Language of School Design
A completely revised 3rd Edition of The Language of School Design been released. With dozens of excellent reviews and thousands of copies sold, LOSD is a must-have resource for School Planners, Architects, Educators and Administrators.
Buy from Amazon.com link
Randall Fielding, Featured Speaker
Constructing Learning, Constructing Learning Spaces
This interactive presentation and workshop takes people through a series of activities to construct understanding about what learning is and how it happens, then segues into designing spaces/ future schools where that kind of learning can be supported. Concrete examples from Kindergarten through university campuses will be presented. Strategies for renovation, new construction, furnishings, acoustical treatments, lighting and technology will be discussed, offering participants a holistic approach to learning and design.
Hawaii Schools of the Future Conference
Honolulu, November 6 and 7, 2014
The 6th annual Schools of the Future Conference - convening all-day on Thursday & Friday, November 6 & 7, 2014 at the Hawaii Convention Center - is open to all public, private, parochial and charter school educators, as well as parents and students, and business and community members, with an expected attendance of 1,200 to 1,500 educators. More than 80 presentations by keynote speakers, featured speakers and classroom teachers will share best practices over the two days of the conference.
Link to the conference website with registration information.
A New Harvard MOOC
The respected educator, Professor Richard Elmore of Harvard, is offering an excellent course titled, Leaders of Learning in Harvard’s 3rd Quarter of 2014. It will benefit anyone who is a stakeholder of education but particularly school board members, superintendents, administrators, principals and teachers. This online course can be taken according to each person’s own individual availability of time, is free, and can be audited without credit. Those who complete the course receive a certificate from Harvard.
Several educational leaders will offer their advice about the ways in which we can best prepare teachers, students and our education system for success in the 21st century. Prakash Nair of Fielding Nair International was interviewed for the course, and focused on the physical environment as a catalyst for educational transformation.
Here is a link that describes the course and provides information about registering:
New Book from Prakash Nair
From the Harvard Education Publishing Group
The United States has about $2 trillion tied up in aging school facilities. School districts throughout the country spend about $12 billion every year keeping this infrastructure going. Yet almost all of the new money we pour into school facilities reinforces an existing—and obsolete—model of schooling.
In Blueprint for Tomorrow, Prakash Nair—one of the world’s leading school designers—explores the hidden messages that our school facilities and classrooms convey and advocates for the “alignment” of the design of places in which we teach and learn with twenty-first-century learning goals.
Buy the book through the Harvard Press website.
Or on Amazon.
Innovative Education Group
Constructing Learning, Constructing Learning Spaces
Learning and learning spaces are dependent on each other for success; learning today should focus less on standardized, rigid content and more on how students learn rather than what. This shift impacts learning spaces, since the one-way delivery from a teacher takes a back seat to other methods. Rather than single classrooms with a teacher disseminating content, spaces that support the Common Ground concept both emphasize the individual and the global citizen.
Three Connections make it possible:
1. A Connected Curriculum
The Common Ground Curriculum is a coherent, globally-relevant framework that defines, designs, delivers and demonstrates learning in powerful, innovative and accessible ways.
2. A Connected School
The Total School Toolkit is a systemic set of tools that enables a school to align all of its work around learning. The toolkit includes an Evolutionary Continuum flexible guide to what good looks like in every aspect of our work from designing learning spaces, to designing radically different approaches to professional learning. The toolkit supports the shift from working in silos to thinking in systems, massively improving the ‘energy input: learning output’ ratio in schools.
3. A Connected Conversation
The Common Ground Collaborative is an extended, connected conversation about all aspects of learning. This conversation is among practitioners from a range of fields, all of who see conversation as our best tool for making sense of our world and our work.
Learn more here.
Latest Prakash Nair Article
Remove this Word from Your Vocabulary! 21st Century Learning Needs 21st Century Learning Spaces
Ravsak Magazine, September 2013
By Prakash Nair and Catherine Roberts-Martin
An international authority in school design, himself a day school parent, explains the philosophy of contemporary educational spaces and illustrates steps schools can take to expand and inspire learning.
“Most every time we read any education article or news column online these days, a particular word pops out that makes us cringe. It’s an innocent looking word, not obscene or controversial, and most people wouldn’t even blink to see it in print or hear it spoken. Yet to us it’s a word that’s holding this country back from achieving our educational goals in the 21st century, a word first used around 1811 and reflecting the education of that time. So what is this terrible word?
