ESNE, Escuela Universitaria de Diseño, Innovación y Tecnología, is an official private institution linked to Universidad Camilo José Cela in Madrid, with more than 1,600 students who indulge their passion for design in all specialisations in its classrooms and facilities. It has a Smart Classroom, conceived and designed collaboratively by students from all years of their Interior Design Degree and for which they have had support from Actiu, bringing together talent, design and industry.
The Smart Classroom entailed the renovation and integral transformation of the space that includes innovations in flooring, ceiling and lighting, the incorporation of mobile and foldable furniture, a touch screen that controls all the domotic functions and a materials library with an extensive catalogue available to the students. The resulting space is agile and versatile, capable of holding theory classes as well as teamwork sessions.
The space has undergone a total transformation. Apart from the electricity, the students´ project has improved the floors and ceilings, with sustainable solutions including Wicanders cork flooring and Ecophon acoustic islands suspended from the ceiling that prevent reverberation while improving speech intelligibility.
Similarly, some light filters have been designed as methacrylate blinds manufactured in ESNE´s Fab Lab. A system that enables using natural light as the main source of lighting, complemented by LED technology installed in the ceiling´s acoustic islands. Furthermore, they have a micro-perforated panel on one of the walls which, as it is made of metal, enables projects to be presented using magnets.
Choosing the furniture was an important part of the Smart Classroom transformation project. To do so, the University teamed up with Actiu, opting for the Talent tables and the Whass chairs.
Initially designed to hold 40 students, the versatility of the furniture and the spaciousness of the Talent 300 tables enabled the space to be redesigned to accommodate 20 students in a face-to-face setting, adhering to all the safety and social distance measures. Furthermore, when it comes to storage, the tables are stackable and have wheels so they can be easily adapted to the needs of the classroom at any given moment. The Whass chairs are stackable and allow the space to be reconfigured quickly, adapting to each situation. The teacher´s workspace has been equipped with a Talent 500 table which is mobile, foldable and height-adjustable.
Last but not least, technology played a key role throughout every stage of the project. Given the need for electrical connections for laptops and mobile devices, the space has been equipped with a wall-mounted electrical conduit, with the electrical outlets being located right where each individual needs them. It also incorporated a large, 80-inch interactive whiteboard and an advanced video system that enables students to stream the class from home, as if they were physically present in the classroom.