Virginia Educational Facility Planners
2017 Conference Seminars

Download the 2017 AIA/CES Conference Session Participation Form

Keynote Presentations

Creating a Climate for Success
Keynote: Kim Bearden, Founder & Executive Director, Ron Clark Academy

1.5 LU

The people and the learning spaces make the Ron Clark Academy one of the world’s most innovative learning environments. The Academy’s climate and culture have created a magical school that thousands of educators visit each year in order to learn ways to better engage students, increase rigor, and promote a climate and culture that leads to passion and success for all.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify components of the physical learning environment that promote student engagement
  2. Identify components of the physical learning environment that foster collaboration
  3. Identify components of the physical learning environment that foster joy and satisfaction
  4. Discuss ways that their work has meaning and relevance. Relate the importance of supporting and uplifting one another in their work environment

Session Evaluation


Kids Deserve It!
Keynote: Todd Nesloney

1.5 LU

For too long, we have done the same old things in our classroom. It’s time that we think differently and stop making excuses. It’s time that we look at education through a childlike lens and allow ourselves some creative freedoms. Let’s eliminate the boundaries and titles and seek to do what’s best for kids.

Learning Objectives:

  1. How can we build deeper and better relationships with kids to ensure that quality education takes place?
  2. How can we think about roles and responsibilities differently so that we can instigate true and powerful change?
  3. Technology, Collaboration, Classroom Transformations, Flexible Seating, all play a part in building a multi-faceted educational experience.
  4. Utilizing the expertise of others in the field (who may not work in our district or school) to help bring about change. Reaching out and utilizing the genius of others.

Session Evaluation


Learners without Borders: The New Conditions of Teaching and Learning
Keynote: Yong Zhao, Foundations Distinguished Professor, University of Kansas

1.5 LU

The traditional education can be characterized as “one to many:” one outcome for many students, one curriculum for many students, one pathway for many students, one school for many students, one teacher for many students, and one assessment for many students. Learning is bounded within the borders of standards, curriculum, pacing guides, teachers, testing, classrooms, schools, and school districts. Learners thus pursue the same set of skills and knowledge, follow similar pathways, take the same tests, and learn from the same teachers within the same classroom defined by physical boundaries. This model has been necessary and worked well in the past but not anymore due to massive changes in society brought about by technology. In this presentation, Yong Zhao argues for a mindset shift in education: from “one to many” to “many to one” in order to meet the needs of the students.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the changing forces of education
  2. Understand how the current organization of education is becoming obsolete
  3. Understand emerging new forms of education afforded by technology
  4. Understand how new learning environments are needed

Session Evaluation

Breakout Session 1

Passion-Seeking: Fostering Collaboration and Experiential Learning at Frederick County Middle School
Dr. Jim Angelo, Frederick County Public Schools
Rob Winstead, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP B+C, Stantec

1 LU

Frederick County Middle School is a unique project planned and designed to support the specific needs of adolescent learners. Designed to initiate a paradigm shift in the district, the agile and adaptable environment will support students and teachers as they transition to new forms of learning. In early planning meetings for the project, stakeholders advocated for an environment where students were both “plugged in” and “hands on”. How has that been realized? How might it be developed further? What is the potential of the CTE labs, Learning Commons, Break-Out Areas, Team Rooms, Outdoor Classrooms, etc.? How can the building be leveraged to support this particular kind of learning? What are the challenges to integrating “making” into the middle school curriculum? Join us for a discussion of lessons learned from the process, how our thinking has evolved after a year of occupancy, and how we can continue to move toward the goals of this aspirational project.

