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

Letter from the Editor

Dear DesignSharers,

The Harvard Business Review recently sat down with two experts to discuss how innovation works. In the article "How Do Innovators Think?", they shared these three ideas:

  • Make connections
  • Never stop questioning
  • Learn from failure

As movers and shakers of innovation in school design, we certainly think and hope these same ideas can be implemented in schools, but there are two central problems to consider. First, the curricula in most schools is so fragmented, designed to fit within neat little boxes of time, not to mention neat little boxes called classrooms, that there’s little opportunity to sit and ponder the connectedness of it all. (Saved by the bell?) Second, schools tend to value getting the right answer, often the first time. This model would make anyone disinclined to ask provoking questions or to try something again when it didn’t succeed on the first go.

As always, DesignShare is working towards connecting innovative design with innovative ways of learning. Please stop by our blog to share your ideas and experiences with truly innovative educational facilities.

Clare Friedrich, Editor

> On Tap

Give kids time to wrap heads around learning
October 2009, The Tennessean
Obama and his education secretary, Arne Duncan, have called attention to the amount of time students spend in school, because school calendars in the United States are based on outdated priorities and are too short to give students the tools they need to compete on a global stage. Read more...

Case Study: Hargrave Park Primary School, London
by Kay Hartmann Architects
The site includes the entire ground floor area of Hargrave Park Primary School, a three to four storey Victorian brick building located within a conservation area. The objective of the brief was to provide, by means of refurbishment and rationalization a new welcoming and stimulating 'creative environment' for the establishment of a new Children's Centre. Read more...

School Food: What’s the Big Deal?
Marion Nestle is Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health (the department she chaired from 1988-2003) and Professor of Sociology at New York University. Her numerous books, international talks, and blog Food Politics hit on just about every food-related topic you can imagine, but as of late, she’s concentrated heavily on food in schools. She’s not the only one... read more here.

> Newsflash

*Richard Riley Award Nominations Due December 1, 2009*
In 2004, the KnowledgeWorks Foundation launched the Richard Riley Award – Schools as Centers of Community: A National Search for Excellence. This initiative was part of an effort to support school districts and communities that make school facilities more conducive to learning, and more accessible to the entire community. The award is named in honor of former U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley, who led the way in the 1990’s in promoting the concept of schools as centers of community.

The American Architectural Foundation, in partnership with KnowledgeWorks Foundation, is pleased to continue acknowledgement of community school design achievement through the Richard Riley Award. In the fall, a school that illustrates both community collaboration and school design excellence will be announced. A $5,000 prize will be awarded to the winning school. The prize will be offered to the school only; individuals are not eligible to receive the award. For nominating instructions, a sample nomination form, and information about past winners, please visit the Richard Riley Award site.

> DesignShare’s Bookshelf

Book cover
The Language of School Design: Design Patterns for 21st Century Schools
A completely revised 2nd Edition of The Language of School Design: Design Patterns for 21st Century Schools, by Prakash Nair, Randall Fielding and Dr. Jeffery Lackney, (100 more pages and dozens of new illustrations of innovative schools) has 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.

The Language of School Design is a seminal work because it defines a new graphic vocabulary that synthesizes learning research with best practice in school planning and design. But it is more than a book about ideas. It is also a practical tool and a must-have resource for all school stakeholders involved in planning, designing and constructing new and renovated schools and evaluating the educational adequacy of existing school facilities. Click here for a 10% discount at SchoolBooksStore.

> Event Calendar

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 13-15, 2010
Co-organised by OECD/CELE, Department for Children, Schools and Families, the Home Office and the Building Research Establishment, it will bring together international experts in the fields of education, psychology, social work, law enforcement and judicial reform; students, teachers and the youth workforce; decision makers; and researchers.
Contact: or go to

Coalition for Adequate School Housing (C.A.S.H.) 31st Annual Conference (Sacramento, CA)
February 22-25, 2010
The C.A.S.H Annual Conference is the highlight of our organization. This unique gathering allows our attendees representing school districts, private business, and state agencies a great opportunity for professional growth and structured learning. Our organization is unique in its breadth, and our mission of building the finest school facilities for California’s future leaders is the strong focus of the Annual Conference. Our goal is to provide the setting, focus the content, coordinate the best presenters, and acknowledge the accomplishments of our best teams. For more information, please contact Lisa Church at

2010 School Building Expo (Navy Pier, Chicago, IL)
May 10-13, 2010
Deadline for Submission: November 18th, 2010
Click here to submit

> 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 27 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. More info:

> Become a DesignShare Sponsor


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"Partners in Education" Media Kit
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