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Article List with Summary Excerpts

FULL LIST OF PUBLICATIONS (with summary excerpts) follows:


“Creating a 2020 Vision for School Design”
Videos and Article by Karl Fisch
, Director of Technology at Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado.

“The kindergartners that start in the fall of 2007 will graduate in the spring of 2020. As architects of schools, you need to have a 2020 Vision. Your client’s and children’s futures depend upon it…

You are tasked with creating buildings that will serve the needs of educators and students far into the future. But how do you do that when we are in a time of such rapid change? How can you possibly design a building that will meet future needs when those future needs could be so very different from today’s needs?

Just like educators, you need a vision of the future. We can’t change the past - it’s already happened. We can’t even change the present - as the moment passes too quickly. The future is the only thing we can change. Subsequently, the best way to predict the future is to invent it ourselves. Shouldn’t we get started?”

“Education 2020: From Knowledge to Wisdom”
Video presentation by Prakash Nair,
President of FieldingNair International, past winner of the CEFPI MacConnell Award.

This video highlights a keynote presentation given by Prakash at Baruch College’s 8th annual Teaching and Technology Conference in 2006.

In the presentation, Prakash argues that we are at the very end of the Information Age (where knowledge is key) and are entering the Conceptual Age (where wisdom is mandatory). Considering a wide array of technology, education, and societal trends, this presentation lays out a framework for re-thinking the very premise of education and campus design.

Note: Apple’s QuickTime 6 is required to view this video

wayne jennings“Features of Advanced Learning Systems”
Article by Wayne B. Jennings, Ph.D.
, Chair of the International Association of Learning Alternatives.

“Schools of tomorrow will be completely different physically and operationally.

We can’t tolerate the current high failure rates in terms of graduation and possession of the competencies needed to function successfully as citizens in a democracy, productively as workers and heuristically as learners. I’ve listed some of the features and principles of the new learning systems now barely on the school horizon but not unusual from the standpoint of research and existing but scattered practices.”

Also read: “Community Learning Centers” - a previously published article on DesignShare by Dr. Jennings

“Designing School 2.0: Science Leadership Academy”
Article & Case Study by Chris Lehmann
, founding Principal of the recently opened 1:1 laptop urban high school, Science Leadership Academy; named by the National School Boards Association as one of “20 (Emerging Educational Technology Leaders) to Watch” in 2006.

“The school was to be an inquiry-driven, project-based school where students would be assessed by the work of their own creation.

What was frightening to me was, even with that idea in hand and a lot of experience with progressive curricular design, I had little idea how to make that idea come to life in the physical spaces of the building.”

Taking over several floors of a renovated office building in City Center, Chris and his team worked closely with their architectural partners over a rapid-fire year to redefine traditional ’school’ spaces in innovative ways. The goal was to demonstrate vastly new ways students/teachers will co-create knowledge in the future in the spirit of “School 2.0″ without spending a fortune in the design/renovation process.

Note: While the school opened with approximately 120 students (comprising the first 9th grade) from around Philadelphia in the fall of 2006, the school has received over 2,000 applications for next year’s 9th grade class. Later this spring, Edutopia magazine will publish an article on this remarkable example of a new generation of schools and learning opportunities.

MediaSnackers Podcast Interview of Henry Giroux,
the Global Television Network Chair in English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada.

In this podcast installment, MediaSnackers’ founder, DK, interviews Henry Giroux about emerging views about young people, new media, and how all of us need to shift our ideas if we’re going to support learners in the future.

Click the arrow below and have a listen! Note: If you do not see the podcast player (due to your server or media player), click on this link to be taken to the Giroux podcast player.

0.00—0.21 intros
0.22—1.54 representations of youth in mainstream media
1.55—2.32 the investment question
2.33—3.53 relationship between democracy and education
3.54—5.28 emergence of new media to readdress balance
5.29—6.53 places of change
6.54—7.25 public pedagogy
7.26—8.07 production vs deconstruction
8.08—9.00 what has to change
9.01—9.56 the future
9.57—10.11 outro

Note: This podcast is offered as a pre-introduction to the first set of MediaSnackers/DesignShare podcasts that will be released starting in April, 2007. Stay i-Tuned-in to hear some of the leading voices in school design, education, technology, etc. from around the world!

MediaSnackers Podcast Interview of Henry Jenkins,
the of the Comparative Media Studies at MIT and the author of Convergence Culture

In this podcast installment, MediaSnackers’ founder, DK, interviews Henry Jenkins about the growing divide between young people and educators/youth professionals, and the state of youth technology usage that is quickly evolving into a “convergence culture”.

Click the arrow below and have a listen! Note: If you do not see the podcast player (due to your server or media player), click on this link to be taken to the Jenkins podcast player.

0.00—0.10 Intro
0.11—0.49 Henry tells us about his role at MIT
0.50—3.33 the current youth media climate
3.34—2.30 growing divide between young people and educators/youth professionals
5.13—7.08 media literacy vs digital literacy
7.09—8.59 the expectations of the ‘convergence culture’ with young people
9.00—11.06 the future of media
11.07—11.22 Thanks and outro

Note: This podcast is offered as a pre-introduction to the first set of MediaSnackers/DesignShare podcasts that will be released starting in April, 2007. Stay i-Tuned-in to hear some of the leading voices in school design, education, technology, etc. from around the world!

“Hector Garcia Middle School: A School’s Design Aspires to Live Up to Its Name”
Article and Case Study by Peter Brown, AIA, LEED AP
, Principal, Director of K-12 Practice, Perkins+Will, lead designer on the soon-to-open Dallas, Texas based urban middle school.

“Education is Freedom and Freedom is Everybody’s Business” -Hector P. Garcia

“The inspiration of Hector Garcia challenged the project team to consider this investment in a school building as a greater investment to galvanize neighborhoods with community development, economic development, and inspiring young people to think broadly about their future. Working within tight technical and budgetary guidelines the school re-claims land within the city.

Previously, the site was a masterful and romantic demonstration of the automobile and its importance in the factory-based industrial economy. Hector Garcia Middle School looks to reinvent a diverse community - with people at the helm of a creative society - anticipating, inviting and inspiring students to make a difference in their world.”

“Tackling the Crime of School Design”
Book Excerpt from Rena Upitis
, former Dean of Education at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario; currently Professor of Arts Education at Queen’s University.

“Is there a link between crime and schools?

Windowless concrete containers, surrounded by barbed wire fences - looking more like prisons than schools - can hardly be thought of as inviting environments for students. But buildings surrounded by barbed wire certainly bear cultural messages. This paper describes how architecture embeds cultural and educational values, and how schools often send messages about institutional life that are far from nurturing.