Domain: Context

Learning Objectives:

  1. Designing schools to support a cycle of “Know, Understand, Do” and where students want to be “plugged in” and “hands on”
  2. Realizing potential of the CTE labs, Learning Commons, Break-Out Areas, Team Rooms, Outdoor Classrooms, etc.?
  3. Leveraging building design to support learning?
  4. Challenges of integrating “making” into the middle school curriculum

Session Evaluation


K-8 Schools: An Investigative Look at What's Working and Why
Cynthia Smith, PE, ALEP, PMP, Baltimore City Schools
Joanna Hoffschneider, Grimm + Parker Architects
Paul Bradshaw, Grimm + Parker Architects

1 LU

As school districts look to leverage dollars and eke out every possible advantage for students they are exploring some “old” ideas that are finding their way back into the national conversation. Such is the case with K8 schools, which can trace their roots back to the origins of public education in America. What evidence exists, though, of their effectiveness? How are leaders to know if K8 is right for their district? What ancillary benefits, if any, are there for the communities they serve? What aspects of K8 schools can be leverage uniquely? What challenges should be met head on? A nationwide survey of K8 teachers and administrators was conducted to shine a light on the subject and identify the most compelling issues. Those surveyed were asked to pinpoint the biggest benefits/challenges of K8 schools, share what they wish they had known before they embarked, and offer advice for anyone considering whether to plan/build/operate/administer a K8 school. 300+ educators across the country responded to the survey identifying what works and what doesn't in their K8 schools. This presentation will identify issues to consider and bring to light the perspectives of those educators who are walking this path. Lessons learned are directly applicable to the planning and design of not only K8 schools, but any school hoping to leverage the benefits of community-based collaborative learning environments.

Domain: Context

Learning Objectives:

  1. What are the most important issues when considering whether or not to plan/build/operate/administer a K8 school?
  2. What are the biggest benefits of K8 schools?
  3. What are the biggest challenges of K8 schools?
  4. Where are K8 schools being implemented?

Session Evaluation


Perceptions of School Safety Through the Eyes of its Leaders
Carol Cash, Ed.D., Virginia Tech
Nicole Wilcox, Henrico County Public Schools

1 LU

This session will share the results of a preliminary study of perceptions of safety by school leaders. The participants were asked to take pictures of building spaces that provided a sense of safety and those that did not. During follow up interviews they explained the pictures and discussed their feelings. This session will share the results and also allow a workshop environment that gives attendees the chance to look at pictures and discuss their perceptions. It will also allow participants to share ideas about how they would structure a follow up study whose participants would be teachers and students.

Domain: Learning

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify physical characteristics that provide perceptions of by stakeholders
  2. Review and categorize pictures related to sense of safety
  3. Share suggestions for improved research design for future studies
  4. Identify current research on safety and student performance

Session Evaluation


Challenges and Strategies of Same-Site Replacement Projects
Ben Copeland, Lynchburg City Schools
Stephen Halsey, AIA, REFP, Moseley Architects
Billy Riggs, AIA, Moseley Architects

1 HSW

As our region becomes more developed, the opportunity for green field development for new school facilities is becoming rare. Many aging and existing schools are located within developed residential areas and have become centers of the communities in which these schools are located. Relocating these schools can be prohibitive due to a variety of factors including political, community and financial. School divisions are routinely being faced with difficult political, financial and functional decisions regarding the rehabilitation of aging schools and same-site replacement is becoming an increasingly viable, long-term solution. This hour-long program will examine two case studies in Virginia and the factors for both school projects that resulted in same-site replacement being the ultimate project direction. We will discuss site selection and evaluation processes, decision making processes, site planning processes for determining project direction, how the site planning process influenced the building design, and logistical issues and consideration during construction. This program will include content related to core HSW topics including construction documents, design, environmental and pre-design.

Domain: Process

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand key pre-design strategies related to same-site replacement projects.
  2. Understand site master planning strategies related to same-site replacement projects.
  3. Understand information that is recommended to be included in construction documents for same-site replacement projects.
  4. Understand an umbrella of issues, including political, financial, functional and logistical issues related to same-site replacement projects.

