“How to be happy?” is a question we all ask but nobody seems to have an answer but this Indian school near Chennai will teach you that. The Riverbend School, an innovative concept of what constitutes learning and a different set of skill priorities,  will emphasize teaching students how to be happy rather than simply enforcing a typical academic curriculum.

Designed by the architecture studio Kurani, the campus will be surrounded by farmland and set close to the ocean.The school will hold up to 400 students and every aspect of it will encourage socializing, from intimate walkways and outdoor pavilions to traditional courtyard housing.

The Vision

“According to the school’s founders at the SPI Incubator, great lives and great achievements are built on personal happiness and emotional intelligence—both of which are overlooked in traditional education,” reads Kurani’s project description.

When coming up with the architectural design, Kurani was inspired by the longest-running happiness study, published by Harvard University, which found that the key to happiness lies in healthy relationships. As Kurani described in its website, “Personal relationships, anthropologists have found, are strongest in villages. So, to help students build the relationships that are key to happiness, we designed the campus like a village.”

Features available

  • Farming
  • Care for small animals like goats and chickens
  • Tending to vegetables
  • Meditation deck and lake, pavilions, and a zen garden
  • Center for Education Excellence, where researchers will monitor the effectiveness of this unconventional approach to education.

Construction of the traditional Hakka Tulou styled (rural Chinese dwellings created between the 12th and 20th centuries.) institution will begin later this year and classes will be held on a weekly basis.

Source: PSFK