The paper includes examples from North America, Europe and Australia - such as a prison built in New South Wales that was converted to a high school, still in operation today. I also introduce three prominent educational approaches associated with early childhood - Montessori, Waldorf, and Reggio Emilia.

Note: This paper is the first of eight chapters of a book manuscript titled Raising a School. In the book, the author claims that contemporary problems with education are not only about curriculum or testing or teacher competency, but also about the ways in which we build schools.

“Skulls and School Boxes: Student Brains That Want Out”
Article by Dr. Robert Sylwester
, Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Oregon.

“…our brain regulates all such internal and external movements, and predicts and responds to the movements of others and objects. When movement stops, we die.

Teachers who continually require students to sit still and stop talking apparently prefer to teach a grove of trees rather than a classroom full of students.

School environments should be designed to enhance the development of student brains - and student brains are about movement, not motionless stagnation.”

“Designing a Nexus of Communities in New Orleans”
Article by Stephen Bingler, AIA, REFP, NCARB
, founding principal of Concordia llc., winner of CEFPI’s 2001 James D. MacConnell Award.

“The recovery and long-range redevelopment of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region is a complex undertaking requiring simultaneous planning in a wide range of disciplines.

For this reason there is a paramount need to create a planning infrastructure that will enhance collaboration and reduce duplication in all of the planning disciplines moving forward. In order to accomplish this goal, the Louisiana Recovery Authority has embraced the concept of Nexus planning, and the development of comprehensive Community Nexus Centers.”


“Reconsidering the Design of Schools through the Lens of Project-Based Learning”
Interview with Bob Pearlman,
the Director of Strategic Planning for the New Technology Foundation; former President of the Autodesk Foundation.

“Everyone has been to school or is in school today and few of these past and current environments demonstrate what 21st Century student workplaces should look and feel like. But educators and planners get it quickly when they visit 21st Century schools, talk to students and teachers, and carry their stories home.

Getting the classroom right as the center of learning and students at work is the essential building block for 21st Century Schools.”

“The 100 is There!: Helen Gordan Child Development Center”
Article and Case Study by Sheryl Reinisch and Will Parnell
. Sheryl is an Associate Professor of Education at Concordia University with a focus on early childhood education; Will is the Co-Director of the Helen Gordon Child Development Center in Portland, Oregon.

“Imagine walking into a school for the very first time. The space greets your senses with energy full of invitation, wonder, and intrigue. You are drawn in by this powerful magnet, longing to touch, explore, and learn more about those who dwell here. You find yourself wanting to stay, sensing strong connections in this community of children, families, and educators encompassed within this learning environment.

What is it about a place that creates this powerful draw?

As teacher educators, we find ourselves visiting numerous learning environments. Each school has its own unique characteristics and personality. Some schools seem to have this magnetic draw, while others do not. This energy stems from a symbiotic relationship, a flow of spaces that work together harmoniously.”

“Making Space in New Zealand and Scotland”
Originally published by OECD’sPEB Exchange (2006/5).

“Educational buildings and grounds can provide a supportive and stimulating environment for the learning process as well as contribute to greater community needs.

These issues were addressed at an international conference entitled “Making Space: Architecture for Young Children”. Described here are the importance of outdoor space to learning in New Zealand, presented at the event, and a campus for pupils in Scotland (United Kingdom) visited by conference participants.”

Note: the piece is comprised of 2 articles. Part 1: “New Zealand: The Importance of Outdoor Space” is adapted from an article published in Children in Europe (12.05) written by Anne Meade, Co-ordinator, Early Childhood Education Centres of Innovation, New Zealand Ministry of Education. Part 2: “United Kingdom: A Multi-Faith, Multi-Needs Campus” was contributed by Fiona Ross, Media Officer, Glasgow City Council, UK.

“Redesigning Schools, Redefining Education”
Book Excerpt by Dr. Jon Wiles
, author of twelve university textbooks and consulting educator in the areas of curriculum design and development.

“In most nations the new communication technologies are forcing institutions to adapt by altering their form and function. In business, transportation, communications, agriculture, the military, and health agencies, organizational and procedural change has been pervasive for over two decades.

Schools, by contrast, have not been an active player in such adaptation and now find themselves in an undesirable condition of growing obsolescence.

In both form and function, schools are failing to keep up with the pace of change in the 21st century.”

“The Future of Learning Manifesto”
Article by Christian Long
, author of the “think:lab” blog, President & CEO of DesignShare

“How big is my classroom? 4 walls or the horizon line?…

I need [networks]. And fast.

Don’t get sucka-punched by all the ‘flat’ earth hype. You’re excited because someone in a foreign country leaves a comment on your blog [or your phone has a camera]. Really? Really? Seriously? Sure, it’s [intriguing] to suddenly be in cahoots with someone in Tokyo and Texas at one time [or to take photos with the thing you use to call home], but I was born in the world 2.0 so I’m kinda used to it. Yeah, I get that you were born before things got interesting, but your digital immigrant accent is making it hard for me to understand you, and harder for me to remain relevant.

And I’m kind of selfish when it comes to my future vs. your past. “

“6 Essential Elements of Educational Facility Design”
by Randy Fielding

(co-published by CEFPI Planner, December 2006).


“Until recently, educators and architects have lacked clear criteria for evaluating educational architecture. Planning teams have struggled to find or invent effective models, without a common language of design. Fortunately, a substantial, readily accessed database of educational architecture over the last decade has resulted in a rapidly emerging language of best practices for planning and designing 21st century schools.

The emerging language of educational design supports both the foundational skills of literacy and numeracy, along with the demands of a global economy, which require that learners are curious, self-directed, and able to work across platforms. These six aspects of best practice offer essential elements that support the requirements of any contemporary educational framework.”

“Beware of the Sitting Trap in Learning and Schooling - ‘Ergo-dynamic’ concepts are decisive”
by Dr. D. Breithecker

November, 2006

Dr. Breithecker offers a reminder to all of us to consider the vital role that ergonomic furniture design can have on the lives of our children in schools:

“Western civilizations include teaching how to sit still in their schools’ “hidden curriculum”. Most teachers seem to associate learning with quiet, disciplined sitting. “They are making concentration and cognitive attention dependent on physical inertness” - The students’ need for physical relaxation, signalized by fidgeting etc, is suppressed. “Movement is not desirable because it disturbs the class” - Many adults still think the “ideal” student sits in class receptively, attentively and motorically passive.”

Note: This article is sponsored by VS America.