Session Evaluation


Strategies for Creating STEAM-focused Learning Environments
Richard S. Salopek, Bowie Gridley Architects

1 LU

In this presentation you will see, first hand, how the many space planning principals of a 21st Century school design can be successfully implemented to support a school’s forward-looking learning approach. We will cover the main areas of focus such as: how to create multi-functional space, spaces that can quickly and easily be reconfigured to new purposes, shared specialty spaces, and how the right furniture can change the learning environment completely. You will hear about The King Abdullah Academy in Herndon, Virginia. A new independent coeducational day school for 1,200 students in grades Pre-K through 12. It was designed focused on student-centered learning, collaborative teaching practices, and project-based interdisciplinary learning with a STEAM emphasis – a true 21st Century School. The architects who designed this facility will present built examples of flexible learning communities for elementary, middle, and high school students, as well as common spaces such as cafeterias and libraries.

Domain: Learning, Context

Learning Objectives:

  1. How to create multi-functional space
  2. The different opportunities multi-functional spaces can offer
  3. How can the furniture of a room effect a students learning
  4. Why learning communities work in all aspects of a school, not just the classroom

Session Evaluation

Breakout Session 2

Passion-Seeking: Fostering Collaboration and Experiential Learning at Frederick County Middle School
Dr. Jim Angelo, Frederick County Public Schools
Rob Winstead, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP B+C, Stantec

1 LU

Frederick County Middle School is a unique project planned and designed to support the specific needs of adolescent learners. Designed to initiate a paradigm shift in the district, the agile and adaptable environment will support students and teachers as they transition to new forms of learning. In early planning meetings for the project, stakeholders advocated for an environment where students were both “plugged in” and “hands on”. How has that been realized? How might it be developed further? What is the potential of the CTE labs, Learning Commons, Break-Out Areas, Team Rooms, Outdoor Classrooms, etc.? How can the building be leveraged to support this particular kind of learning? What are the challenges to integrating “making” into the middle school curriculum? Join us for a discussion of lessons learned from the process, how our thinking has evolved after a year of occupancy, and how we can continue to move toward the goals of this aspirational project.

Domain: Context

Learning Objectives:

  1. Designing schools to support a cycle of “Know, Understand, Do” and where students want to be “plugged in” and “hands on”
  2. Realizing potential of the CTE labs, Learning Commons, Break-Out Areas, Team Rooms, Outdoor Classrooms, etc.?
  3. Leveraging building design to support learning?
  4. Challenges of integrating “making” into the middle school curriculum

Session Evaluation


K-8 Schools: An Investigative Look at What's Working and Why
Cynthia Smith, PE, ALEP, PMP, Baltimore City Schools
Joanna Hoffschneider, Grimm + Parker Architects
Paul Bradshaw, Grimm + Parker Architects

1 LU

As school districts look to leverage dollars and eke out every possible advantage for students they are exploring some “old” ideas that are finding their way back into the national conversation. Such is the case with K8 schools, which can trace their roots back to the origins of public education in America. What evidence exists, though, of their effectiveness? How are leaders to know if K8 is right for their district? What ancillary benefits, if any, are there for the communities they serve? What aspects of K8 schools can be leverage uniquely? What challenges should be met head on? A nationwide survey of K8 teachers and administrators was conducted to shine a light on the subject and identify the most compelling issues. Those surveyed were asked to pinpoint the biggest benefits/challenges of K8 schools, share what they wish they had known before they embarked, and offer advice for anyone considering whether to plan/build/operate/administer a K8 school. 300+ educators across the country responded to the survey identifying what works and what doesn't in their K8 schools. This presentation will identify issues to consider and bring to light the perspectives of those educators who are walking this path. Lessons learned are directly applicable to the planning and design of not only K8 schools, but any school hoping to leverage the benefits of community-based collaborative learning environments.

Domain: Context

Learning Objectives:

  1. What are the most important issues when considering whether or not to plan/build/operate/administer a K8 school?
  2. What are the biggest benefits of K8 schools?
  3. What are the biggest challenges of K8 schools?
  4. Where are K8 schools being implemented?

