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Design Pattern: Watering Hole Space

Watering Hole Space

The concept of Watering Holes in schools is alien to the traditional control model of education.

Watering Hole SpaceMost traditional schools actually discourage social interaction in school as a “distraction” and out of fear that when students socialize, they threaten the adult gol of discipline and compliance with adult rules.

We now know that discourse and collaborative learning are critical to the development of well-rounded citizens. These so-called “soft” skills are actually at the top of the list of qualifications for success and almost any profession.

To learn more, order The Language of School Design: Design Patterns for 21st Century Schools (Nair, Fielding)


Traditional Classroom

Learning Studio

Learning Suite

Small Learning Community

Welcoming Entry

Student Display Space

Home Base and Individual Storage

Physical Fitness

Science Labs, Art Labs, and Life Skills Areas

Art, Music, Performance

Casual Eating Areas


Interior and Exterior Vistas

Dispersed Technology

Indoor-Outdoor Connection

Furniture: Soft Seating

Flexible Spaces

Campfire Space

Watering Hole Space

Cave Space

Designing for Multiple Intelligences

Daylight and Solar Energy

Natural Ventilation

Full Spectrum Lighting

Sustainable Elements and Building as 3-D Text

Local Signature

Connected to the Community

Bringing It All Together

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