2006 Awards Issues We are honored to work with great media partners in publishing the results of our annual Awards program. This year we were stunned by the quality of articles that came from each publisher. Best of all? The winning teams and school communities get the attention they deserve on an even wider level than ever before! Check these recent articles out:

“Annual DesignShare Awards” cover story
School Construction News
October 2006

“Building the Global Best”
Edutopia (George Lucas Educational Foundation)
November 2006

SchoolsforLife cover story
December 2006

“Designing Healthy Schools Our Children Deserve”
by Dr. Jeff Lackney and Christian Long

(Co-published by School Planning & Management, November, 2006).


“The recent pattern of tragic school stories in Wisconsin, Colorado, and Pennsylvania challenge school planning and management leaders to face a crucial decision ahead: will we allow such events to inspire educational fortresses based on fear that unintentionally divide or will we rise to the higher mission of creating learning environments that welcome, unify and inspire our students and communities?

To this end, we propose a 3-layered strategy a) using the principles of environmental design, b) moving away from monolithic and impersonal school citadels of “cells and bells,” and c) developing small learning community models that inspire learning and healthy communities.”

“The Impact of Room To Read”
Q&A with John Wood, founder and CEO of Room to Read, author of Leaving Microsoft to Change the World: An Entreprenuer’s Odyssey to Educate the World’s Children.

November, 2006

Sometimes a request for a single book can literally spark the creation of thousands of libraries and schools around the world. Such is the case with Room to Read. In approximately 6 years, Room to Read has created a network of over 3,000 schools and libraries in rural communties in Asia and Africa.

The award-winning organization is considered one of the most effective and fastest growing non-profits in this day and age. Wood has been likened to a “21st century Andrew Carnegie” while “building a public library infrastructure to help the developing world break the cycle of poverty through the lifelong gift of education.”

We were interested in both further spreading the Room to Read story, as well as offering the DesignShare audience a unique opportunity to help develop schools and libraries in communities throughout the developing world.

“Imagining the Future of the School Library”
Q&A with Library Experts, Doug Johnson and Rolf Erikson
November, 2006


Doug: “I would hope the library will be a sacred space dedicated to honoring those who use the library to meet whatever informational, educational, socialization and personal needs they might have. The libraries with the broadest mission will be those that will remain vital. Let’s face it. The Net Generation wants its information and entertainment in digital formats. Ours may well be the last generation to use cellulose-based information storage technology (paper).”

Rolf: “[T]he 21st century school library must look beyond tradition to the future, to what is needed to help fulfill the educational mission, goals, and objectives of the school. Traditional library environments are primarily text-based, require learning the system from experts (librarians), and are constructed for individual use. This “traditional” model is no longer appropriate.”

“Sparking School Design Via Project Based Learning”
Q&A with John Sole, Project-based Service Learning Master Teacher and Founder of Guerilla Educators

November, 2006

If you had to pick a single educational technique, learning style, or pedagogy to drive the future of school design, what would it be?

This is precisely what we set out to answer when we recently spoke with John Sole. Based on an earlier set of published conversations held between he and Jeff Lackney [Part 1: “Getting Real”; Part 2: “Getting Real: The Philadelphia Story”], we asked John to continue challenging school designers/planners to consider the design inspiration of Project-based Learning (PBL).

The result? John offers DesignShare 10 essential questions (and answers) following in that spirit.

Beyond the School as Temple
by Prakash Nair
Originally published in Edutopia magazine, July, 2006


“The concept of the community school and the related idea of the school as literally the center of its community have in a short time become sacred cows in many education circles. As soon as someone expresses either idea as a goal, or attaches it to a design proposal, any meaningful discussion of where it fits in the future of education becomes almost impossible, and the need for tomorrow’ s schools to deal with tomorrow’ s needs gets lost in the mist of nostalgia for yesterday’s schools.”

“View From Denmark: Linking Aesthetics and Student Learning”
by Ulla Kjaervang.
November, 2006


“Uninspiring and misplaced rooms are the reality on many schools and educational institutions in Denmark. For instance many of the schools which were built in the 60-ies were planned according to functional and financial requirements. It was very rare that the aesthetic dimension had high priority. Furthermore, many schools have been badly maintained which makes the conditions of the aesthetic even worse.

Because of an increasing number of pupils and changed requirements of the future educational class rooms, a lot of schools and educational institutions will be built and re-constructed in the coming years and this will cost billions. However, this gives us an obvious opportunity to improve the physical surroundings for pupils and students and to improve the aesthetic as well.”

Ulla’s ideas extend well beyond Denmark. There is a need to merge research, best practices and common sense associated with aesthetic design elements. The end result will have a pronounced impact on students and learning environments around the world.

Planning an 800 Year Old Campus as a 21st Century Marketplace of Ideas
Interview with Pablo Campos, professor of Architecture at the Universidad San Pablo-CEU of Madrid

Summer, 2006

Exerpt: “Educational Architecture can go beyond just being a “built floor” for the University; it can become the first lesson to be received by visitors and students. The “Educational Campus” will be able to play the role of transforming mentalities, as well as transforming the cultural, social and natural environment. Transformation through Education; transformation through Architecture.”

An Administrator’s View: Beth Hebert Interview
Educational Impact of Innovative School Design and the Legacy of the Crow Island Elementary School

July, 2006

As the DesignShare team knows first-hand, there are many architects and planners that can make a great case for the value of innovative design for educational facilities.

On the other hand, when you can speak with a life-long educator who speaks with equal passion and wisdom about the merger of architecture and learning, there is much to learn. Such is the case when you have the opportunity to speak with Beth Hebert about her experiences as a Principal at the Crow Island Elementary School in Winnetka, Illinois.

Master Classroom
Let Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, and Jamie Oliver show you the future.

Randy Fielding, Jeffrey Lackney, Prakash Nair
Originally published in Edutopia magazine, June, 2006

Excerpt: As school planners and architects, we challenge communities and clients to explain why a regimental row of desks facing a chalkboard needs to remain as a school’s primary building block. We ask them to review the eighteen modes of learning (see that educators accept as essential for success in today’s world, so they can see how a traditional classroom can accommodate only two or three of them.

But if not the old-style classroom, then what? How should the model evolve? In exploring this question with educators around the world, we’ve come up with at least three distinct “studios.” To help us, we called on illustrious thinkers who shaped the ideas of their times: Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, and a modern master named Jamie Oliver. Destroying the traditional learning environment and creating something entirely new was a major challenge for our three maestros, but here’s what they came up with.

Getting REAL, Part Two: The Philadelphia Story
Interview with John Sole,
Project-based Service Learning Master Teacher

An interview with John Sole and David Schrader on the Redesign of the High Schools in Philadelphia: Integrating Project Project-Based Learning and the Architectural Process, January 2006.