Session Evaluation


Perceptions of School Safety Through the Eyes of its Leaders
Carol Cash, Ed.D., Virginia Tech
Nicole Wilcox, Henrico County Public Schools

1 LU

This session will share the results of a preliminary study of perceptions of safety by school leaders. The participants were asked to take pictures of building spaces that provided a sense of safety and those that did not. During follow up interviews they explained the pictures and discussed their feelings. This session will share the results and also allow a workshop environment that gives attendees the chance to look at pictures and discuss their perceptions. It will also allow participants to share ideas about how they would structure a follow up study whose participants would be teachers and students.

Domain: Learning

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify physical characteristics that provide perceptions of by stakeholders
  2. Review and categorize pictures related to sense of safety
  3. Share suggestions for improved research design for future studies
  4. Identify current research on safety and student performance

Session Evaluation


Association for Learning Environments SchoolsNEXT Design Competition Project Presentations
The Walton School, Charlottesville, Virginia
Thomas Jefferson Middle School, Arlington, Virginia

1 HSW

The SchoolsNEXT competition challenges students from across the globe to think creatively as they plan and design tomorrow’s 21st century learning environments to enhance innovative ways of teaching and learning, be healthy, conserve resources, be environmentally responsive and engage the surrounding community. The multi-disciplinary solution requires students to follow a planning process from the concept phase to completion of the project, with thorough documentation. SchoolsNEXT teams will demonstrate their passion and innovation in rethinking the requisites of learning environments, creating and building solutions to global design challenges that inspire transformation in education for tomorrow’s leaders and learners. Creating meaningful learning experiences for all learners through rigorous research, the students focused on broadening the potential of a school by connecting excellence in design with excellence in education. From a modern, innovative and eco-friendly 21st century that promises to make learning more engaging for students in Canada’s North to a boarding school with a STEM focused curriculum, innovative green technologies and a strong desire to design solutions for problems facing their community, these young designers demonstrate great enthusiasm, remarkable research and exceptional teamwork.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discover unprecedented ways to bring students together through seamless integration of technology.
  2. Explore the use of innovative green energy technologies and practices in schools including enhanced natural lighting using smart glass and solar tubes, solar leaves, algae for fuel conversion, solar panels, geothermal power, Theo chromic glass and wind turbines as well as the use of locally sourced structural elements and materials.
  3. Understand how environmental impacts and other unique challenges affect learning and health, and foster environmental literacy in isolated communities.
  4. Discover how collaborative planning and design-thinking across diverse networks can result in student-centered challenge-based learning opportunities encompassing authentic, real world projects; and how the focus remains on sustainable and health-promoting solutions.

Session Evaluation


Creating Connection: Unifying Architectural and Civil Engineering Design
Stephen Hostetler, P.Eng., REFP, Timmons Group
Stephen Raugh, PE, Timmons Group

1 LU

Architects and Civil Engineers work together to design construction projects. Our professions are similar. We are involved in the preparation of the creation of structures, but our priorities and perspectives are different. The architect takes the lead on the design, while the civil engineer concentrates on the physics involved in the development project. This relationship is very important. Their communication and coordination with each other defines the quality and success of the finished product. This hour long program offers a unique perspective on the collaborative opportunities inherent in the design process that enables building architecture and site design to positively influence each other. From our civil engineering perspective, we will share the core principles of site design that add value to the architectural design process. We will review existing site conditions and constraints, understand how to effectively program site elements, such as parking, service areas, stormwater management and outdoor spaces, and identify tactical ways to collaboratively develop architecture that expands beyond the confines of the building.

