Classroom and
Office Space:
Extreme
Makeover!
Sara Burd
Reading Public Schools
Behavioral Health Coordinator
Feng Shui Design Student
Close your eyes…
Think of your favorite place for relaxation. A
beach, a library, bedroom, backyard…
Think of an extremely energizing place. A
night club, a gym, a mountain top…
Think of a place where you feel
uncomfortable. A bus, a basement, dining
room…
Optimal learning environments
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Research on office environments and building designs has
focused on this question of how worker productivity can be
affected by the work environment (Becker, 1982; Pappas,
1990; Steele and Jenks, 1977).
“ Spaces for …learning experiences are shaped by
administrators, teachers, maintenance personnel, and even
learners. The way these physical environments are arranged
and manipulated can affect learning experiences.” Ralph
B. Brockett, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, EDITOR-INCHIEF Where We Learn Shapes Our Learning (Richard S.
Vosko)
“If we want to change education, we literally have to
change the way we design the space,” Trung Le, a
principal in Chicago’s Cannon Design and lead designer for
its education group
http://360.steelcase.com/articles/exploring-how-spaceeffects-learning/
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Our Goal Today
 To
learn more about how our space
effects our mood, our goals and energy
 To learn about space design and space
alignment
 To evaluate our working space
 To create a design plan for our
offices/classrooms
My Background
Feng Shui Design Student
Consultations in homes, offices, schools,
colleges and outdoor spaces
Interior Design Program Certificate
Feng Shui (phung- shway)
Feng Shui is a Chinese approach to interior
design that has been practiced for
thousands of years. Feng Shui emphasizes
the need for people to live in harmony with
their environment.
How can Feng Shui help?
 Increase
or decrease the flow of energy
 Balance the energy and elements
 Align your space to your goals
 Identify unhealthy aspects of your space
 Remedy unhealthy spaces
First- Clutter Clearing
De-cluttering a space is the first step in Feng
Shui and any other interior design practice.
Clutter blocks energy and drains visual and
mental energy! Clutter inhibits working and
learning!
Things to know about clutter
There is both obvious and disguised clutter in a
classroom.
 Obvious clutter is what you try to put away
before Parents' Night.
 Disguised clutter is the file cabinet filled with
old dittos, desk drawers that hold confiscated
items from five years ago, and storage
cabinets that have never been organized.
Tackle the obvious clutter first!
Clutter Rules of Thumb
 All
surfaces ( including floors) should be
80% clear of objects.
 All shelves should be 40% clear of objects.
 The
only objects that should be in your
space are objects that are useful or
beautiful. Nothing else!
Find your clutter!
Make a list of:
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Obviously cluttered spaces
Discretely cluttered spaces
Surfaces with more than 80% covered
Shelves with more than 40% covered
Spaces where you lose things
The Bagua
Bagua Inventory
Give each area a 1-5 rating.
5=Stable/Love it! 1=Unstable/Unhappy
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Health
Career
Helpful People and Travel
Creativity and Children
Love and Relationships
Fame and Reputation
Wealth and Prosperity
Family
Self-Knowledge and Wisdom
Space evaluation
Chi: The flow of energy in a space
Yin/Yang: The balance of energy in a space
Elements: Harmony within the space and
with your goals
Your Turn!
 On
a piece of graph paper, draw a
simple floor plan of your workspace.
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Include doors, windows, furniture
Draw the bagua over the floor plan
(Focus on your top 1-2 guas)
 Indicate poor chi flow
 Indicate poor yin/yang balance
 Indicate poor balance of elements
Chi Flow
Envision chi as water flowing in through your main
door and through the room. Where does it pool and
get stuck, where does it rush too quickly?
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Long, overhead beams
Desks in rows
Pointy edges or corners
Stairs or mirror directly facing the door
Direct path from door to window
Objects that point downward from the ceiling
Classroom door at the end of a long hallway
Sharp corners on tables and cabinets
Square pillows
Yin / Yang
YIN:
feminine, cool/cold, even,
passive, wet, winter, dark,
low, soft, small, slow,
rounded, curved,
black/silver, death, ornate,
negative, matte, left, back,
floral, textured, inward, still,
sinking, receptive, valley,
horizontal, contracting,
wide, moon, earth,
listening.
YANG:
masculine, warm/hot, odd,
active, dry, summer,
light/bright, high, hard,
large, fast, sharp, angular,
straight, white, life, plain,
positive, shiny, right, front,
geometric, smooth,
outward, moving, rising,
projecting, mountain,
vertical, expanding,
narrow, sun, heaven,
speaking
Elements
Wood
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Fire
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Green, wood, plants, rectangle, tall, trees
Red, pink, light, triangles, candles
Earth
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Yellow, brown, dirt, clay pots, stones, mountains,
square
Metal
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Silver, white, black, metallic, circular, mirrors
Water
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Blue, purple, curved, wavy, aquariums
Remedies
 De-clutter
 Move
furniture
 Add/Remove Element
 Add mirrors
 Add/Remove colors
 Add/Remove emotionally charged items
Remedies specific to schools
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Face the direction of
the front door
Back to a wall
Computer between
you and door
Use mirrors to reflect
doors or views
Plants balance
electronics... Pothos,
Spider
Convenience in your
work space equals
convenience in work
Family pictures
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Desk bagua
Lighting
Aromatherapy
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Peppermint
Sweet orange
Cotton ball and water
spritzer
Stones or mountain
pictures when their
back is to a window
Focus on where you
spend the most amount
of time
More classroom specific…
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Hang a drape from one side of the corner to the
other (remember to use the appropriate color and
pattern for that corner as it applies to the controlling
element). Behind that drape, neatly stack your
labeled boxes, preferably on shelves so the custodial
staff can easily clean the floor.
Use a Japanese screen style of barrier. This is very
effective in a reading corner where you can use the
screen to post pictures related to the text.
Place wood or metal shelves(again, consider the
controlling element for the corner) diagonally. If you
are concerned about the visible cavity formed
behind the shelves, string holiday lights behind them.
Hang knotted rope or a beaded curtain from the
ceiling across the corner. Attach clothespins at
regular intervals and hang student work. This is
especially good in the fame or wealth area of your
room.
Questions…?
Time to practice!
Space Design
 On
graph paper, draw a simple floor plan
of your work space.
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Indicate windows and doors
Draw the bagua over your space
Indicate which remedies you would like to
use in your top 1-2 guas.
Indicate which remedies you would like to
use in the rest of the space.
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Blue Ribbon Feng Shui