See also: Getting REAL, Part One

The Journey of Utopia
The Story of the First American Style Campus in Europe
by Pablo Campos Calvo-Sotelo; Novascience Publishers, 2005

The publication in English of Pablo Campos Calvo-Sotelo’s The Journey of Utopia: The Story of the First American-Style Campus in Europe provides American readers the opportunity to explore a striking instance of the influence of North American high culture on that of Europe, rather than the reverse current that we have long regarded as the norm.

Planning for the Conceptual Age
By Randall Fielding, AIA

Using Daniel Pink’s text, A Whole New Mind, this presentation considers the evolution from the Information Age to the Conceptual age and its impact on school design.

Presentation given @ the CEFPI “Impact on Learning” conference,
December 2005, Austin Texas

Edutopia Magazine Interview with Prakash Nair and Randy Fielding
New ways of creating community-based schools

Prakash Nair and Randall Fielding discuss new ways of creating community-based schools, as described in their article, “Small is Big,” in the November 2005 issue of Edutopia magazine.

Learning, Lighting and Color
Lighting Design for Schools and Universities in the 21st Century
by Randall Fielding, AIA

Excerpt: “The desire for a broad spectrum of light and color is consistent with a more holistic curriculum — one that takes into account a variety of learning styles and modalities. We all learn differently and at different times. We need a variety of lighting levels and qualities and colors of light. It’s natural to want lighting that most closely matches the full spectrum of daylight. The pattern for full spectrum lighting is one example of how this is applied in a learning studio.”

Conceptual Age Thinkers
by Randall Fielding and Prakash Nair

Driving Question: “Global Change Agents — How will they change education?”

A consideration of the rise of the Conceptual Age as a framing tool for a new look at school design.

Presentation given @ CEFPI International Conference,
2005, San Antonio, Texas

Educational Commissioning
Educating Educators to Optimize their School Facility
for Teaching and Learning

by Jeffrey Lackney

Educational Commissioning™ is a new concept in school planning that refers to a process through which teachers, students and even parents and community partners are educated as to the design intent of a newly constructed school facility. The objective of educational commissioning is to provide all occupants with the necessary knowledge to use the school facility as optimally as possible for teaching and learning.

Community Learning Centers
Redesigning schools to dramatically increase learning,
by Dr. Wayne Jennings

The concept of schools as community centers has been a hot topic for more than 100 years. In 1902, John Dewey described a vital relationship between the civic, business, university and residential community in The School and Society and the Child and the Curriculum. What distinguishes Wayne Jennings’ article from the scores of articles published on the subject is that it goes beyond the theory, and tells us how to plan, budget, staff, design, and maintain community learning centers.

Getting REAL, Part One
Interview with John Sole,
Project-based Service Learning Master Teacher

An educational trend impatiently awaiting a creative response from school designers are classroom environments that emphasize active, self-directed project-based, where cooperative problem solving strategies are favored over traditional, lecture-oriented, discipline-focused, teacher-centered instruction.

See also: Getting REAL, Part Two: The Philadelphia Story

Radically Rethinking Education
Interview With Prakash Nair, DESIGNER/builder magazine

Excerpt: “Surely we should be able to measure outcomes in terms of educational advantages, not just in terms of how many buildings get built and how many kids are put into so-called new classrooms. In other words, the schools were serving their purpose insofar as they were good places for students physically — they were comfortable, air-conditioned, and all that — but they did not seem to provide any social, community, or educational benefit. That to me was very strange considering that all educational expense ultimately should go toward improving education.”

Conversations on Educational Architecture
Letters between Peter Jamieson and Randy Fielding

Effective school facilities represent a “living dialog” between educators and architects. By extension, poorly designed schools exist because architects and educators failed to have a conversation to create something that supported each other’s highest aspirations.

Letter One: Synchronicity | Letter Two: Under the Veranda | Letter Three: Yesterday’s Problem

12 Design Principles Based on Brain-based Learning Research
By Jeffery A. Lackney, Ph.D.
Based on a workshop facilitated by Randall Fielding, AIA

This included is not intended to be comprehensive in any way. The brain-based learning workshop track offered participants the ability to explore implications in an open and reflective way. The intention for these workshops was primarily to start the public dialogue concerning the implications of research on brain-based learning in the design of school environments.

Schools — Good for Children?
by Prakash Nair

Excerpt: “”Are we building schools that are really good for children or are we building schools that we as adults like for whatever reason and then post-rationalize as being good for children?

The Great Learning Street Debate
by Prakash Nair,
Fresh Perspectives, February 2005

Excerpt: “In the end, the debate on the learning street is actually a small part of a larger debate about what a 21st century school should look like. However, if a school has successfully created a learning street that works, it is a good bet that its design probably offers other clues about how to create an effective learning environment conducive to the demands of a 21st century education.”

Media and Technology Charter High School
By Laura Wernick

In a unique school setting, MATCH is housed in a renovated former auto dealership. This 184-student high school in downtown Boston is focused on assuring that its students are prepared to succeed in college. The facilities don’t contain a kitchen or cafeteria: the students have lunch at nearby eateries. The flag pole on the roof of the building is really a rent-generating cell tower. The principal personally greets every student at the door each morning and says goodbye to each one every afternoon. The newest renovation houses a dormitory for the high school students’ tutors on the third floor of the school.

The L-Shaped Classroom:
A Pattern for Promoting Learning
By Peter C. Lippman

Excerpt: “Unlike a traditional square shape classroom, the L-Shape may be understood as a learning center that has been designed to support multiple activity settings. The learning center “… contains a variety of materials and is identified by its physical boundaries…” [and] “…are specific places where activities and experiments occur”

Seattle Public Schools: Progressive Educational Reform via Building Design Guidelines
by Dale Christopher Lang, PhD

Seattle Public Schools recently underwent a revolutionary change in their educational specifying process. Led by facilities Executive Director John Vacchiery and Director Nan Stavnshoj, the district now requires that all new or remodeled middle and high school projects funded by the district follow a student centered “dynamic” rather than a limited “prescribed” methodology in their approach to school design. Includes the Building Design Check List developed by Lang.

Goals of the Design Guidelines:

  • Create a framework for overall district standards for facility design.
  • Create a tool for achieving more progressive designs.
  • Create a more specific framework for developing educational specifications.
  • Building the Future: Lessons from Tasmania
    By Prakash Nair
    A version of this article was published in Education Week on February 4, 2004

    In September of 2003, an obscure, blue-collar community in one of Australia’s most remote regions was recognized for an unlikely achievement: producing the best planned, designed, and technologically advanced school in the world.

    The school? Reece Community High School in Devenport, Tasmania. The award? The James D. MacConnell Award, known as the highest honor for school planning and design and bestowed on one project each year by the Council of Educational Facility Planners International.

    Design of Child Care Centers and Effects of Noise on Young Children
    Dr. Lorraine E. Maxwell & Dr. Gary W. Evans
    Cornell University

    There is a considerable amount of research documenting the effects of noise on children. The effects are largely negative. In this presentation I will briefly describe the findings of research in this field, discuss current research by Maxwell and Evans, and finally outline design issues related to noise and child care centers.

    The Effects of Computer Workstation Design on Children’s Posture
    by Lorraine E. Maxwell & Kathryn L. Laeser

    The use of computers in schools has grown rapidly over the past 10 years. This growth is likely to continue since it is a widely held belief that computers enhance children’s ability to learn. Many school districts have spent large sums of money to purchase computers and set up labs and individual workstations in classrooms. Some districts have also purchased computer workstation furniture while others have converted desks and tables into workstations.

    As adult office workers’ use of computers has increased, the incidence of computer-related musculoskeletal complaints and injuries has also increased. Although the use of computers in the classroom is increasing, little attention has been paid by educators, furniture manufacturers, or researchers to the ergonomic design issues of educational furniture for computer use.

    The Classroom as Global Media Center
    Prakash Nair
    A version of this article was published by School Planning & Management Magazine in October 2003.

    This article looks at ways in which schools buildings designed for today and tomorrow can provide superior environments for learning by keeping pace with rapidly evolving technologies that have redefined the educational landscape.

    Excerpt: “Today’s classroom is often a multi-zone, interdisciplinary, hands-on learning studio where different modes of learning are occurring at the same time. From a technology standpoint, this kind of learning studio requires that some or all students be simultaneously able to access the school’s network and the Internet.”

    “Fresh Perspectives: A Fusion of Eastern and Western Philosophies to Plan Tomorrow’s Schools”, by Prakash Nair, October 2004.

    As for the buildings in which our children are educated, it is safe to say that their design has not kept pace with the significant changes in the world of education. Despite the success with Pathways World School, I see that the rest of India has abandoned its own spiritual heritage to blindly follow a failed western model of mass production. But India is hardly alone in this area. School design everywhere in the world lags behind the research in education because of the rigid programs that architects inherit from the school establishment, a lack of imagination on the part of the designers themselves and a fear of failure with “outside the box” solutions. Because everyone has a preconceived idea about what a school should look like, architects are reluctant to “experiment” with innovation.

    Despite the setbacks that have held back educational architecture, it is my hope that the essential ideas behind the Pathways World School of respecting the individual learner and developing the whole person – ideas that western researchers have now endorsed, can migrate to even the most humble institution of learning.

    All of us, in the end, are stakeholders of education. What happens in education today will affect the world in which our children will live tomorrow – and that world will not be about east or west but about the things that unite as all as people.

    Results of the 2004 DesignShare Awards Program Post-Occupancy Evaluation Program
    Students and teachers tell us what they really think
    by Jeffery A. Lackney, PhD, AIA

    DesignShare Awards Program Jurists have often critically reflected on their desire to know more about how teachers and students really experience so-called innovative award-winning schools. Through the DesignShare Post-Occupancy Evaluation Program, our intention is to give voice to the individuals whose lives are directly influenced by school design around the world. For the past four years, the DS/SCN Awards process has included an unique and unprecedented opportunity for submitters to offer the users of their school designs the chance to tell it like it is: What works, and what doesn’t about your school?

    Coming Soon: Open Spaces Workshop
    by Jeffery A. Lackney, PhD, AIA
    Lackney and Nair

    Coming Soon: Awards 2004 Commentary
    by Susan Wolff, Ed. D.

    Innovative Pedagogy and School Facilities
    by Elliot Washor

    This is the story of the MET School in Rhode Island: it’s a drama, a history, a doctoral thesis, and a design manifesto. The Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center (the MET) is a high school that beat the odds. Under-performing kids in economically depressed areas of Providence are now going to Ivy League colleges. But Elliot Washor, co-director of the MET and his colleagues are not “whipping the kids into shape;” instead they are finding each kid’s interests, one kid at a time.

    How did the MET achieve success, pursuing ideas described by John Dewey in 1916, but rarely implemented successfully? Washor’s book includes the history of the ideas that precede the MET. The book also tells a story of struggle, where “no backsliding” was repeated like a mantra to keep the MET team fighting in spite of the obstacles

    DesignShare’s publication is based on Elliot Washor’s doctoral dissertation at Johnson & Wales University, Providence, Rhode Island, entitled Translating Innovative Pedagogical Designs Into School Facilities. This 100-page book is a must-read for anyone interested in beating the odds to create an innovative school.

    Imperatives for Change in Higher Education: “Part 1: Planning the Future of the American Campus” and “Part 2: Responding to Change - Nine Cues for Campus Planners”, by Prakash Nair, January, 2003

    “The impetus for reforms in America’s colleges and universities does not seem to be driven by a need to improve quality, but rather, as a way to deal with their financial woes.”

    “Until there is a willingness on the part of the American higher education establishment to set up a completely different accountability system than the one they now have, American colleges and universities, like their K-12 counterparts, will continue on their road to irrelevance.”

    The story of the MET School in Rhode Island — a drama, history, doctoral thesis, and design manifesto. Elliot Washor, 2003.

    "This 100-page book is a must-read for anyone interested in beating the odds to create an innovative school."

    Flexible School Facilities
    By Frank Locker PhD, AIA, with Steven Olson AIA.

    "While a ‘glove fit’ between programs and facilities is often a design goal, flexibility for the future is better served by the metaphor of a mitten."

    School facilities have always had changing needs. Enrollments fluctuate. New program initiatives are regularly conceived. The relationship between schools and their communities is constantly evolving. Technology has altered the potential and, in some cases, the delivery of education. It would be difficult to find any school building over five years old with every space utilized as originally intended. For buildings over forty years old, it would be impossible.

    Empowering Learning through Natural, Human, and Building Ecologies
    by Robert Kobet, AIA

    Architect and educator Robert Kobet helps us get our arms around the broad subject of ecology’s impact on school design by identifying three systems of ecology: building ecology, natural ecology, and human ecology. In order to understand high performance schools, we need to understand the interrelationships between these three systems of ecology.

