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Coming into the #CAEportland conference I had been exposed to a host of learning environments, mostly on the east coast, that communicated various messages about their goals, purpose and WHY they were built in the first place. Of course there is often a basic need for new facilities which address overcrowding, run-down buildings and lack of accessible routes for every person. Most of these new buildings are well designed places for learning but in 10 years of practicing architecture I have only heard one person use the term pedagogy to connect the place with the function. When I was invited to be a scholar at the Portland conference, I was excited to see what ...
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Tom Wolfe, in his book From Bauhaus to Our House , had it backwards: The Bauhaus, rather than being alien to the United States as Wolfe suggests, was originally home grown. The Bauhaus, established by architect Walter Gropius to promote a powerful fusion of art, technology, and craft, has renewed relevance now, when people are looking at ways in which education can stimulate creativity and innovation through learning that is more “hands on.” The Bauhaus (German for “build house”) was a “makerspace” par excell ence. Far more often, architects shape the spaces in which learning occurs rather than the learning curriculum itself. Yet architects, since ...
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Designing to a Child's View ​ ​The Early Childhood and Elementary Schools we visited were full of "child-sized" spaces. This was ​particularly the case at the Oregon Episcopal Lower School (OES) by Hacker Architects; the Gladstone Center for Children & Families by DOWA ; and the Trillium Creek Primary School by DOWA-IBI Group Architects. It was great to see furniture that was personalized and tailored to the students in each learning environment. In contrast to the stark and often sterile environments that exist throughout many schools across the US, there was a very organic nature to the furniture in these schools, which seemed to express well ...
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From the moment I learned back in December that the CAE Spring Conference would be in Portland this year, I had been waiting in eager anticipation, hopeful that I would be able to attend.  Thanks to a Scholarship from AIA National (and the generosity of my lovely wife for staying home with our daughter), I am now three days into the conference and loving every moment!  Having now seen a part of the country I had longed to see, and having immersed myself in hours of conversations with like-minded architects who also have a passion for pushing the boundaries of Educational Design for the 21st Century, I was not in the least bit disappointed.  Oregon has ...
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While I was working on my online assignment project on architectural styles, I had to look through and analyze plenty of architectural styles starting with the renaissance, baroque and ending with modern and futuristic styles. The modern architecture was the style that came to my liking more than any other. After looking through a variety of models I came to a rather interesting conclusion. Modern architecture is truly a universal piece of art. Every person can find something special in this style even if he or she has sympathy to other architectural types. If you have any doubts please read on and maybe you‘ll change your opinion after looking through ...
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Melrose High School – Learning Commons In 2014 Tappé was asked to review the master plan for Melrose High School in Melrose Massachusetts. When analyzing the layout and condition of the school, it became apparent that one of the biggest needs was for a new 21 st century resource center that would help students achieve their goals while providing access to some new tools and innovative spaces. Originally opened in 1975, the school is approximately 241,180 sf and serves a population of about 1000 students.   The Problem The Resource Center (RC) is located on the second floor of the building and was about 17,817 sf. A portion is covered by a ...
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Recently, here in Australia, the New South Wales Government has developed a ten year plan to upgrade the state’s education infrastructure to meet growing population demands. [i]  They aim to make significant changes to the way that their educational facilities are designed to deliver 21 st century learning environments. The Government has put out the challenge to its design consultants to deliver innovative learning landscapes which provide the right level of flexibility for the current and future education of their students. Design teams have been asked to brainstorm ways in which learning tools can be incorporated into the fabric of these new facilities. ...
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In 2016, Washington D.C. set out to modernize 100 of its 113 schools by 2022, expanding the District’s focus of preservation, place-making, and community investment.  Twenty-five of these schools have had no building improvements since they were opened, and many were built during the first half of the 20 th  century 1 ; 2 .    Living in DC, and working with Perkins Eastman’s K12 studio over the past 3 years, I have experienced many of these schools first hand as a designer, a volunteer, and a member of the community.  Along the way, I have learned that modernizing a historic school is a very personal experience.  From the time we begin to engage the ...
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In 2007, I started working at Tappe. Over the course of the last 10 years, I have been learning about the design of educational facilities which includes everything from early childhood centers through K-12 schools to libraries which support life-long learning. I am now at a stage where I am a principal at Tappe and diving into the next generation of our firm. I am working to build a knowledge network that can advance not only our practice in the design of educational facilities but also allow us to be meaningful contributors to the discussion as these facilities and their needs evolve. I am hopeful that by attending this conference and beginning the process ...
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My interest lies in the field of Education Design and applying 21 st Century learning to new and refurbished facilities. Recently I have returned to Australia and have been leading a local team on various school delivery projects. My international experience working abroad in the UK and the USA has further contributed to my fascination of learning and regionalism. The CAE Portland conference will give me the opportunity to experience first-hand the development of a new educational architecture responding to the unique character of the region. Knowledge gleaned from the facilities tours, speakers and panel discussions will be shared with my local team, ...
