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3 Keys to Flexible Room Arrangement

by Elizabeth Prescott
September/October 1997
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Good room arrangement supports the purposes and needs of its inhabitants. Since purposes and needs shift as people change and develop and since both staff and children move out of the setting over time, it is essential that a supportive environment be flexible to respond to all these changes. Three aspects of room arrangement that can support or undermine flexibility are money, storage, and regular attention to how well the environment is working.

On Spending Money

Money can do wonders for a room, both positive and negative. If you have the good fortune to remodel or build, be careful that you spend money on creating a basic shell that will respond to many uses. A simple rectangular room with carefully placed doors, good access to the outside play area, and a roomy bathroom is much more important than the expensive design features that the architect may favor. It is important to remember that you know more about how your program actually works than is possible for someone trained in a very different discipline. For example, in designing an infant-toddler room, the architect proposes an elaborate built-in diapering area. It would be visually appealing and would impress parents, but it is expensive and ...

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