Domain: Process, Toolbox

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the core principles of site design that add value to the architectural design process.
  2. Understand existing site conditions and constraints, both physical and regulatory.AM -
  3. Understand how to effectively program site elements, including parking, service areas, stormwater management and outdoor spaces.
  4. Identify tactical ways to collaboratively work with your site designer to develop architecture that expands beyond the confines of a building.

Session Evaluation

Breakout Session 3

Creating Connection: Unifying Architectural and Civil Engineering Design
Steve Hostetler, Timmons Group
Steve Raugh, PE, Timmons Group

1 LU

Architects and Civil Engineers work together to design construction projects. Our professions are similar. We are involved in the preparation of the creation of structures, but our priorities and perspectives are different. The architect takes the lead on the design, while the civil engineer concentrates on the physics involved in the development project. This relationship is very important. Their communication and coordination with each other defines the quality and success of the finished product. This hour long program offers a unique perspective on the collaborative opportunities inherent in the design process that enables building architecture and site design to positively influence each other. From our civil engineering perspective, we will share the core principles of site design that add value to the architectural design process. We will review existing site conditions and constraints, understand how to effectively program site elements, such as parking, service areas, stormwater management and outdoor spaces, and identify tactical ways to collaboratively develop architecture that expands beyond the confines of the building.

Domain: Process, Toolbox

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the core principles of site design that add value to the architectural design process.
  2. Understand existing site conditions and constraints, both physical and regulatory.
  3. Understand how to effectively program site elements, including parking, service areas, stormwater management and outdoor spaces.
  4. Identify tactical ways to collaboratively work with your site designer to develop architecture that expands beyond the confines of a building.

Session Evaluation


2017 College Student Design Competition Winners Project Presentations
Architecture Students from Hampton University
Stephen Halsey, Moseley Architects


School Life for Old Buildings: When Business Moves Out, Learning Moves In
Brian Donnelly, AIA, Perkins Eastman

1 HSW

Adaptive reuse of underutilized or empty commercial buildings is an increasingly common and effective strategy for school systems facing capacity shortages, moving demographic bubbles, emerging non-traditional pedagogies, and limited capital resources. Over time, urban, suburban and even rural populations change in response to local economic and demographic circumstances, but the inventory of built school environments is not so easily transformed. Nonetheless, local school systems are obligated to respond to external and internal changes, adjusting capacity and resources to match the demand as efficiently as possible. In many of these communities there may exist an underappreciated resource: once thriving commercial districts in large or small towns, or suburban office parks that might be half-empty. These are built resources that could be tapped to accommodate surges in school-aged populations that temporarily strain classroom capacities. Or to house innovation labs and other non-traditional programs in purpose-built space rather than ill-fitting adapted classrooms. This session will describe several case studies of unused commercial buildings being acquired or leased and transformed into effective learning environments.

Domain: Context

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify the characteristics of properties suitable for adaptation to educational use
  2. Review possible regulatory and physical constraints on adaptive reuse
  3. Explore examples of creative business-to-school transformations
  4. Identify specific criteria for a successful adaptation

Session Evaluation


Designing with Creativity in Mind: Applying Environmental Psychology to Creativity-Driven Classroom Environments
Donald M. Rattner, AIA, Donald M. Rattner Architect

1 LU

A great deal of university-level research has been conducted on the influence of the physical environment on creative thinking. Some of this research comes out of schools of marketing and consumer studies, and is clearly aimed at boosting sales in retail environments. Other studies are closely associated with healthcare facilities or have found broad application in corporate office environments, most notably in the forward-looking workplaces constructed by global high-tech giant Google. Yet with scattered exceptions, there has so far been no comprehensive effort to funnel this body of knowledge into a workable manual of best practices that educators, teachers, product manufacturers, and design and building professionals can use in shaping the creativity-driven classroom. This illustrated presentation will review the many ways that the built environment has been found to impact the human capacity to solve problems, explore new ideas, and engage in self-expression. It will then demonstrate how these findings can be applied to the design and furnishing of learning spaces engineered to maximize the development of student creativity. Topics addressed include color, lighting, materials and finishes, furnishings, sound, plantscaping, planning, detailing and more.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify fundamental precepts of environmental psychology
  2. Apply evidence-based design to development of learning environments
  3. Evaluate efficacy of existing or proposed environments and products for boosting creative performance
  4. Utilize creativity-driven design principles in a wide range of building environments

