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Here at OpenSquare we have experience working with educators to make classrooms a space where all types of learning can flourish. Our partnership with Steelcase and their Education Solutions department makes redesigning classrooms and promoting active learning easy, with numerous options and design ideas.

Rethinking the Classroom


Today’s demands on learning outcomes are very different from the demands of 25, or event 10 years ago.


The measurements and definitions of student success are shifting. Students value cooperation and consensus-building more than they did in the past.

Active Learning Grant in the Community

A Steelcase Active Learning Grant was awarded to North Seattle College and resulted in a new classroom for Chemistry and Biology students fall 2017. Steelcase Education awards these grants to schools, colleges and universities looking to use their physical classroom space to advance learning in new and important ways.
North Seattle College Learning Grant

“We had been dreaming of an active, collaborative space for our students to fully immerse themselves in their learning for years. When we discovered Steelcase, we knew we had found the perfect match for our vision.”

– Kaylyn Shea Owens & Ann J. Murkowski, North Seattle College

Classroom Projects

North Seattle College
Vera Risdon Middle School
University of Washington
Bellevue College

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For the first time in decades, schools from elementary through post-secondary are making significant changes in how they teach.


Educators are exploring what it means to be learner-centric, adopting more active learning pedagogies and embracing technology that supports varied educational strategies.


Interactive pedagogies require learning spaces where everyone can see and interact with content, instructors and other students, often at a moment’s notice. As learning preferences vary, spaces must be flexible and fluid enough to support this diversity.


A multi-sensory approach to teaching and learning increases engagement, promotes deeper participation, maximizes student achievement and elevates the idea that learning is fun.

Studies show that active learning classrooms support student engagement and encourage dynamic interactions between students and instructors. As learning becomes more interactive, classrooms must support multiple types of collaboration, including informative, evaluative and generative, as well as peer-to-peer learning and many other emerging modes.

“We expect the new space will help both our students and faculty realize the full potential of an active, student-centered, collaborative classroom. The physical space will encourage and support everything we know about evidence-based best practices in teaching.”

-Kalyn Shea Owens and Ann J. Murkowski, North Seattle College

See more about Active Learning


Watch a video about how the education system benefits from active learning principles.

Active Learning Video

Listen to a podcast about how the Active Learning Grant from Steelcase helped enhance the learning process in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Active Learning podcast

The Active Learning Ecosystem

Inspired by ongoing Steelcase research and insights, active learning has become the foundation of classroom design solutions developed specifically for students and educators.
The engagement and interaction of active learning provide a more effective way to learn than passive learning. To fully capitalize on the benefits of active learning, physical space must support and enhance the pedagogies employed in the classroom.


Just as there is a variety of ways in which we learn, there must also be a variety of spaces in which learning occurs.