University and School Canteen food need not be boring anymore!


University and College Buildings can be fun and inspiring; School Canteens should serve the safest and delicious food in beautiful and inspirational settings;

Who said that Canteens should only be used for eating, students should linger and stay there to discuss and do homework or study throughout the day.

Yes, goodbye to boring school buildings and school food. Now bring in the most delicious food to school canteens; create a setting parents could drop by to have meals with their children and talk about their day.

Here I quote the Design of the Nanyang Technological Learning Hub by Thomas Heatherwick Studio:

Design concept: “ It was clear that since the advent of the internet and low cost computers that there has been a distinct shift in how students approach educational facilities. University buildings have ceased to be the only site where students are able to source educational texts, and have become unappealing spaces with endless corridors, no natural daylight and only hints of other people’s presence.”

Thomas Hetherwick’s studio  was to redefine the aspiration of a university building, and to once again make it an essential part of the tertiary education experience. Within this new context the purpose of a university is to foster togetherness and sociability, so that students can meet their fellow entrepreneurs, scientists or colleagues in a space that encourages collaboration.

The hub’s form is dictated by its function, and brings together 56 tutorial rooms into a structure without conventional corridors, which have traditionally created social separation and isolation. The learning hub is porous- students can enter from 360 degrees around into a large central space which links all the separate towers together. Each tower is made up of a stack of classrooms which build up gradually, with gardens on selected floors.

Another inspiration for the hub was a wish to break down the traditional square forward-facing classrooms with a clear front and hierarchy, and move to a corner-less space, where teachers and students mix on a more equal basis.

In this model, students work together around shared tables, with teacher as facilitator and partner in the voyage of learning, rather than ‘master’ executing a top-down model of pedagogy.

Each of these tutorial rooms faces the large shared central space, allowing students to continually feel connected to all the other activities going on in the building.”

The learning hub was awarded the BCA Green Mark Platinum Award for sustainability by the Singaporean government in 2013. The award is a benchmarking scheme which incorporates internationally recognised best practices in environmental design and performance.

The GOOGLE CAFÉ and IKEA Restaurants

Everyone knows by now how well done and a soulful place the Google Café is. Food and feasting is not just about filling the stomach, having a meal is a very community affair, people relaxed and are at their best mood to communicate after a meal – hence the Café or Canteen should be maximized to promote communication among staff and visitors, yes, visitors should be encouraged to visit and have meetings at the Company Café.

The IKEA Café is another cosy place where people don’t go to IKEA to buy or look at furniture but to meet friends at the IKEA Café to have a meal, an ice cream or just have a cup of coffee!

By the way I have also said time and again, only the best local food should be served at the Airport restaurants; governments should subsidised local food vendors to promote their fair at the local airports. Imagine your sense of satisfaction when you can still get a good coffee and a good meal after all the rush to the airport through the traffic congestion; and still have a good meal before you board the plane! Nothing beats this more in forging favourable memories of the the visitor!

Published by Global Hanyu

The leading provider of Mandarin and Study China programs

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