Session Evaluation


Strategies for Creating STEAM-focused Learning Environments
Richard S. Salopek, Bowie Gridley Architects

1 LU

In this presentation you will see, first hand, how the many space planning principals of a 21st Century school design can be successfully implemented to support a school’s forward-looking learning approach. We will cover the main areas of focus such as: how to create multi-functional space, spaces that can quickly and easily be reconfigured to new purposes, shared specialty spaces, and how the right furniture can change the learning environment completely. You will hear about The King Abdullah Academy in Herndon, Virginia. A new independent coeducational day school for 1,200 students in grades Pre-K through 12. It was designed focused on student-centered learning, collaborative teaching practices, and project-based interdisciplinary learning with a STEAM emphasis – a true 21st Century School. The architects who designed this facility will present built examples of flexible learning communities for elementary, middle, and high school students, as well as common spaces such as cafeterias and libraries.

Domain: Learning, Context

Learning Objectives:

  1. How to create multi-functional space
  2. The different opportunities multi-functional spaces can offer
  3. How can the furniture of a room effect a students learning
  4. Why learning communities work in all aspects of a school, not just the classroom

Session Evaluation

Breakout Session 4

School Design: “Beyond Checking the ‘Community Engagement’ Box”
Carrie Neeley, Stafford County Schools
Benjamin Burgin, AIA, PMP, NCARB, LEED AP, Arlington Public Schools
Camilo Bearman, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Stantec Architecture
Christina Delgado, Stantec Architecture

1 LU

Community engagement has become increasingly more prevalent in the design process for schools as a way of keeping key stakeholders in the know, getting project “buy-in” and avoiding potential conflicts down the road. However, instead of just checking off a “process” requirement, why not leverage the community engagement process to create a major force in favor of the project? The more advocates there are, the more potential there is for a successful, and creative, design and construction process. Having experienced this process with clients in Arlington and Stafford counties, our goal is to share our experiences to help the school system leverage the community engagement process to create wonderful (and welcomed) learning environments.

Domain: Process

Learning Objectives:

  1. Who is the “community?” – Should community engagement include a targeted representation of the school community or are public, update meetings sufficient?
  2. Contributing vs Updating – Involving the end user/community member/county staff member/parent in a meaningful way so that they feel heard, understand the process and become advocates for the project instead of only informed observers, and how to achieve this in both large and small groups
  3. Decision-making with Charettes – Creating workshops so that community members become part of the design process. Charettes around ideas of site-planning, building programming, circulation, etc. provide invaluable insight for the design team and, in turn, help the community members understand why certain decisions should be made.
  4. Managing Consensus – Managing the expectations of community members can be challenging because influencing the design process does not necessarily mean making design decisions via committee. Clarity of goals and participation is key.

Session Evaluation


Maker Spaces: A Cross Curricular Learning Environment
Josh Cobb, Graland Country Day School
Elise Robinson, Bowie Gridley Architects

