nex+Gen Academy High School

Customer nex+Gen Academy High School

The students at nex+Gen Academy High School can be sure they’re not getting
the same education their parents—or even their older siblings—got. This
magnet high school, part of the Albuquerque public school system, is
committed to offering the next generation in learning. Students have access
all through the day to laptop computers and the very latest in technology,
and learning is organized around projects taken on by a small group of


Location Albuquerque, New Mexico

Number of people served 400 students

izzy+ Sales Rep Jeff Riley, Source Four, Denver, CO

Jennifer Jones, Contract Associates of New Mexico

The need

If you hear “public high school” and are picturing a typical school
setting, it’s time for a paradigm shift.

“This is a completely different way to go about creating a learning
environment,” said Jennifer Jones, an interior designer with izzy+ dealer
Contract Associates. “The client went to see other schools around the
country that are set up like this, but this is the first school of its kind
that was built from the ground up, so it’s really special.”

The clients’ objectives, Jones said, were centered around a unique group
learning model—large, open classrooms (what they call “Learning Studios)
with two teachers and 60 students working together on project-based topics
in groups of four or six.

“They needed the classrooms to be very versatile, flexible and mobile,
because there’s lots of moving students and furniture around during the
day,” Jones said.

Jeff Riley, the region’s izzy+ representative, said schools everywhere are
trying to move in a similar direction, even if they can’t start from
scratch with a new building.

“The message we hear everywhere we go is that schools are broken and need
to be fixed—they need to change how they’re doing things,” said Riley. “The
furniture is a part of that shift.”

izzy’s solution

The entire installation was built around the functionality of Jack tables
by izzy, Jones said. Because they’re on casters, Jack tables can easily be
pushed together for larger groups or rolled to the side, providing the
level of versatility the school needed. The Jack tabletops also flip, a
feature that is typically chosen for its space-saving storage capacity, but
at nex+ Generation serve double duty as project boards. Students sit around
them and brainstorm with Post-it notes, sharing and organizing their ideas.

For seating, Jones specified Hannah chairs, also on casters. Dewey
Bookcases hold in-class libraries for the students, who aren’t issued their
own textbooks but instead use laptops and classroom books. The project was
rounded out with Dewey Lecterns, Audrey storage, and custom Dewey pentagon
table shapes that are super-mobile and flexible, thanks to casters and flip-
top mechanisms.

“The custom table shape just gave us a really nice, different look, and
allows them to bring two tables together into one big hexagon shape if they
want, for larger groups,” said Jones.

The commons areas, equipped with Clara diamond tables and orange Hannah
chairs, inspire students to relax, study and talk, as do the abundance of
Dewey benches in the hallways and other open spaces. In the science lab,
Jones specified epoxy-topped tables surrounded by Hannah stools on a five-
star base, for a look she calls “sleek and science-y.” For the teachers’
lounge, Jones created a space that is both comfortable and
functional—Audrey Storage with Two-Sided Collaboration tops and HAG Wing
stools allow teachers to organize, work and meet.

“We just wanted a very clean look to go with the building design,” Jones
said. “Everything is gray, black and white, with touches of orange—the
finishes we chose could be used in a seamless way on every piece, no matter
what izzy+ brand it was. In general, this whole design is a pretty big
departure from most high schools around here, which have smaller classrooms
filled with desks with attached chairs.”

“This install is a good example of not having to break the budget in order
to do something creative and really functional,” added Riley. “It looks
great and does what the client needed it to do. When a school has an
opportunity to move away from a cookie cutter approach and do something
really different, like nex+Gen did, the outcome is impressive.”