DesignShare - Designing for the Future of Learning FEBRUARY 2010 E-NEWSLETTER

Letter from the Editor

Dear DesignSharers,

It’s hard for most of us to imagine the kind of destruction caused by this past month’s earthquake in Haiti. Of the many things taken in the disaster, few are as threatening to their future as the destruction of a school system. Regardless of where one comes from, education is almost always a certain path to a better life. Our thoughts go out to Haiti and the thousands of rescue workers from around the world, and we wish them patience, perseverance and strength as they attempt to rebuild and renew. In addition to all of the stories and news bits brought to you by DesignShare this month, please don’t miss the press release from Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI), partnering together with Schools for the Children of the World to bring relief to Haitian school operations.

Clare Friedrich, Editor

“So as long as a person is capable of self-renewal, they are a living being.”
      - Henri Frederic Amiel

> On Tap

The Outdoor Classroom: A Jewel in the Crown of Public Education
by Kirk Meyer/Executive Director, Green Schoolyard Network
Mr. Meyer discusses the transformation of degraded schoolyards into active centers for health & fitness, teaching & learning, environmental literacy and community use. Read full article here and view video.

Play: Electric Slide
by Marc Kristal, illustrated by Mike Perry, Jim Stoten
A group of Columbia University students have a good time reinventing the playground as a place to harness all that youthful energy. Read the full article in the Dec./Jan. 2010 issue of Dwell.

Fed up with School Lunch?
Illinois school teacher going by the pseudonym “Mrs. Q” is going where no teacher dares to go... at least not if they have a choice. She’s lining up each day of 2010 to eat school lunch and blogging about it to raise awareness about the health and social concerns surrounding this food. Click here for her blog.

> Newsflash

DesignShare Contributes to “Thinking Space: A Workshop Resource to Support Visioning of Learning Spaces for the Future”
This resource was written by Tim Rudd, Kieron Kirkland, Carlo Perotta and Marisa Harlington
Futurelab 2009

Thinking Space is a free workshop resource from CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment), Futurelab and Portsmouth City Council. It aims to support people who are thinking about, or currently undertaking, redesign and rebuild projects, including those involved in the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) and Primary Capital Programmes (PCP). Download the entire manual here.

CEFPI and Schools for Children of the World Partner in Haiti Relief Effort
In response to the overwhelming challenges facing the people of Haiti following the catastrophic earthquake of January 12, the Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI) is partnering together with Schools for the Children of the World (SCW), a non-profit organization dedicated to building schools in emerging and developing countries, to establish a relief effort. Read the complete press release here.

> DesignShare’s Bookshelf

Book cover
The Schools We Need: And Why We Don't Have Them
E.D. Hirsch Jr.
Everyone wonders why American schools have gone bad. E.D. Hirsch, author of Cultural Literacy, offers a compelling explanation. Schools do a lousy job of transmitting “core knowledge” to their students, he says. To improve, they must abandon all of their feel-good theories about “critical thinking” and work harder to endow kids with intellectual capital at an early age. It may sound like common sense, but this important book shows why so many educators appear to have lost theirs.

> Event Calendar

Interdisciplinary Seminar Series: School Design Futures - Exploring the Limits (Nottingham, UK)
Designing low carbon and sustainable schools presents a significant interdisciplinary problem for architects and designers. In the series as a whole we look beyond concern only with technological solutions to low carbon school design and consider what we can learn from the field of educational history and philosophy in reducing energy consumption and encouraging pro-environmental behaviours. Four seminars are planned:
SEMINAR ONE: 22 January 2010, School Design Futures: The role of schools in building sustainable communities. National College for School Leadership, Nottingham.
SEMINAR TWO: February 2010, Is Well-Being Key to Sustainable Schools? Exploring the more radical histories of design for health and well-being. To be held at the Planned Environment Therapy Trust Conference Centre in Cheltenham in collaboration with the Institute for the History and Work of Therapeutic Environments.
SEMINAR THREE: May 2010, Education for Sustainability, new educational philosophies and designing sustainable schools – what can we learn? The Meeting Place, Oxford (tbc).
SEMINAR FOUR: September 2010, Exploring the limits of school transformation: Can schools foster notions of consuming less, aspiring differently and changing the social norms which present a barrier to lifestyle change? The Meeting Place, Oxford (tbc).

2010 National Conference on Education (Phoenix, AZ)
February 11-13, 2010

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

“Education Beyond Borders” (Sofia, Bulgaria)
March 26-28, 2010
Contact: Zornitsa Andreeva, Marketing Manager
Bery Group Bulgaria
74, Gen. Gurko Str., fl. 1, 1000, Sofia, Bulgaria
Phone: +359 2 9888 604, Fax: +359 2 950 25 11

2010 School Building Expo (Navy Pier, Chicago, IL)
May 10-13, 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:

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"Partners in Education" Media Kit
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