Local agency Kinetic Singapore went all-in on the school concept, creating a badge and motto – “For Earth, For Humans, For All” – for the fictional institution, as well as designing uniforms for the exhibition staff and a number of posters stuck up on the classroom and corridor walls.
“We wanted to present what can be quite dry information in a more engaging and intelligent way,” Kintetic Singapore creative director Pann Lim told Dezeen.
“My main job is running an advertising company and communications is key. We love design and we love typography and we love logos.”
The exhibition took place across three floors at the Selegie Arts Centre in Singapore, a converted former shophouse with colourful louvred windows that is now used as an exhibition space.
The ground floor featured a biology classroom with anatomical models of humans and animals stuffed with waste plastic to draw attention to the impact of plastic pollution.
Alongside these models, a number of bio-plastic and plastic-alternative projects were presented on desks with recycled-plastic tops.
A school “canteen”, also on the ground floor, showcased a selection of plant- and insect-based foods with high nutritional value but a much lower environmental impact than the meat and dairy usually served to children at schools.
On the first floor, a maths classroom featured an interactive installation that enabled visitors to calculate their carbon footprint.
A number of sustainable and environmentally friendly material samples were presented in the neighbouring chemistry lab.
The third floor showcased leather alternatives made from materials such as mycelium and seaweed on sewing tables in a home economics classroom setting, as well as a PE changing room that presented sports clothes and equipment made from recycled plastic.
According to Lim, the purpose of the exhibition was to provide an accessible and entertaining experience for visitors rather than a didactic one. But he hopes the approach will encourage people to make more environmentally positive choices in their everyday lives.
“We did not design School of Tomorrow as a place of teaching,” he said. “Rather, we want to engage students on a journey of learning, because change can only come about when we internalise the lessons.”
“School of Tomorrow starts by planting the seed of sustainability,” he continued. “The students are the ones who determine the kind of tomorrow we will see.”
The School of Tomorrow exhibition took place from 21 September to 1 October as part of Singapore Design Week 2023. Dezeen is a media partner of Singapore Design Week. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.