DesignShare - Designing for the Future of Learning OCTOBER 2009 E-NEWSLETTER

Letter from the Editor

Dear DesignSharers,

President Obama kicked off this school year by addressing students around the country. “You want to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a police officer? You want to be a nurse or an architect, a lawyer or a member of our military? You’re going to need a good education for every single one of those careers.” With the government trying to make sure schools have the supplies and facilities they need, parents trying to make sure their children are well fed and well prepared for class every morning, and students trying their best to make it to the finish line each spring, there’s a whole lot of emphasis in the word try. Yet, each school year we’re less than thrilled with the outcomes. DesignShare is taking a moment to reflect on our past year and plan for the next. We simply cannot afford to let our schools down.

For most of you, the next school building you walk into will not strike you as innovative or inspiring. Most of you will hear the dissonant slams of lockers in the corridors. You’ll witness the dull faces of bored students we’ve sadly accepted as the norm. But take this school building and learn from it. Make it a point this year not to settle for status quo. The president concluded his 20-minute speech – optimistically as ever – with the idea that we must not define ourselves by our failures. For learning from our mistakes allows us to learn something new.

Clare Friedrich, Editor

> On Tap

If you Google a comparison, you will find dozens of studies analyzing differences between SMART Boards and Promethean Boards. Look for more research from Randy Fielding next year about interactive boards for education and the transition to touch screen technology.
Smart Technologies aims to change how kids learn
by Elizabeth Corcoran, Forbes Magazine
Nearly one-third of K-12 classrooms in the U.S. are said to have a SMART Board. The interactive screens have supplanted more and more blackboards because of their versatility. The devices can connect to the Internet and computers, and information can be saved digitally and e-mailed. This article looks at the success story of the Canadian company SMART Technologies. Read more...

Case Study: Kindergarten Sighartstein by Kadawittfeldarchitektur, Sighartstein, Land Salzburg, Austria
by Nico Saieh
Situated on the periphery of the site of green meadows and felds, the first impression of the construction site provided the idea for the sculptural facade by way of an elevated grass turf. The oversized “grass blades” communicate the building’s unique identity and provides an orientation marker for the kindergarten. Read the full case study...

Want to start a school garden? Here’s how!
If you’re living in the vast majority of the country, you’re probably thinking about closing the garden down for the winter. But if you’re thinking about starting a school garden, now is the perfect time to start planning for spring! Download Bon Apetit Management Company’s online guide to developing school gardens here.

> Newsflash

School Building Week 2010
Celebrating our schools and reinforcing the connection between school facilities and student learning, School Building Week provides an opportunity to increase public awareness of the importance of well-planned, healthy, high performance, safe and sustainable schools that enhance student performance and contribute to community vitality. School Building Week is supported by the Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI) in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Association of ® REALTORS, American Institute of Architects, and over 35 other organizations. Download the SBW brochure here.

The Classroom of the Future
by Mason Currey
This morning the Open Architecture Network announced the winners of its 2009 challenge, which solicited designs for “the classroom of the future.” Top honors went to the Teton Valley Community School in Victor, Idaho—a rapidly expanding town at the base of the Teton Mountain range, in one of the most underfunded school systems in the nation. “The design objectives were to create flexible spatial configurations, reduce the school’s ecological footprint, and create a strong connection to the outdoors in response to the mountain climate,” the architects, Section Eight [design], wrote in a project brief. Read more about Teton Valley Community School and other Category Winners here...

> DesignShare’s Bookshelf

Book cover
DETAIL Magazine German/English 2009/09 – School Modernization
On the topic of modernizing schools, DETAIL Concept 9/2009 presents an overview of current, exemplary projects: the responsible architects, builders and users highlight their respective concepts. For example, a former prefabricated prototype in Berlin gets a highly insulated facade makeover, while the interior rooms remain the same. In Graubunden, Switzerland, a heat insulation binding is wrapped around a village school, with specific colors used in the interior to assist orientation between school and community areas. Modern classrooms as well as colorfully decorated interiors make a schoolhouse from 1907 in Lauffen am Neckar, Germany, come alive. Read more...

> Event Calendar

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:

November 16-18, 2009

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

> E-Newsletter Sponsors


FNI logo
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:

School Building Expo
The School Building Expo is the industry event for people responsible for the construction and renovation of K-12 and Higher Education school facilities.

> Become a DesignShare Sponsor


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"Partners in Education" Media Kit
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