Published on March 13, 2014
UPGRADE Your Workspace The Upgrade Adjustable-Height Desk Developed By: Rachel Gold Nick Lawrence Sara Naegelin Kelvin Parker Christine Yun Thursday, May 16, 13
Mission Statement In today's classroom, it is imperative that students can exert control over the conﬁguration of their learning space. The classroom footprint needs to be a constantly evolving space to accommodate students with varied learning styles and educators with dynamic teaching methodologies. Our adjustable desk is an ergonomic solution that allows the active learner to seamlessly transition between standing and sitting, empowering the student to choose how he or she uses the variable workspace. The ease of mobility of the desk enables teachers to effortlessly implement a wide range of desired room conﬁgurations, such as collaborative, lecture-based, project-based, and classroom discussion forum. Our solution is designed to foster high levels of student engagement by cultivating a kinesthetic learning environment; an environment predicated on physicality and tactile learning. Designed For The Active Learner The Upgrade is an adjustable-height workspace for grades 7-12, designed to promote activity, comfort and collaborative learning. Thursday, May 16, 13
Classroom Research Our observations indicated that a student’s learning environment could be augmented through an adaptable desk design that eliminates the conventional sedentary experience and supports the interactive instruction in today’s classroom. Our product strives to blend the traditional analog human-centered experiences of learning with the digital, highly connected experiences of tomorrow. It is difﬁcult to challenge the gravitational pull towards wired connectivity. Before technology in the education sphere becomes universal, attention must be paid to fully understanding our primary stakeholder’s [students & teachers] relationship with their surroundings. Classroom observations provided us with thought-provoking questions to determine how increased mobility and physicality could be leveraged to yield higher achievement and performance levels holistically. Increasing Use of Technology Different Learning Styles Collaborative Learning Varied Preference Standing vs. Sitting Antiquated Desk Design Thursday, May 16, 13
Brainstorming After engaging in the primary research process, our team used a collaborative visual tool to collect our ideas into a centralized place. Thursday, May 16, 13
Based on secondary research, classroom visits, teacher interviews, and surveys, it became clear that major challenges in the classroom include a need to address behavior management, different learning styles, and outlets for physical energy. Historically students have been relegated to being passive learners in their environments, extending to the use of antiquated, rigid desks to which they are forced to conform. Our observations and research demonstrate that the physical learning environment is ripe for innovation, and in need of an upgrade. By providing adjustable height desks that can be reconﬁgured easily, there can be a dramatic effect on levels of student engagement ranging from increased focus and concentration to providing health beneﬁts associated with improved blood circulation and metabolic activity. Key Insights Teacher Insights “I have a great deal of ownership in the way my classroom looks and operates. If anything, maybe we could do with more comfortable and ergonomic seats with which to sit around the table and/or work at the computers--but nothing too fancy, since everything gets a lot of wear from all the middle and high school students.” Behavior Management Outlets for Physical Energy Different Learning Styles Thursday, May 16, 13
Ergonomic Beneﬁts A blended sit-stand workspace is designed to increase cognitive functioning and provide health beneﬁts to a student. Studies have indicated that students need to move to perform difﬁcult and complex tasks. Students become more hyperactive when a task requires them to store and process information rather than just retain and hold onto it. A University of Minnesota study from 2011 found that standing desks signiﬁcantly increase metabolic rates and caloric expenditure. It has also been shown that extended periods of sitting are associated with increases in the risk of heart and kidney disease that can surface in adulthood. Ergonomists recommend that sitting is broken up by periodic standing and moving throughout the day to improve work performance, levels of engagement, and reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries. Our adjustable-height workspace design allows the student to build a pattern of greater movement varieties in the classroom. We want the student to be able to adjust their workspace to their body to match their limitations and capabilities. As designers and strategists we strive to encourage healthy behavioral habits at a formative age. Sources: Bright, Rebecca. (2009). Kids Who Can’t Sit Still: Letting Them Fidget May Keep Students Focused On Learning. Retrieved From http:// www.nea.org/tools/47003.htm. Cornell University Ergonomics Web. Sitting and Standing At Work. Retrieved From http://ergo.human.cornell.edu/CUESitStand.html. Thursday, May 16, 13
Concept Development Sketches Concept Drawing A Concept Drawing B Thursday, May 16, 13
Concept Development CAD Drawings 18" 8" 24" 18" 25"-55" FRONT DESK VIEWS FRONT RIGHT AXONOMETRIC DIMENSIONS ITEM TABLE TOP LEGS LEG REST TABLET STAND STORAGE TRAY WIDTH HEIGHT 24" 1 1/2 -1" 1 1/2" 8" 6" 18" 25-55" 8" 6" 5" TOP BACK Thursday, May 16, 13
Evolution of Production Began as Foam-Core Concept Construction of the Table Top 1899 1946% 1960% 1970 1 2 3 4 5 6 Timeline of Student Desk Design 2012 Thursday, May 16, 13
Prototype Testing in Classroom Standing Height Position Sitting Height Position Thursday, May 16, 13
Product Speciﬁcations Features Adjustable legs for height 25"-55" Leg bar rest Tablet stand Imbedded tray for storage Charging port Cord Organizer Hook for backpack Casters on two legs for mobility Rubber gripper pads on two legs for stability Optional Features Paper Roll attachment Dry Erase Board Top Bin underneath desk for storage Task light Thursday, May 16, 13
Desk Conﬁgurations INDIVIDUAL OR PAIRED LEARNING COLLABORATIVE WORK CLASS DISCUSSIONS Thursday, May 16, 13
The Upgrade Project is a non-proﬁt organization located at the intersection of public service and product design, committed to providing students and educators with a premium ergonomic solution. The adjustable height desk is a solution that is engineered to be seamlessly integrated into today’s classroom. The Upgrade Project ﬁrmly believes that a student’s success rests on the simple choice of a learning environment that permits variable workspace conﬁgurations. Humans are wired to learn via physicality and be constantly receiving kinesthetic emotional feedback. Our product, paired with today’s population of students who have varied learning styles, is aimed to activate the formerly static learner with the hope of yielding higher academic achievement and valuable behavioral and health beneﬁts. Our concept was designed around partnerships with local fabricators and material suppliers. For the adjustable height desk we partnered with The Dylan Gold Studio and Ace Hardware. The Dylan Gold studio executed our design to perfection and in a sustainable manner by working in conjunction with Ace Hardware. Business Model Thursday, May 16, 13
Cost Structure & Pricing • Preliminary cost estimates assume low-medium volume at 5,000- 7,000 per month • Welded extrusion (steel) • Designed with universal manufacturing efﬁciencies (left/right) Cost Target: $80-$90 Thursday, May 16, 13
Funding & Marketing Innovation & Seed Funding Source Venue to Market to Administrators, Educators, and Investors Working with local school administrators The Upgrade Project will identify schools in need of new desks and classroom furniture. To expand our reach nationally, The Upgrade Project is planning to exhibit at the annual Learning Environments Expo (LEX) held in conjunction with the AIA Committee on Architecture for Education. Beyond donations, strategic partnerships, and sponsorship, The Upgrade Projects seeks grant funding from organizations such as NewSchools Fund, which “invests in the most innovative, promising, early-stage entrepreneurial organizations working to make a difference in public education for students from low-income communities.” Thursday, May 16, 13
The Upgrade Adjustable-Height Desk UPGRADE Your Workspace Thursday, May 16, 13
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