Profile

Ms. Indira Dutt

Educator and Design Professional

Contact Details

Toronto, ON

Bio

I am a licensed teacher with a combined graduate degree in architecture and education, which places me in a unique position when it comes to school design. As a teacher, I have lived experience teaching and learning in a variety of school buildings and educational spaces. My graduate work has allowed me to develop an architectural lens, and given me insight into that lived experience. As a consultant I’ve been excited to develop language that bridges between the worlds of education and design.

I am passionate about the relationship between learners and the design of school spaces, especially with respect to the interactions between nature, architecture and the learners. My research on school design revealed that elements that foster a connection to the natural world, such as indoor/outdoor interfaces have a huge impact on students. Students’ spoke in detail about how these interfaces increased their sense of imagination, productivity, concentration, sense of belonging, emotional, intellectual and even spiritual well being. My research suggested that school buildings really can be a ‘third teacher’ and that nature in the built environment is extremely beneficial to students.

Since completing my masters degree, I have coordinated and edited “Re-envisioning Outdoor Learning Spaces”, an issue of The Ontario Journal for Outdoor Education and written an article for “Reconceptionalizing School Design: Learning Environments for Children and Youth”, an issue of Children Youth and Environments. I have contributed a chapter to the book The Ecology of School and actively participated in several design charrettes. Currently I am building a consultancy that advocates for innovative and biophilic educational design.

Education

University of British Columbia
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Masters of Arts, 2011
Architecture and Education
2008 To 2011
Dissertation: Rethinking Schools: how school design informs intermediate students' relationships with the natural world.
Advisor: Dr. Raymond Cole

Queens University
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Bachelor of Education, 2003
Intermediate and Senior Biology, English Literature and Outdoor Education
2002 To 2003

University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Double Major Honours Bachelor of Science and English Literat, 2000
Biology and English Literature
1995 To 2000

Interests

  • design thinking, systems thinking, social enterprise, gardening, outdoor ovens, food education, outdoor education, new outdoor adventures, travelling