1 LU

This presentation tackles the latest topics in educational environments. How can buildings adapt to the educational needs of the future? As education evolves at a fast rate, a building will need to be flexible with a variety of spaces and open areas that can be used for numerous purposes. Keeping in mind this variability and 21st Century Learning, the Maker Space has emerged as a key central space within the design of a K-12 building. Bowie Gridley Architects (BGA) has been in the business of designing educational spaces for over 30 years. More recently the idea of project based/hands on learning has come to the forefront. At Graland Country Day School (GCDS), they incorporate these principals in their educational mission. Thus, when designing a new building, they immediately elevated the Maker Space as the central platform of their program. As a leader in innovation, GCDS, has made the element of design a major component of their curriculum. All 5-8th graders must participate in a design process. Whether it’s an exploration in science, history, English or math, it must revolve around designing and/or making something. Some of the students have attained patents for their creations. The new building program centers around the idea of collaboration and Maker Spaces for all levels of learning and all core curriculums to use. The design of the space is very transparent and flexible. At Graland, the Maker Space can be seen right as the students and visitors enter the building. It is adjacent to the collaborative commons, the middle school core centers, the science classrooms and has immediate outdoor access. Specific attention was paid to the finishes and flexibility of the space. Durable polished concrete floors and open ceilings with power, allow for multi-use of the large area. We see the centralized location of the Maker Space as a new trend for these types of programs. As shown in the Graland model, generating objects of design can ascend beyond Science, Technology and Math.

Domain: Learning, Context

Learning Objectives:

  1. Acquire knowledge related to the design of Maker Spaces in schools.
  2. AEvaluate if a Maker Space will work with the school mission.
  3. AIdentify programming value of a Maker Space.
  4. APlan for an integrated space for learning and designing.

Session Evaluation


School Life for Old Buildings: When Business Moves Out, Learning Moves In
Brian Donnelly, AIA, Perkins Eastman

1 LU

Adaptive reuse of underutilized or empty commercial buildings is an increasingly common and effective strategy for school systems facing capacity shortages, moving demographic bubbles, emerging non-traditional pedagogies, and limited capital resources. Over time, urban, suburban and even rural populations change in response to local economic and demographic circumstances, but the inventory of built school environments is not so easily transformed. Nonetheless, local school systems are obligated to respond to external and internal changes, adjusting capacity and resources to match the demand as efficiently as possible. In many of these communities there may exist an underappreciated resource: once thriving commercial districts in large or small towns, or suburban office parks that might be half-empty. These are built resources that could be tapped to accommodate surges in school-aged populations that temporarily strain classroom capacities. Or to house innovation labs and other non-traditional programs in purpose-built space rather than ill-fitting adapted classrooms. This session will describe several case studies of unused commercial buildings being acquired or leased and transformed into effective learning environments.

Domain: Context

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify the characteristics of properties suitable for adaptation to educational use
  2. Review possible regulatory and physical constraints on adaptive reuse
  3. Explore examples of creative business-to-school transformations
  4. Identify specific criteria for a successful adaptation

Session Evaluation


Designing with Creativity in Mind: Applying Environmental Psychology to Creativity-Driven Classroom Environments
Donald M. Rattner, AIA, Donald M. Rattner Architect

1 LU

A great deal of university-level research has been conducted on the influence of the physical environment on creative thinking. Some of this research comes out of schools of marketing and consumer studies, and is clearly aimed at boosting sales in retail environments. Other studies are closely associated with healthcare facilities or have found broad application in corporate office environments, most notably in the forward-looking workplaces constructed by global high-tech giant Google. Yet with scattered exceptions, there has so far been no comprehensive effort to funnel this body of knowledge into a workable manual of best practices that educators, teachers, product manufacturers, and design and building professionals can use in shaping the creativity-driven classroom. This illustrated presentation will review the many ways that the built environment has been found to impact the human capacity to solve problems, explore new ideas, and engage in self-expression. It will then demonstrate how these findings can be applied to the design and furnishing of learning spaces engineered to maximize the development of student creativity. Topics addressed include color, lighting, materials and finishes, furnishings, sound, plantscaping, planning, detailing and more.

Domain: Learning, Context

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify fundamental precepts of environmental psychology
  2. Apply evidence-based design to development of learning environments
  3. Evaluate efficacy of existing or proposed environments and products for boosting creative performance
  4. Utilize creativity-driven design principles in a wide range of building environments

Session Evaluation


Previous Year Conference Presentations

Click here to see 2016 Conference Presentations.