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With a population equal to that of Washington DC, Portland shares many similarities with Washington D.C., as it has one of the highest walkability scores, has a large community of bicyclists, and an expansive network of public transportation. Similarly, there is also a significant focus on urban planning.  At Perkins Eastman, not only have we designed many schools, each unique in its relationship to its students and community, but we also have a keen interest and responsibility to sustainable building design with an urban focus.  Building on the recent success of Dunbar High School in DC and Martin Luther King Jr Middle School in Boston - two of the country's ...
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Since 2013 when the American Library Association (ALA) an­nounced the formation of its Center for the Future of Libraries, it has focused much of its work on identifying new emerging trends relevant to libraries, librarians, and their communi­ties.  Though we can’t predict the future, we can identify trends. Understanding these “currents” shaping society can better enable us to envision the future. ALA’s Center is itself modeled on the American Alliance of Museums’ (AAM) very successful Center for the Future of Museums (CFM), which highlights social, technological, political, and economic trends ways that museums are addressing these trends. So it ...
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Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend the CAE Fall 2016 Conference at EdSpaces in Cincinnati. I was impressed by the breadth of topics addressed in the classroom sessions; the curators were able to present content that appealed to the wide variety of professionals in attendance, bridging various disciplines and viewpoints to appeal to our common interest in education. During the classroom sessions, I had the chance to speak and even collaborate with educators, school administrators, school operations specialists, sales representatives, as well as other architects. This was a rare occasion to share my impressions with professionals working in different ...
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One of the simplest learning environments is the playground. It is also one of the most important. Yet often its importance to childrens development, as well as the design opportunities it presents, is overlooked by architects. Susan Solomon's new book, The Science of Play: How to Build Playgrounds that Enhance Childrens Development , takes a fresh approach to the subject of playgrounds. This important overview explores the importance of play and playgrounds for children, with special focus on play solutions that encourage risk taking, succeeding and failing, planning ahead, experiencing nature, and making friends. It is also a remarkable book because it ...
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I wanted to share some of my thoughts after attending the fall CAE conference at EDspaces in Cincinnati last week. One standout for me was the diversity of attendees. When I attend other conferences that center around architecture and the built environment I find that there are not many attendees from the owner or user side. At EDspaces there was a good mix of folks working on the school side including educators, administrators and district managers. This allowed for great conversations around the needs of schools and how design plays a role. One of the most enjoyable and informative aspects to the conference was the immersion of attendees in "the life of ...
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During my time as a job captain working on academic design projects with DOWA-IBI Group Architects, and my previous experience as the Program Manager for Project H Design, a nonprofit organization geared toward youth empowerment and community engagement through a design-build curriculum, I have had numerous opportunities to speak with school districts, educators, and students about the broad spectrum of environments needed to support the modern learner. By attending the CAE Fall Conference, I hope to learn more about how other architecture firms and school districts across the country have risen to the challenge from our students to integrate a variety of modalities ...
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As a Senior Associate at Arrowstreet, I have spent the last 15 years working with clients on K12 Education and Healthcare projects enhancing clients missions, services, and environments. My projects have been recognized in local and national publications, including Architecture Boston magazines Case study: Mattapan - How good design can boost a communitys physical and civic health . I have worked to become a leader within the sustainable architecture field, within my firm and throughout the industry, and have had the opportunity to speak on the topic regionally and nationally. Many of these presentations have explored user engagement in achieving net zero energy, ...
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In what has become the most popular TED talk, Sir Ken Robinson asks Do Schools Kill Creativity? My contention, he says, is that creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status. All children are born artists, Robinson notes, but we get educated out of creativity as we grow up. Risk taking is important to creativity. Creative risk-takers cant be overly concerned with being wrong. But contemporary education place too much focus on being right." Robinson says practically all educational systems, whether in the United States, England, or elsewhere, have the same hierarchy of subjects, with art at the bottom. ...
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“Schools began,” according to the architect Louis Kahn, “with a man under a tree who did not know he was a teacher, sharing his realization with a few others who did not know they were students.” Kahn’s return to essentials provided a powerful stimulus for his architecture. Kahn’s return to the primordial clarifies the problem, strips it of peripheral associations. Kahn reverted to a primordial essence before leaping forward. This enabled him to bring new life to Modernist abstraction. I was reminded of this when reading David Thornburg’s recent book, From the Campfire to the Holodeck: Creating Engaging and Powerful 21 st Century Learning Environments . In ...
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The Spring 2016 CAE Conference in Berlin was interspersed with a broad variety of educational spaces - from K-12 schools to Universities, libraries to a research academy of the Jewish Museum, historical buildings to Germany's most sustainable building. As I reflect back on the conference - talks by inspirational professionals in the fields of architecture and education, and tours of schools new and old - the projects which had the most impact on me, were those that were completely unexpected. Growing up in Germany, I experienced a more strict and regimented environment in the classroom, with most of the freedom and imagination coming from the playground ...
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