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This newsletter sponsored by:


C/S Group

School Building Expo


Happy 2007 from everyone associated with DesignShare!

We hope that the new year continues to spark new questions, innovations, and partnerships as you continue designing for the future of learning.


Key Dates and Deadlines:

  • Discounted Early Bird Registration period: Feb 16 - March 15, 2007
  • General Registration period: March 16 - April 20, 2007
  • On-line Project File Submissions: March 1 - May 1, 2007
  • Registration Closed: May 1, 2007
  • International Jury reviews projects: May-August, 2007
  • Winning projects announced: September, 2007
  • Media Partner publications released: Fall, 2007

Download the

Key Details:

Registration & Fees | Eligibility | Principles | Submittal Requirements

Benefits | Review Team Jury Members | Media Partners | Support

Project Category Types:

Alternative Learning Centers | Early Childhood Programs

Elementary Schools | Middle Schools | High Schools | Higher Education

Sponsored by:

  • Herman Miller
  • VS
  • School Construction News
  • Edutopia (George Lucas Educational Foundation)
  • SchoolsforLife

ARTICLES WE’RE CURRENTLY WORKING ON for the next e-Newsletter due out by the end of February:

  • Future-Think: Introducing his provocative video entitled “2020 Vision,” educator Karl Fisch asks school designers to articulate a bolder vision for how technology and education and learning spaces will come together in our kids’ futures.
  • Designing School 2.0: Chris Lehmann, founding principal of the newly opened Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, explores the rise of “School 2.0″ and offers it to DesignShare as a campus design challenge.
  • Brain Science: Bob Sylwester, international expert on brain science and its impact on learning, speaks to the connections between classroom design and the development of the adolescent brain.
  • Big Idea: Lifelong educator Jon Wiles introduces his provocative book, Leaving School: Finding Education, and challenges the very structure of the traditional school model. This is not for the faint-of-heart, and that’s why we love the questions it poses.
  • Classroom Design: Bob Pearlman, one of the leading change agents in educational reform, speaks on the need to support authentic, project-based and technology infused education by designing campuses from the classroom out.
  • Community Learning Centers: Architect Steven Bingler, founder of Concordia, defines a new urban ‘nexus’ for the redevelopment of New Orleans schools and learning communities.
  • Blogging as a Design Tool: Can blogging become a vital tool for designers, educators, and community members to explore school design programs? One Wyoming, US-based architecture firm and school district take the conversational plunge.
  • Urban Case Study: Head of K-12 projects for Perkins+Will, Peter Brown offers a case study of soon-to-open Hector Garcia Middle School, a school defined to be a bridge of empowerment between an often overlooked neighborhood and the Dallas skyline.
  • Advanced Learning Systems: Wayne Jennings, Chair of the International Association for Learning Alternatives, discusses the evolution of advanced learning systems as a catalyst for re-imagining the school of the future.

Stay tuned for more provocative articles focused on designing for the future of learning.


Here are a few of the most recent posts exploring various elements and questions within the school design world:

  • How Do You Take a Fairly “Typical” School And Move It Into the 21st Century?
  • Creating Spaces for Passionate Learners
  • Schools Putting Roofs Over the Heads of Homeless Students
  • Will Yale Become the World’s Greenest Campus?
  • What the Amish Can Teach Us About School Design Priorities
  • North Carolina: Will $2 Billion in School Construction Create the Schools We Need?
  • NYC: Can $1 Billion Inspire Smaller Classes?
  • California School Construction Funding: Terminator or Motivator?
  • Libraries: The Front Line of Emerging Technologies & Participation?
  • Florida Campus Design: Why Build Out When the Sky Calls?
  • What Does Your Principal Think of Their School Building and Campus?
  • When Schools Go Chairless to Promote Healthy Students
  • NYCity: Can the Playground Be Designed to Teach Kids to Play?
  • AIA 2006 Honor Award Winner: University of Iowa’s Art and Art History Building
  • Want to read more? Check out the rest of the blog archives and the latest entries for more on-the-fly thoughts about the world of school design.

    March 6-8, 2007, in West Palm Beach, Florida.

    Note: Register before Feb. 8th and receive a $100 discount!

    We want to bring conversation back to conferences!

    At the DesignShare Expert Bar on the exhibit hall floor, you can have one-on-one time with the School Building Expo speakers. Sit down, relax, and ask your own individual questions of the experts. Better yet, share with them what you are working on.

    Got a particular challenge or problem? Exploring new research? Interested in innovative ideas you’d like to consider? This is where you’ll get up close and personal with the people who know best.

    It’s Q&A, one on one!

    Here are some of the sessions we’re keeping our eyes on:

      “The School I’d Like: How Children View School Buildings” - Dr. Catherine Burke (University of Leeds, UK) has conducted years of research across England which asked 15,000 students about their feelings on the designed environment of their school.

      “Ergonomics for Children and Educational Environments” - Dr. Dieter Breithecker (Sport & Movement Scientist, Germany) and James Dyck, AIA, (President, Educational Partnership, Nebraska).

      Session summary: Do your spaces take into account the human factors that impact user comfort? More than how high to mount the light switch, unseen factors can greatly impact the ability for children to learn. Understand the issues of child physiology and ergonomics that your school programs and buildings need to responding to, and what you can do to provide environments that support authentic learning.

