A tool for imaging the French school of tomorrow

The school sampler: a tool for imaging desirable visions of the French school of tomorrow 

What was the problem?

Each Region in France finances the building and maintenance of its high schools, manages its operating budget, and purchases the necessary materials and equipment for teaching, IT and A/V purposes. Considerable investments such as these involve a forward- thinking plan whose projections look 10, 15 and even 20 years down the road. But how can we refrain from confining the discussion on the future of high schools to mere advances in architecture, computer equipment or even educational models?

What is needed to go above and beyond the stockpile effect of ideas stemming from each individual? The challenge lies not in cranking out yet another digital or eco-friendly take on future high schools, but in inventing a method that empowers elected officials, services and citizens alike to, in turn, collectively think up visions breeding inspiration, enlightenment and accessibility.

What did they do?

The process takes place in multiple stages. Information is first gathered from four different creative residencies at high schools located in Revin, Tinqueux, Saint-Laurent (Champagne Ardenne) and Annecy (Rhône Alpes), before it takes on the form of video-skit user cases. Next is a series of visits and workshops, which gives principals, teachers, general contractors, and high school students the chance to brainstorm around three main themes : Ideas for the high school, its processes, and its implementation.

What was the result?

The result of this experiment is known as the Sampler, a system based on an illustrated card game broken down into four categories :

  • Visions – special political importance given to the high school
  • Ideas – inspiring proposals that help bring the vision to life
  • Processes – methods that help shape how the high school is designed
  • Examples – real-life, school scenarios that help illustrate or make the vision a reality

The role of the Sampler, a tool for generating bright ideas, is not only to foster dialogue between high school stakeholders, but also to establish common ground among them in order to nourish and nurture rewarding, sustainable and tangible ideas.

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