Read more here.
New Article by Randall Fielding
CEFPI Educational Facility Planner Article Features Douglas Park School
Douglas Park Elementary School is designed to “Raise the Game” of Regina Schools by providing an incubator for the inventive learning concepts of Structural Innovation. Along with the other seed schools, new practices will evolve through the extreme flexibility of the education spaces there.
Douglas Park School is designed to launch the Structural Innovations initiative by providing spaces that support the four key practices. Flexible teaching arrangements and instructional groupings are provided by the learning community model; in this case several grade levels make up each community. Rather than teaching 30 students in one classroom, teachers share an office space to promote collaboration. Space for project-based learning is provided in flexible commons space, and inclusive practices are represented in the Developmental Centre, and throughout the campus.
See more of the article here.
Sponsors and Collaborators
What is DesignShare?
DesignShare is the central address for the very best in educational facilities and their impact on the learning process. DesignShare provides an invaluable service as a facilitator of ideas and resources about best practices and innovation in schools from early childhood through the university level.
Who is DesignShare’s audience?
DesignShare reaches a truly global community of professionals.
More than 150,000 architects, planners, educators, and facility decision makers visit the site each month. Architects who specify products for schools and universities make up over half of DesignShare’s total readership.
Become a SPONSOR by Joining the “Partners in Education” Program.
Kids LOVE Their New School!
Liberated Spaces: Purposeful School Design Says Goodbye to Cells and Bells
Leaner, More Effective Schools
Douglas Park School Opens in Regina
Exploring Six Principles of Sustainable School Design
A Variety of Voices: Innovative Learning Spaces Transform the Hartland-Lakeside School District
Transforming Schools for the 21st Century
The Classroom Is Obsolete: It’s Time for Something New
Schools for Life
School Construction News
A Tribute to Dr. Jeff Lackney
(Please note that DesignShare does not own the rights to most of the images on our web site. If you want to use an image in your own work, you must contact the architectural design firm directly in order to get permission.)
Douglas Park Gets the Gold!
FNI’s Douglas Park School in Regina, Saskatchewan has achieved LEED Gold Certification by the Canada Green Building Council. Douglas Park Elementary School is one of four new schools designed by Fielding Nair International and Number TEN Architectural Group in Regina, Saskatchewan.
Robin Lalonde, Interior Designer, lists some of the qualities that got the Gold: on the campus, rain water is collected and stored for irrigation, highly reflective materials are used in parking lot paving and roofing to minimize the heat-island effect, and elements of the existing school building were both diverted from landfill and reclaimed for re-use. A portion of the existing foundation was retained for use as a new “ruin” site feature. Inside the building, radiant heating & cooling in combination with a heat pump system, high efficiency boilers and a heat exchanger provide both energy efficiency and improved student comfort. A kiosk at the schools’ entry provides a cut-away view of these systems at work and a touchscreen display shows the building’s energy consumption in real time. In addition to these active systems, several passive features are also used. Three central roof monitors draw natural light into the school’s interior zones and allow for “free cooling” with automated operable windows. Ample glazing at the building’s perimeter is reflected deeper into the learning studios with “light shelves,” further minimizing the need for artificial lighting. Shade on the south side is provided by a prominent trellis at the heart of the school, and a special diffusing glass is also used in areas to minimize glare. On the large south facing wall of the Gymnasium, a “solarwall” pre-heats fresh supply air for use in the mechanical system. Interior materials were also carefully selected to maximize recycled and local content and to minimize off-gassing.
Congratulations to all the stakeholders of Douglas Park!
Interview with Prakash Nair
Check out this interview with Prakash Nair on New Learning Times website: https://newlearningtimes.com/cms/article/1326
Excerpt: Question: What professional experiences have been most formative to your current work?
Answer: My firm has done projects and consultations in 43 countries on six continents, which has exposed me to the most innovative education practices in the world. The FNI design process begins with a school or district’s curriculum and educational vision, and our approach is built around developing a shared visualization for how each facility can enhance it. Every country today is struggling with how to best educate students to succeed today and in the future, and I feel it’s my calling to challenge clients to look beyond the traditional classroom-based school to facilities that support more innovative programs.
Please note that the interview page requires a log-in.