At http://classroom.4teachers.org/ there is a free application available called “Classroom Architect. This online application allows you to create a classroom floor plan by choosing your classroom dimensions and then dragging various pieces of classroom furniture onto the floor plan.
I think that Classroom Architect could be used in the classroom as a learning tool. Students, either individually or in small groups, could each create their vision of a functional classroom. They could present their floor plans, and students could vote on which plan to put into real use. This activity could help students to investigate elements of architecture and interior design. They would need to create a space that doesn’t seem crowded and in which students can learn. By designing a room they would need to analyze the space and materials available. They would be working collaboratively to discuss what plans are functional and what elements contribute to this. They would also discuss plans that didn’t work and the interior design elements that caused the plan not to work.
Here is an example picuture of a floor plan created with Classroom Architect: