During my recent visit to a large secondary school in Münster as part of a competition jury, one conspicuous detail caught my eye upon closer inspection of the impressive timber building:
Nowhere were there blackboards, textbooks, notebooks, or writing utensils. Why would there be?
Nowadays, students read and write on their tablets. The classic school satchel is obsolete, and paper is a thing of the past; for a tablet, all you need is a small bag.
Daily life in schools has undergone a more profound transformation than any other public institution – and architecture is responding to this shift by adapting the programme to align with new digital teaching methods and educational concepts. For this concept issue, my colleague Peter Popp curated a compilation of new school buildings that address this change in various ways. From Copenhagen and Munich to Madrid and Antwerp, these structures cater to diverse educational institutions. Yet, they share a common trait: their rooms are not monofunctional but multipurpose, offering a spectrum of choices. A central objective of these cuttingedge school designs is to create opportunities for social interaction and meaningful encounters. In the digital age, this becomes paramount in schools. Students need an environment that cultivates community, allowing them to connect and develop socially. The crucial question is how best to achieve this. (From the editorial of Detail 3.2024).