within their classrooms. Four driving pillars of this shift in the market are making learning spaces:
- Adaptable & Functional
- Inviting and Comfortable
- Learner Centered
- Though overall this edition of the conference seemed slower paced than years past, the majority of furniture displayed was mobile, flexible, and ready for action
Universities are like small cities, with a variety of facilities from libraries and sports arenas to police departments and hospitals. Download the guide for inspiration and ideas for space planning.
This year’s sessions featured a strong focus on fostering student engagement throughout the building. From utilizing cubbies to store student supplies and belongings in lieu of combination lockers to reduce anxiety, to providing more inclusive athletic prep areas, to including colorful spaces to encourage creativity, administrators have the health and well-being of their students top of mind in the design process.
In addition, while regulations and restrictions from COVID are beginning to lighten up, the impact it had on educational fixtures and processes have changed the market for good. Hygienic practices that used to be appreciated are now non-negotiable and heavily monitored, making easier to clean surfaces that are moisture resistant and feature no edge banding the new standard.
New Flexible Shelving Units You Say?
We rolled out (pun intended) our new Flexible Shelving units at EdSpaces 2022, featuring exposed and concealed casters (pun justified) to allow for use where it’s needed when it’s needed.
Our booth showcased two of the many finish options of the steel-constructed, durable unit: one, a more classic wood look intended to pair with existing storage options; and the other, an acrylic finish in an eye-catching blue. One of these units will be donated for use by a lucky consumer. We’ll be launching the product in early December, so keep an eye out for more information on how to be one of the first to be a part of the comprehensive release.
The Collective Observation
Here is what we saw and heard from sessions, at the booth, and everywhere in between:
- It was clear that attendees’ main focus was on getting to the sessions being offered
- Exhibitors we spoke to also said attendees seemed to have a set agenda for who they wanted to see; very few people – mostly dealers looking for the latest and greatest – were simply just “making the rounds”
- This year’s edition of the conference featured more dealers and distributors than end users, we spoke with some architects but did not see many general contractors present
Looking forward to seeing everyone at EdSpaces 2023 in Charlotte, NC!
Creating Educational Spaces
For more than 50 years, Spacesaver has been a trusted partner in helping the education market plan and design versatile learning spaces. Our network of local distributors offers space planning services, product installation, and ongoing service and maintenance by factory-certified technicians.