10 Major Scandinavian Trends in Educational Environments

10 Major Scandinavian Trends in Educational Environments

Kinnarps is one of the leading European designers of functional office and learning environments. The company has conducted extensive research during the last years on how our working and learning habits will change in the future, in order to anticipate forthcoming needs that will be evident in our offices and learning environments. 

As we spend more than half of our ‘awake’ time at work or in learning processes, it is very important that our working places are designed in a functional way to allow people to feel comfortable and maximize their productivity. The goal can be achieved by creating different areas suitable for the diverse needs of different people.

10 Major Scandinavian Trends in Educational Environments
Kinnarps emphasizes that it is very important that our working places are designed in a functional way to allow people to feel comfortable and maximize their productivity

Kinnarps has always taken these topics very seriously and has succeeded in shaping tailormade solutions adjusted to fit varied individual needs, no matter whether old or young, man or woman, tall or short. Kinnarps creates unique solutions for pleasant office and educational spaces that will make everybody enjoy being at work.

10 Future Trends in Learning
Based on research, interviews and work, Kinnarps FutureLab, has compiled ten major trends that will influence and shape the educational environments of the future up to 2025 in the Nordic countries.

The complete trend report provides a more detailed description and interesting issues relating to future learning environments. You can get access to the full report here.

10 Major Scandinavian Trends in Educational Environments
Trend 1 and 2

Learn bnb. involving the whole person in the learning

Body language is a crucial part of how we communicate, and research indicates that people learn better through movement. That way, not only the brain but the entire body is engaged in the learning process. But people’s ability to learn and the way they learn varies significantly. The learning environment must therefore be responsive and flexible.



Fully sustainable learning environments 

Sustainability means that all players take a long-term perspective. From the economy and the environment right down to the level of the individual. A fit body that puts the mind in the best possible position in a carefully considered learning environment will help make learning sustainable in the long term.

10 Major Scandinavian Trends in Educational Environments
Trend 3 and 4

Digilearn. digital learning

The digitalization of schools has enabled interaction between sender and recipient. Now we are seeing new tools that can personalise learning, and learning can take place remotely in almost any location. The learning environment must allow the power of digital technology to be exploited, but it must also be capable of preventing distractions.


Digiteach. teaching in a digital age

We are now seeing technology that really can change the role of the teacher in an ever more digital future. Teaching robots, artificial intelligence and digital transfer of teachers across geographical borders are no longer science fiction.

10 Major Scandinavian Trends in Educational Environments
Trend 5 and 6

Mass customization. individualized

Personalized study paths are in ever greater demand but, at the same time, educators need to ensure that their operations are financially viable. The answer: mass customization. In other words, the mass production of (online) courses that respond to the student’s requirements.

Maximise everything. self-fulfilment through the children

In the affluent society in which we live, parents fulfil themselves through their children – and are keen to protect them from anything that they perceive to be bad for them. And this also applies to demands placed on them at school. The attitude “the customer is always right” is now evident in schools, and is putting educational institutions under a great deal of pressure.

10 Major Scandinavian Trends in Educational Environments
Trend 7 and 8

Global learning network. New ways of collaborating and learning

As globalization takes hold, courses, teachers and students may come from all over the world, forming new educational networks. The old hierarchies will be transformed: the young will teach the old and vice versa. We will meet without borders.

New realities. Multisensory learning through virtual achievements

Ever more powerful computers are helping us construct alternative and indeed “better” realities, which will become powerful new tools in the classroom. We can also collect huge quantities of data on events that are taking place around us – information that can enhance and guide these resources.

10 Major Scandinavian Trends in Educational Environments
Trend 9 and 10

New ecosystems for learning

Students are no longer content with their nearest school. Instead, they want to be associated with a particular group or approach to education. Businesses are also getting involved, establishing links with schools and students and creating entire ecosystems for learning.

From IQ to SQ. The importance of social skills

For a long time now, a high IQ has been a key factor in a person’s success. Now, “social intelligence” is at least as important in the achievement of success. At the same time, creativity and the ability to innovate are essential, both in schools and in society as a whole.

The list is compiled from Kinnarps third Trend Report 2017, which identifies and analyzes key changes in the world around us for different types of work, meeting, learning and training environments. This time the focus is on what these changes will mean for learning environments in the Nordic countries: Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.

Get access to the full report here.

All illustrations © Kinnarps

This article is a summary from Kinnarps Trend Report 2017

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Journalist, PR and marketing consultant Tor Kjolberg has several degrees in marketing management. He started out as a marketing manager in Scandinavian companies and his last engagement before going solo was as director in one of Norway’s largest corporations. Tor realized early on that writing engaging stories was more efficient and far cheaper than paying for ads. He wrote hundreds of articles on products and services offered by the companies he worked for. Thus, he was attuned to the fact that storytelling was his passion.