23 Schools With The Worst Design Fails You’ve Ever Seen

Some people love school; they sign up for clubs, sports and after school activities. Other people hate school; they run out of there the second that bell dings the end of the day.

The aesthetics of a school, as well as the community-feel it evokes, can make it more or less enjoyable to attend. Of course, you can go to the best school in the world and still hate it!

At the very least, it’s easy to assume that a place of learning would have grammatically correct signs and well-thought out buildings. Well, think again.

We all know that schools are often grossly underfunded, but the schools on this list have such poor design flaws it’s hard to blame funding issues.

Sadly, on top of old buildings covered in mold and boring classrooms with dated chalkboards, many schools are faced with terrible design flaws that are distracting, dysfunctional, and sometimes downright inappropriate.

Keep scrolling to see some of the worst design fails at schools around the world.

1. Cubbies at a preschool


This list may leave you wondering… what makes something well designed? German industrial designer Dieter Rams came up with ten principles, or ’10 commandments’ of good design many years ago. His principles still apply today.

Principle of Good Design #1: It is innovative

With non-stop advancements in technology, innovation is ever-changing and so too are examples of good design. A good product should be flexible enough to accommodate updates as needed.

2. And at a Catholic School of all places…


Principle of Good Design #2: It is useful

If something isn’t useful, what is it good for? A product should be functional, satisfy its intended purpose, and look good aesthetically.

3. School Bus Ad

Quit school or quit smoking… we need some clarification


Principle of Good Design #3: It is aesthetically pleasing

The things we use every day impact us on a number of levels, including our overall well-being. That’s why it’s important that they are aesthetically pleasing. According to the experts, only well-made objects can be considered truly beautiful.

4. Yikes!


Principle of Good Design #4: It is understandable

If people look at a product and think huh? (like so many of the examples on this list) it’s not understandable. A well-designed product speaks for itself, it is self-explanatory.

5. This poorly designed walkway is at a design school


Principle of Good Design #5: It is unobtrusive

A product is intended to fulfill a certain purpose. While it should look good, it is not intended as art. Therefore, it should be neutral and unobtrusive. Thus, leaving room for the user’s personal self-expression.

6. This school was so poorly designed that every hallway intersects into the same area… complete chaos


Principle of Good Design #6: It is honest

A well-designed product is upfront about what it is. It does not make promises it cannot keep.

7. “A Man Plowing a Field” on a local school building


Principle of Good Design #7: It is long lasting

A good product should be built to last a long time. It shouldn’t be overly fashionable or else it’ll eventually appear antiquated.

8. This pie chart in a school newspaper


Principle of Good Design #8: It is thoroughly thought-out, down to the last detail

Nothing is haphazardly thrown together or left to chance. Every last detail is thought through so that the user receives the intended result.

9. “The way my school installed the new projector”

Lazy… you had ONE job


Principle of Good Design #9: It is environmentally-friendly

Design should take the environment into consideration. From the resources used to the amount of pollution the product will produce over time, all of these things must be considered to create eco-friendly products that serve humans, as well as the environment we depend on.

10. This school renovated its gym bathroom…


Principle of Good Design #10: Less is more

Good design is focused on the essential aspects and is never burdened by the non-essentials. It’s all about pure simplicity.

11. Painting at a high school gym in Pontiac, MI


12. Say What?


13. This sign needs help in a lot of ways

“Lol I just found this in a hallway at my school on my free period” 


14. This school has a lovely mini park inside of it, but no one can access it


15. I’d like to see someone try and use this fan


16. Death to the TV


17. Who hung this clock?


18. Spotted on the front door of a middle school


19. “This machine at my school sound painful”

Who thought it was a good idea to label their product like this?


20. One school’s attempt at being multicultural


21. Floating door in school gym

In case Harry Potter and his pals ever attend a game


22. This wall decoration at a high school – the red hands are supposed to represent the freshman class


23. Glass doors on a bathroom… it doesn’t get any better!