Letter from the Editor

The last month has certainly brought its share of rollercoaster moments for architects. Optimistic cheers cried out for billions of hopeful dollars being poured into the school construction industry, until the fine print was read. Nevertheless, there are glimmers of hope. Italian designer and billionaire Giorgio Armani celebrated Fashion Week last Tuesday with the announcement of a $1 million donation to promote arts programs in New York City public schools.

But it’s hard to expect smaller local businesses to invest in schools when they too are struggling, at least until they realize that school systems are the heart of any community... where future citizens, future leaders and future caretakers come out of. Not helping them comes with an even heftier price tag. Just look at the monstrous concrete holding cells, excuse me... schools, going up around this country.

Before I took off for the Peace Corps right out of college, I was inspired by President Kennedy’s famous words: “Think not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” How about thinking along the same lines with our schools? Take a look at what’s in store in March’s e-newsletter. Clearly we aren’t the only ones thinking about school innovation!


Clare Vogel, Editor

On Tap

School Architecture: Doing the Wrong Thing Right
Hear keynote speech from noted author Russell Ackoff, Ph.D. at the National Summit on School Design

Case Study: Spanish Fort Middle School
The sense of responsibility that the students now have for the school demonstrates their pride in the new surroundings. There are even rumors that the high school students are jealous. Read more...

Contest to Improve the Design of Classrooms Around the World
Orient Global, Architecture for Humanity and a consortium of partners are launching the 2009 Open Architecture Challenge: Classroom, the first large-scale initiative to improve the design of classrooms around the world. Read more...

Project-Based Learning: High school students breed sea horses
"When you just use a textbook, a lot of these kids just shut down," says marine science teacher Laine Smith. "Science is experimentation, observation, trial and error. We do all that here." Read more...

Scotland invests in the “architecture of hope”
Architecture and Design Scotland is carrying out a three-year program to support good school design. Read more...

One Corner of the World

Around the World in 80 Schools

On Feb 29, 2008, a teacher from Wales sets off on a quest to visit and connect 80 schools around the world. Her journey starts at home.

The route takes her across the 7 continents and through over 30 countries to visit a further 78 schools before returning to Wales for the 80th school. This amazing project combines the real and virtual worlds and demonstrates how the world can truly join hands through children and young people to create a better future whilst helping to protect our planet along the way. Check out her website here.


Stimulus compromise includes education, but no new-construction funds
Click here to
Click here for Architectural Record blog posting

DesignShare’s Bookshelf

High Schools on a Human Scale: How Small Schools Can Transform American Education
by Thomas Toch
Reporting from the front lines of America's most important education reform effort-the movement for small schools The basic blueprint of American high schools hasn't changed in a century, and we are paying a heavy price.

Event Calendar

"The World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development – Moving into the Second Half of the UN Decade" (Germany)
March 31 – April 2, 2009
The conference will review what has been achieved during the first half of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development and will look ahead to strategies that further promote awareness and progress in this field. Special emphasis will be placed on enhancing North-South and South-South dialogue and cooperation. The conference is organized by UNESCO and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, in cooperation with the German Commission for UNESCO.

2009 School Building Expo (Pittsburgh)
June 2 - 4, 2009
If you're planning new schools, designing a new school, or renovating a school... If you're an architect designing schools and colleges, if you're a campus planner, a university architect, or you're an educational facilities planner... If you're building new schools, if you're building a college building, if you're building a university campus... If you're a member of AIA Committee on Architecture for Education, if you're an educational facilities planner or your direct capital projects for a school or college, if you're in school construction orcollege construction... If you're a member of CEFPI and interested in educational facilities planning... If If you want to know more about Green Schools, solar power in schools, or LEED for Schools, then School Building Expo is for you.

September 27 - 29, 2009
6-Degrees of Connection

International Conference on Sustainable School Buildings (Ljubljana, Slovenia)
October 1-2, 2009

VIII International Congress on the Development of Educational Spaces (Mexico)
November 2009
Contact: Carlos Bocanegra:

Safer Schools, Safer Communities: Ensuring Safe and Secure Learning Environments for Children and Young People (UK)
January 18-19, 2010

E-Newsletter Sponsors


Fielding Nair International designs school facilities for today and tomorrow with one primary goal in mind — to improve learning. With consultations in 26 countries on 5 continents, dozens of important publications, and numerous industry awards for excellence, FNI is the global leader for innovative school architecture. Underlying all the architectural design, planning and educational change management work they do is a strong belief in diversity, high performance, technology infusion, global connections and personalization. Web:

The School Building Expo is the industry event for people responsible for the construction and renovation of K-12 and Higher Education school facilities. Mark your calendars for the School Building Expo, June 2-4, 2009 in Pittsburgh, PA! It is the only event that truly brings together today's evolving Educational Institution marketplace in one place where they can learn about new trends, be inspired by exciting keynotes and discover the latest products and solutions. For more information about participating as a sponsor, speaker, vendor, or participant in 2009, contact Joel Davis.

Become a DesignShare Sponsor


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"Partners in Education" Media Kit
For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Clare.

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