Darlington School: DarDesigners: Replacing the Podium With Flexible Classroom Seating
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DarDesigners: Replacing the Podium With Flexible Classroom Seating

Jennifer Sikes | April 23, 2017 | 744 views

DarDesigners is kicking the podium to the curb and replacing it with flexible classroom seating. 

With the new schedule at Darlington, teachers are relying more on group discussion and collaborative learning in their classrooms, and less on lecturing. For this reason, our DarDesigner mission is to create a flexible classroom environment so that Mrs. Molly Jordan’s and Mrs. Jennifer Sikes’s classrooms are more suitable for group and personalized learning.



Our design team is working with Steelcase,  a company specializing in classroom furniture and design, for our classroom redesign project. Steelcase offers a great way to test some furniture styles before we actually make our decisions next semester. Through their furniture demo program, we have selected a classroom set to test drive until May 25.


If you’ve been in the Darlington library lately, you’ve probably noticed–or have even used–the Node chairs in the McCallie conference room. Since we already have that style of flexible seating on campus, we selected the Verb classroom set, which includes the following:

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    Small, personal white boards for individual and mobile use and an easel for display

  • Mobile teacher station

  • Rolling tables that encourage different classroom layouts

  • Smaller, chevron-shaped tables that seat up to two people

  • Rolling node chairs (without the personal desk tray attachment)

Check out a video of the Verb classroom here:  


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For Mrs. Jordan’s classroom, we selected Hokki stools. These stools are designed to keep the body steady while also allowing continued movement (sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it?). The Hokki stools should arrive sometime this week.

We’re really excited about having this new furniture at Darlington and beginning our process of learning what the students think about it! Over the next few weeks, Mrs. Sikes and Mrs. Jordan will be sharing their furniture with other classrooms so that we can learn more about what Darlington students look for in seating and classroom arrangement.

If you’d like to schedule a time to try out the furniture, email Mrs. Sikes and Mrs. Jordan. If you’d like to know more about our classroom redesign project, email our team.

All photos and videos of furniture in this blog are from Steelcase

This blog was co-written by members of DarDesigners, a design team that includes students from the Pre-K to 8 and Upper School divisions. DarDesigners will be redesigning Molly Jordan's second-grade classroom and Jennifer Sikes's Upper School English classroom. This project is funded through the Wood Distinguished Faculty Fellowship. Jordan and Sikes will not only be rethinking their classroom layout, but also how their pedagogical practices complement their physical learning spaces.