Committee on Architecture for Education

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The Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) aims to foster innovation in the design of educational facilities through collaboration and heighten public awareness on the importance of environments for education.

CAE Sub-committees 

03-18-2019 09:39 AM

Each subcommittee is pursuing research, articles, trends, and best practice information on the design of all types of learning environments. 

Early Childhood Learning Environments Subcommittee

Subcommittee co-Chairs: Open 

The AIA Early Childhood Learning Environments Subcommittee was formed in 2011 and is focused on all aspects of preschool and early childhood facility design. It is becoming widely understood that very young children are not simply mini-adults, or even mini-schoolchildren.  They are different in many ways, and it follows that educational buildings for very young children are likewise not simply mini-schools.  The Early Childhood Learning Environment Subcommittee seeks to recognize and understand these fundamental differences, and make that information available to the members of the Institute so that buildings for young children can also be informed.  As a client group that is unable to directly verbalize their needs, wants and wishes, it is up to the architect to understand, to interpret, to innovate and to advocate for design that:

  • Inspires the lifelong learner in all children
  • Creates healthy safe and nurturing learning environments
  • Encourages sustainable and toxin free indoor and outdoor environments
  • Respects age-appropriate learning and developmental curricula
  • Supports both the young child and the adult caregiver simultaneously
  • Teaches environmental responsibility and stewardship

Childhood has its own way of seeing, thinking, and feeling and nothing is more foolish than to try and substitute ours for theirs.” Jean Jacques Rousseau.

K-12 Education Subcommittee

Subcommittee co-Chairs: JoAnn Wilcox, AIA and Brandi Rikels, AIA

Join the K-12 subcommittee and contribute to the national conversation on K-12 design. We share insights and information to advance knowledge of best practice in the design of educational environments around five key issues: 

  • Understanding diverse learning models and learner needs
  • Analyzing the relationship between design and improved learning outcomes across socioeconomic/racial learning gaps
  • Removing barriers to innovation in education design
  • Advocating for high performance design in schools (Living Building, ZERO-carbon, LEED platinum, WELL, plus)
  • Engaging students and stakeholders in the design process

The K-12 Education Subcommittee is charged with: developing knowledge; identifying, performing, documenting and disseminating research; communicating with AIA CAE members; and contributing content for conferences.

Higher Education Subcommittee

Subcommittee co-Chairs: Jason Forney, AIA and Susan Morgan, AIA 

The subcommittee is pursuing research, articles, trends, and best practice information related to the following areas:

  • Higher Education Evaluation (benchmarking, evaluation, innovative learning environments and higher education as “think tanks”)
  • Master Planning (including agenda planning, sustainable growth planning, campus community, blurring of living/learning, community partnerships, and sense of place)
  • Process, Design and Sustainability (LEED, net zero and carbon neutral, integrated design)

Informal Learning Environments Subcommittee

Subcommittee co-Chairs: Kate Scurlock, AIA  and Jess Dancer

The Informal Learning Environments Subcommittee is focused on the role of informal learning environments as places of learning, researching, and teaching. Informal Learning Environments include a wide range of project types which include, but are not limited to: Libraries, Museums, Interpretation Centers, Corporate and Convention Facilities, Nature and Environmental Centers; which support life-long learning. These project types, often focused on experiential learning, have unique requirements which differ from traditional learning environments. The subcommittee is pursuing research on trends and developing knowledge to support the AIA CAE on Informal Learning Projects.

The Subcommittee  is charged with: Developing knowledge; Identifying, performing, documenting, and disseminating research; Communicating with the AIA CAE members; Coordinating with AIA CAE Conference chairs.

Research Task Force

co-Chairs: Dina Sorensen,  Caroline Lobo, PhD, AIA, and Valerie Caruolo, Assoc AIA

The Research Task Force aims to position research as a knowledge asset for the American Institute of Architects Committee on Architecture for Education members and affiliated organizations by establishing a research agenda reflective of contemporary themes and needs. In addition to establishing an agenda; over the next nine months we will prioritize relevant topic domains, empower practitioners who are leading innovative design and research initiatives, define goals that promote the translation of expertise from outside disciplines into design and education, and provide relevant resources for members. Learn more on the CAE Research webpage.

Advocacy Task Force

co-Chairs: Tracy Hucul, AIA   and Cheryl Jacobs, AIA 

As Architects interested in the design of educational facilities, we are in a unique position to advocate for those causes that impact architects, educators and learners across the country. We have formed a task force to establish the below initiatives. If you are interested in being part of the group that supports our advocacy agenda and shapes the future for educational architecture, please express interest on web form below. 

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