    Indoor Air Quality in Schools:
    The importance of Monitoring Carbon Dioxide Levels,
    by David Sundersingh and David W. Bearg, PE

    Excerpt: “Can we aspire to improve our indoor air quality? Will the United States Green Building Council be proactive in its next round of LEED rating system criteria and give more credit and points for achieving better indoor air quality? Will the USGBC define ventilation levels and better monitoring of indoor air quality at the correct breathing zone for children? We say that we want to leave a better place for our children and future generations. Are we serious about a higher ideal of excellent indoor air quality in the future? The future is here… Are we willing to change?”

    But Are They Learning?
    School Buildings: The Important Unasked Questions,
    by Prakash Nair, May 2002

    Most people would agree with the proposition: School buildings have an impact on student learning. But few, especially among politicians and school construction officials, have stopped to ponder why this is so. Much of the public discussion about the need for more construction money centers around the consensus that children need “a safe, clean, and comfortable environment” to learn. Beyond that, one would be hard pressed to find a public official saying what it is about new school buildings that improves learning.

    Ed. Spec. (Educational Specifications) Forum
    School board members, architects and planners debate the value of educational specifications.
    Originated June 2002, new material added 03/20/2003
    By, Randall Fielding, AIA, Editor

    Excerpt: “Ed Spec people (who certainly can make positive contributions) are experts in education who follow their “cookbook.” This is organized around functional aspects of the parts of a school. Many school architects, bonded to corporate profit goals, provide a service to put those parts together in a way that is also functional (cut and paste is like magic). “

    The Education Environment Program:
    Re-Thinking the Ed Spec

    by, David E. Anstrand, RA, REFP, & Edward E. Kirkbride, NCARB, REFP

    Many trends such as communication technology, brain-based learning, life-long learning, cost of educational facilities, environmental concerns and others to be discovered, suggest the scope of planning educational environments is expanding. In the recent past, educational facility planning was confined to the preparation of “educational specifications or ed specs,” a listing of space-by-space attributes for the proposed facility. Today, instead of ed specs, an Education Environment Program (EEP) describes information and relationships as a trilogy, becoming the foundation for the future design of a new or renovated learning facility.

    Freedom & Creativity
    A story of learning, Democracy and the design of schools,
    by Bruce A. Jilk, January, 2002.

    The story contained in the document “Free/Create” is about designing a learning environment in which the design “intends” for freedom and creativity to be integrated into the students’ daily learning experiences, and not “designed-out” in the name of focus and control.

    78 pages, fully illustrated. Free download.

    Design Features for Project-Based Learning
    by Susan J. Wolff, Ed.D., February 2002.

    This publication is a condensed version of a doctoral research study by Susan Wolff entitled “Relationships among People and Spaces: Design Features for the Optimal Collaborative, Project-Based Learning Experience.” Dr. George Copa, Oregon State University, was Wolff’s major professor. Although the study was directed primarily at the community college level, the findings of the study are pertinent to all levels of education and have implications for physical learning environments for other types of active learning processes. acknowledgments

    A detailed study including a synthesis of 32 design features of the physical learning environment that support and enhance collaborative, project-based learning.

    Designing a High School for Collaborative, Project-based Learning
    Harbor City International School,
    by Randall Fielding, June 2002

    HCIS, a public charter school in downtown Duluth, Minnesota, serves grades 9 through 12. Located on the 3rd floor of an 1860’s industrial building, the school provides a small, learner-directed community that encourages investigative learning, global citizenship and nurtures a sense of belonging.

    A Perception of Architecture and Urbanism
    An Approach to Education in the Popular Classes,
    by Mariza Weber Alves, October 2002

    Review: “This is indeed a superb piece - both inspiring and thought-provoking. It reinforces my long-held belief that children experience architecture while adults observe it. This was an exercise that asked children to observe architecture - something that allowed them to change their perception of their built world and also understand it at a conscious level. For the adults too, this had to be a wonderful learning exercise. They saw what was always consciously understood as urban blight from the perspective of the children and, suddenly, the shapes and forms began to have meaning beyond the observable.”

    Educational Specifications Forum
    A controversial  exploration of  the role of  Ed Specs,
    Randall Fielding, June 2002

    Personalized Learning in a Global Context
    What the Committee on Architecture for Education Learned at MIT
    by Randall Fielding, June 2002.

    Most of us get a sinking feeling in our gut when we envision a world of learning dominated by geographically isolated individuals communicating through the Internet. Where are the nuances of face-to-face communication, the joy of connecting personally with others? The recent conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts, sponsored by the AIA Committee on Architecture for Education, addressed the issue of personalized learning environments in a global context head on.

    The Role of Wireless Computing Technology in the Design of Schools
    by Prakash Nair, October 2002.

    An argument can be made, and Prakash makes it once again in compelling fashion in his latest work on wireless computing, that today’s wireless technology does make it a sensible choice in most situations. This is borne out not only by the advancements in the technology, but also by the extent to which it has won acceptance by schools and school systems nationwide.

    Dollars and Sense: The Cost Effectiveness of Small Schools
    Published by Knowledge Works Foundation, 2002
    Review by Randy Fielding

    More than any other recent publication advocating small schools, Dollars & Sense argues the case for small schools with the force of a sledgehammer. The study obliterates the arguments that we hear from large school defenders about the “economies of scale.” According to Dollars & Sense, small schools cost less to build and operate on a broad variety of measures. The study provides ample data, references and statistical analysis to back it up.

    In addition to exposing myths about economies of scale, Dollars & Sense presents very specific guidelines for school sizes.

    School Safety: Problem or Goal?
    by Prakash Nair

    There are two primary institutions in society where those entering the premises give up most of their individual rights to those who administer the facility – jails and schools. Little surprise then that safety planning in schools starts with the following assumptions:

  • The inmates will act in a manner that jeopardizes the safety of the establishment if they are not controlled.
  • There is a clear hierarchy that separates those in charge from those being taken care of. Like wardens in prisons and their jailers, Principals and staff are in charge of the safety of their staff and also for protecting students from each other and the staff from students.
  • Like prisons, schools are also built like fortresses to prevent outsiders from gaining unwarranted entry and students from leaving without adult consent.

    Security patrols and rooftop lighting, smart cards for entry, metal detectors, alarm systems and video surveillance equipment have all become part of the standard safety jargon for schools. This, on top of passive design features like straight double-loaded corridors for easy monitoring and the elimination of any nooks and crannies where potential troublemakers could hide undetected.

    Let us move from this depressing view of schools toward one where safety of the occupants becomes a goal that is shared by everyone.

    “The Student Laptop Computer in Classrooms: Not Just a Tool”, by Prakash Nair, 2001.

