IDEA Collective 21st Century Classroom 2018

The IDEA Collective team believes that the role of design and other creative activities and tools are vital to develop core life skills in all children and promote creative intelligence for South Africa and Africa at large.

Design’s core purpose is to improve people’s lives through proactive problem solving and the creation of appropriate solutions that take cognizance of social, cultural, environmental and economic factors.

The IDEA Collective consist of a multifaceted team of design education specialists and lifetime design activists.

STEAM is an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking.

DESIGN THINKING is a methodology used by designers to solve complex problems, and find desirable solutions for clients.  

It makes sense, therefore, to break out of the silos we have created in schools and develop a cross-disciplinary inquiry to foster innovation and together build a better South Africa.


The Brief we were given was to design a 21st Century Classroom. The aim was to re-design the traditional classroom in order to develop core life skills such as critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration in preparation for a technologically advanced workplace through education.

The objectives are:

  • To improve the quality of teaching and learning
  • To consider socioeconomic, cultural and environmental factors specific to the community
  • To incorporate STEAM and design thinking principles.

Reimagine The Classroom for the 21st

  • We are designing a 21st Century classroom for high school learners from grade 9 - 10
  • Our Target market is public, rural and private schools in the S.A context
  • The current classroom layout/environment has been used since the industrial revolution
  • We are now in an age where learners need to be equipped with a creative way of learning so that they will be able to be inventive and prepared for the 21st century working environment



Concept design for a multi-functional STEAM centered class room, that allows greater mobility & collaboration. Universal floor plan that can work for a government classroom as well as a private school classroom



We felt that it is vital to include the rural school, to ensure that the gap between urban and rural education standards are narrowed if not matched in preparation for the 21st Century South Africa.

After changing the perimeters of the final design to suit STEAM, we as a group feel that we have successfully redesigned the traditional classroom layout and function to enable students to learn in a more creative and fun environment, this leads to increased productivity, a more pleasant work space and the best learning environment for all learners and teachers.

The rural school has been adjusted to suit the needs of students within such areas as well as equip students with the necessary tools and knowledge to make their everyday lives easier, this is achieved by learning through play.