STEAM Class Room 2017

Steam 2017

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. This will not only increase academic performance and personal development, but is the backbone of developing human capital en masse and a workforce that is better equipped to deal with future challenges confidently and efficiently, no matter their career path.
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 value and impact of design and innovation is invaluable across all sectors and highlights the role and necessity of design as a subject, a tool and an industry in a developing country like South Africa.
The IDEA Collective consist of a multifaceted team of design education specialists and lifetime design activists represented by Suné Stassen founder and creative director of Rock City Foundation; Professor Des Laubscher co-founder of Greenside Design Centre and board member of Ico-D (International Council of Design); Maria Thiel, principal and founder of Bridgeway High School and Irma Sargeant.
Aims and focus of the project
• Interior Designers will reimagine the classroom for the 21st century
• Graphic Designers will develop project concepts for STEAM based learning at Grade 10 Level
• Multimedia Designers will develop apps for DESIGN THINKING as a teaching aid for Secondary schooling teachers

These projects will be presented by The IDEA Collective at the STEAM symposium in Cape Town taking place in August 2017.


Our aim is to Re-Imagine the Classroom for the 21st century by taking into consideration and approaching design thinking and project based learning (STEAM) when looking at education and the space used to educate.

The initial concept was aimed at designing the ideal STEAM-learning classroom.

To better demonstrate principles of Human-Centered Design and STEAM, the brief was modified to the potential renovation of Studio L into the optimal design studio for students and lecturers at GDC.



The classroom was redesigned to be the optimal workspace for Greenside Design Center students and lecturers.

The room is equipped to accommodate all students’ design needs, from first year to the end of their studies.

This concept was adapted from the STEAM learning initiative.

The colour, form and furnishings within the classroom all keep with the existing, updated GDC colour scheme.


  • Desks
    • Multi-functional & 360 degree pivot
    • Multi-functional drafting desk
  • Chairs
    • Stackable stools
    • Ottomans
  • Bay Windows
    • Group/personal critiques
    • Interactive space
    • Perimeter of classroom is made bigger
  • Partitions
    • Stackable glass screens
    • Vertical planters
    • Decorative rope dividers
  • Peg Board
    • Learn about colour pallets & color pairing
    • Creates mood boards
    • Iinteractions with materials & colour
  • Vertical Planter
    • Brings outside inside & creates a refreshing environment


After carefully creating a layout for the studio, the group set about designing furniture for the various areas and the required needs of the space.

The design process included carefully examining ergonomics, precedent studies of similar existing furniture, and finally creating SketchUp models that could be inserted into the model studio.