    In my various presentations around the country on the subject of laptop learning, I too have been guilty of using the word “tool” to describe the computer in a student’s hands. That view changed after talking to an experienced teacher in a laptop classroom, who was offended by comparisons of laptops to traditional classroom tools. She told me that comparing a computer to a pencil implies that these are both passive tools - waiting to be manipulated by their users.

    According to her, “The roles of both teacher and student are changed by the introduction of laptops into the classroom because laptops empower children in ways no other ‘tool’ has been able to. Such student empowerment is a fundamentally new way to organize the classroom. This is very different from the changes you might expect by giving children pencils or other traditional classroom tools like rulers, protractors or even calculators. Even though I don’t object to the word ‘tool’ to describe a laptop, I firmly believe it is more than any other educational tool.”

    Innovative Learning Environments:
    AIA Amsterdam Conference Summary and Highlights

    November 2001


  • Introduction - CAE Fall Conference Proceedings
  • Attendee List
  • Amsterdam Watershed: Q&A with Bruce Jilk, Jury Chair
  • Keynote Address: Herman Hertzbhttp
  • “Learning at the Margins: Implications for Designing Learning Environments,” Dr. George Copa
  • “Schools of the Future: The Need for Open and Flexible Spaces,” Reino Tapaninen
  • “Designing a Place for Problem Solving: The Center for Applied Technology and Career Exploration,” Daniel Duke
  • “Designing for the Unknown,” Norman Dull
  • “School Size and Quality — What Does This Mean for the Future?” Joe Nathan
  • “Creating a Building Design for an Integrated Approach to Teaching and Learning,” Dan Bodette
  • “The School as a Building for Lifelong Learning,” Jaap F. Westbroek
  • “Concept Development as the Key to Innovative Accommodation,” Gert Jan Meijer
  • Workshops: “Location” | “Space” | “Scale” | “Cost” | “Context”
  • AIA Amsterdam Conference Forum:
    An Interactive Forum on Innovative Alternatives in Learning Environments,

    November, 2001

    Support for this publication was provided by the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities. A print version of the article will appear in the January/February issue of School Construction News.

    Bruce Jilk, conference chair, introduced the conference as a watershed event and the period from 2000 to 2010 as a watershed decade for educational planning. Bruce tossed out numerous “mind grenades,” about the future of schools. A common theme involved schools that are closely integrated with their communities and share spaces with surrounding businesses, institutions and residences. Projects presented and toured included a school located above a drug store (pictured below) and another built beneath residential apartments.

    DesignShare invited conference participants to ask Bruce a follow-up question. Questions by 12 individuals from four countries were selected for publication. Dr. William DeJong, one of the most recognized educational facility planners in the United States, was invited to provide a counterpoint. Profiles, contacts and references are provided at the end of the publication.

    Innovation and Standarization in School Building: A Proposal for the National Code in Italy.
    by Giuseppe Ridolfi, D.d.R, A.N.A.member
    October 2001

    Acting upon the request of the Law n °23/1996 and after the issue of the Law n °30/2000 on the reform of the Italian Public Education, the department “Tecnologie dell ‘Architettura e Design “from the University of Florence was in charge of developing a research to define a proposal for the new national school building code. The following article reports an abstract of this experience and its inspiring concepts previewed by a brief reconstruction of the evolution of the Public Education Service in Italy.

    What Art Educators Can Learn from Reggio Emilia
    October 2001
    By Patricia Tarr

    “The visitor to any institution for young children tends to size up the messages that the space gives about the quality of care and about the educational choices that form the basis of the program.” — Lella Gandini, the North American liaison for the Reggio Emilia preprimary schools

    The author writes: “In this article I will compare the messages contained in the physical environments of early childhood classrooms in Reggio Emilia, Italy with typical early childhood settings in Canada and the United States from the perspective of the “aesthetic codes” (Rosario & Collazo, 1981) embodied in these spaces. I will discuss how these codes reflect each culture’s image of the child, cultural values and broad educational goals. I will conclude with the implications these codes have for art educators. For clarity, I will focus on the North American kindergarten which is specifically for 5-year-olds in the year prior to entry into first grade.”

    City of Learning:
    UIA/UNESCO 15th Annual Conference: “Learning in Public Spaces”,
    Porto, Portugal, September 2001
    By Randall Fielding, AIA

    Of the many themes discussed at the Union of International Architects conference in Porto, two attracted the most passionate debate:1) the notion that learning is not necessarily linked to school buildings and 2) the concept of learner-centered cities versus the typical retail-centered urban core.

    55 Exemplary Educational Facilities from 21 countries
    Published by The Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development, 2001

    Book Review by Randall Fielding, AIA

    Do you believe in pursuing innovative planning solutions? If the answer is “yes,” take one step beyond thinking outside the box and think outside your country. The OECD’s new publication “Designs for Learning” helps you take that step by providing a tour of 55 exemplary learning environments in 21 countries. The best examples illustrate the importance of the relationship between building and environment.

    Loving Children: A Design Problem
    by David Orr, Professor and Chair of the Environmental Studies Program at Oberlin College
    This article was first published in Designer Builder, October 2000

    What would it mean to make a society that did in fact love all of its children?

    This is, properly understood, a design problem that calibrates what we intend as parents with how we earn our living, conduct our daily lives, build homes, design communities, manage landscapes, and provision ourselves with food, energy, and materials. I would go so far as to say that the well-being of children in the fullest sense of the word, not gross national product, is the best indicator of the health of our civilization. And I believe that it is the ultimate standard for ecological design. How do we design a civilization for children?

    Education Through Technology Integration: A Template for School Design
    Prakash Nair,
    June 23, 2000

    Presentation given as part of the “How Will We Design School Buildings for the 21st Century?” Conference

    Public Education Institute, Education Law Center and UEF21
    Rutgers University, New Jersey

    “Schools for the 21st Century: Are You Ready?”, by Prakash Nair, July, 2000.

    Whether you are designing a new school or renovating an existing building, it is now possible to evaluate how your school measures up to the most important requirements of the 21st Century.

    There are 15 trends happening in the field of education and related educational technology. Many of them have direct facility ramifications. Use them as a checklist to see how many of these trends your school facility is designed to accommodate.

    Lighting The Learning Environment
    by Randall Fielding, June, 2000

    “We want plenty of windows and full spectrum lighting - not those cold fluorescents.” This is a request I hear frequently from teachers while planning learning environments. While the benefits of full spectrum lamps remain inconclusive, there is a good deal of consensus on the value of daylight and quality lighting design.