      “Da Vinci’s Classroom” - Dr. Jeff Lackney, Ph.D., AIA, REFP (senior planning consultant, FNI).

      Session summary: How would the varied skills and methods of problem-solving of Leonardo Da Vinci have created a classroom? See how problem based learning and action oriented teaching translate into a learning space that Da Vinci’s methods might have created. With applicability to the teaching of social sciences, language, art, and sciences, this is a chance to look at designing space for a new way to learn.

      “Redesigning for the Special Needs Student: Unique Facility Considerations for the Deaf and Blind Student” - John Dickinson (Architect, Winter and Company).

      Session summary: In a typical school, more than 581 special design conditions related to the deaf and blind are often overlooked or mishandled. Bright light interferes with deaf lip readers. Corridor widths impact ability to use sign language, and HVAC can affect hearing aids. Our presenter, an architect deaf since the age of two, will improve your ability to design with these considerations in mind.

      “What Australia Can Teach Iowa: A Look at Global School Design Trends” - Jeffrey Lackney Ph.D., AIA, REFP (senior planning consultant, FNI).

      Session summary: Jeff Lackney is an architect who, together with his partners at Fielding/Nair, works on school projects on six continents. He’ll show you innovations and new trends that are creating great school spaces in Japan, Thailand, Tasmania, Singapore and Sri Lanka. And, with 20 years of school design experience, he’ll put these trends into perspective so you can adapt and employ these ideas into the work you’re doing here.

      “Thinking Outside the Walls: How Outdoor Spaces Add to Learning” - Kirk Meyer (Executive Director, Boston Schoolyard Funders Collaborative) and Robert Kobet AIA, LEED AP.

      Session summary: Part 1: Boston’s Schoolyard Initiative has over 70 new multi-functional schoolyards that use the outdoors as a basis for academic studies. It’s a “real world” laboratory for society, nature, and the value of systems thinking. Come learn methods to use the outdoors as learning spaces. Part II: Bob Kobet, who has designed nature-friendly schools around the world, will showcase the new environmental learning center under development in Palm Beach, Florida, the state of the art in outdoor spaces that advance learning and excite students about ecology, environment and more.

      “Beyond the ‘Ed Spec’ 2007″ - Ed Kirkbride NCARB, REFP (Principal, Kirkbride Associates, Inc.).

      Session summary: Traditionally, the basis for school planning was the educational specification or the “ed spec”, a listing of space-by-space attributes for the proposed facility. But employing a new Education Environment Program (EEP) created a much broader, more useful plan describing the civic design, program planning, partnership development to interpersonal relationships, learning activities and learning time in a fresh, positive way. The inventor of this novel method shows you how to use it successfully.

      “The Art of Teaching Science: Spaces for Technology and Science Learning” - David Ethan Greenburg
      (Founder, Denver School of Science and Technology) and Sam Miller AIA (Klipp Architecture).

      Session summary: Are you ready to design the classrooms that teach the disciplines of the future? You’ll learn many of the unique educational and technical requirements for teaching science and technology from the people who have created them. From science rooms to specialized technology high schools, you’ll see great examples of innovative, successful spaces and learn the secrets to creating them on your own.

      “LEED for Schools: A First Look at the New Standard” - Lindsay Baker (LEED for Schools Program Manager, US Green Building Council) and Robert Kobet AIA, LEED AP.

      Session summary: The brand-new LEED rating system created specifically for K-12 schools will be launched in early 2007. You’ll be guided through the new requirements by your own personal ’sherpas,’ the Chairman of the committe which wrote the standard and US Green Building Council’s project leader for LEED for Schools. They’ll give you unique, authoritative guidance and expert advice, with plenty of time for your own Q&A.

      “Security, Built In: Making Schools Safer by Design” - Dr. Alison Adler (Chief of Safety and Learning Environment, Palm Beach County School District).

      Session Summary: Security and safety are top of mind in schools today. How do the passive design elements of the building, in addition to electronics and hardware, impact the security of the buildings you’re responsible for? Get ideas for building facilities that create safety from minimizing bullying, deterring intruders, to keeping occupants safe.

    A few key details that you may want to know as you consider joining everyone down in Florida from March 6-8th:

    Who will you see at the School Building Expo?


    VS’ history goes back to the late 1800’s as the first company to provide comprehensively designed school furniture. Their dedication to ergonomics applies to every type of workplace - be it in the school or office. The entire VS product development is based on expertise in ergonomic principles to support dynamic work, collaboration, and study environments.
    General Info Email:

    C/S GROUP (Construction Specialties, Inc.) is committed to design innovation and the improvement of educational environments. C/S manufactures impact-resistant wall covering and wall protection products, entrance-flooring systems, expansion joint covers and daylight management products for schools. With more than 70 registered patents, C/S is skilled in listening to architects and developing innovative new products to meet their projects’ specific requirements.
    Complete Design Manual is available at (888) 621-3344.
    Download product drawings directly from the C/S Web site.


    If you want to get word out to the school planning and design community, there is no better venue. DesignShare is the # 1 address worldwide for innovative school facilities and designing for the future of learning. Today, DesignShare gets nearly 2 million visits a year (150,000 visits each month), more than doubling where we were just a year ago.


    “Partners in Education” Media KitPrint version or