    Awarding Innovative Educational Design: The School Construction News & Design Share Awards 2000 Program
    Introduction and Commentary,
    by Jeffery A. Lackney Ph.D., September, 2000

    The Awards 2000 Program focused less on aesthetics and more on the creation of effective learning environments, making it unique among awards programs that traditionally recognize outstanding design. Our jurors rewarded schools that demonstrate thoughtful and rigorous evaluation of educational facility planning, management, and use. They looked for innovative design solutions that responded to current educational reforms, including small schools, learning communities, urban community schools, and charter schools.

    “Designing the Next Generation of American Schools: Case Studies in Creativity”
    Talk given by David Pesanelli for the Thomas Jefferson Center for Educational Design conference

    Excerpt: “An important area to pursue is the staging the home-to-school, on-site and school-to-home experience. What can appear in the home, that is from the school, beyond a laptop computer? Perhaps a “piece” of the school learning environment that links the two places? What can happen in transit on the school bus that sets up the on-site experience for the students and decompresses them from it on the way home? How can the site become a stimulating of piece of ground, perhaps with “packaged”and active phenomena instead of just an identification sign? What about the building’s entry experience - can it include a revelation or a surprise each day?

    A number of problem solving approaches have been suggested in the last hour or so. They only work well if there is enthusiasm and perhaps even a passion for imaginative change present in the team members.”

    The Death of the Classroom, Learning Cycles and Roger Schank
    by Randall Fielding, May, 1999

    “Classrooms are out! No more classrooms! Don’t build them!” - Roger Schank, Institute for Learning Sciences

    Do these sound like the words of a radical outsider? Schank is no outsider to the educational establishment. He is the director of Northwestern University’s Institute for Learning Sciences. He holds three faculty appointments at Northwestern, as John Evans Professor of Computer Science, Education, and Psychology. Previously, he was professor of computer science and psychology at Yale, a visiting professor at the University of Paris and a faculty member at Stanford.

    Planning the Learning Community
    An Interview with Concordia’s Steven Bingler,
    By Randall Fielding, August, 1999

    Steven Bingler, AIA, is president of Concordia Inc., a research and planning firm, and Concordia Architects, an architectural design firm, both based in New Orleans. The firm has earned a reputation for innovation in the participatory planning process of educational environments. Steven is a consultant to the U.S. Department of Education for policy related to the design of schools as the center of the community. Concordia’s approach has received coverage in the New York Times, The Wall street Journal, the Los Angles Times and Newsweek.

    The Future of the Classroom:
    Q & A with William DeJong

    By Eric Butterfield, Editor, School Construction News, April, 1999

    Dr. William DeJong, Ph.D., REFP, president of DeJong & Associates of Dublin, Ohio, has over 20 years of experience in education and facility planning. He served as president of the Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI) in 1993-94, and was awarded CEFPI’s “Planner of the Year” award in 1991. In addition, Dr. DeJong is involved in Heart to Honduras, which is helping build schools for that country’s poor, rural communities through voluntary work.

    In this interview, Dr. DeJong addresses new teaching models, the advent of computers and the media hype surrounding school safety.

    Wired Versus Wireless
    Technology in School Computer Networks, A debate between Prakash Nair and Glenn Meeks
    By Randall Fielding, December, 1999

    First, kids need to have access to laptops or some other portable computing device if not full-time, then for some significant period of each school day. I say portable device because the computer should be usable as a tool to enhance learning English, social studies, geography, math or even music. It should be available when needed and out of the way when not needed—like a pencil. A PC is simply not suitable in that context.

    Second, kids should be able to have structured access to the Internet, to supplement the work they do in class, in the library and at home. Wireless computing with laptops provides portability, flexibility and convenience that children working individually, in small groups and teams could never get from hard-wired PCs.

    A Design Assessment Scale for Elementary Schools
    C. Kenneth Tanner
    May, 1999

    Abstract: A Design Assessment Scale for Elementary Schools (DASE) is under construction at the University of Georgia’s School Design and Planning Laboratory. Its purpose is to assist educators and architects in planning and designing developmentally appropriate learning environments for elementary schools (pk -5). We are also currently working on scales for middle schools (grades 6-8) and high schools. The DASE is intended to measure various aspects of design practices presently existing in schoolhouses and outdoor learning areas. This report includes the first step in the instrument’s validation process and the initial reliability coefficients. Two questions are under study: Does the DASE include the most significant and valid aspects of design for elementary schools? Will it consistently measure these important design patterns?

    Better Schools for a New Century:
    AIA Conference, San Francisco, April, 1999

    by Randall Fielding

    The conference was organized by two AIA professional interest areas: the Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) and the Building Codes and Standards Committee. The following material focuses on the Committee on Architecture for Education. Detailed coverage of the entire conference is also be available on the AIA’s web site.

    Includes “Learning Environments for the 21st Century,” Keynote Address by Anne Taylor, Ph.D., Hon. AIA; also includes talk given by Steven Bingler, AIA, Concordia Architects, about Department of Education planning grants and design guidelines geared to Schools as Centers of Community.

    Interview: Bruce Jilk, Educational Facility Planner
    by Randy Fielding
    November, 1998

    Bruce is often referred to as a “cutting edge” educational facility planner, yet he builds on sources from 500 B.C. to the present. Synthesizing the educational philosophies of John Dewey, the psychological constructs of Abraham Mazlov and the planning principles of the “New Urbanism,” Bruce sets forth a vision for learning environments which will make schools as we know them obsolete. There is no arrogance in his viewpoint; Bruce is an ambassador in the world of planning, traveling around the globe continuously, learning from other cultures while developing new plans for learning environments.

    This article is a compilation of three discussions between Bruce Jilk and Randy Fielding in 1998. The first one took place at the CEFPI conference in Vancouver, British Columbia; the second at the Zoo School in Apple Valley, Minnesota, and the third at the Gardens of Salonica restaurant in Minneapolis. While some of the language is directly quoted, other portions have been paraphrased for clarity

    “The Box is Breaking: Who Cares? We Care” Executive SummaryCouncil for Educational Facilities Planning International
    Midwest Great Lakes Region, Spring 1998 Conference
    prepared by Bruce Jilk

    This conference included four seminar tracks:

  • Brain-based Learning: Discovery and Applications;
  • Changes in Work, Family and Community: Their Impact on Learning Environments;
  • Life-long Learning: Engaging the Whole Community in the Learning Process; and
  • International Education: A Global Perspective on Learning and Facility Planning.
  • Note: If you’d like to see the full list with NO summary excerpts, go to this link.


    DesignShare publications are submitted by designers, university professors, architects, planning consultants, educators, technologists, futurists, and ecologists. Publications include podcasts, detailed case studies, conference proceedings, interviews, original research, editorials, thesis projects, and practical design guidelines.


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