DesignShare E-Newsletter, October 2010

What Should 21st Century Schools Look Like?

Educators around the world are becoming aware that school facilities must evolve to enable their students to become successful in our global society and economy. In addition, school buildings require the utilization of new technologies and sustainable design as they transform.

This newsletter focuses on the possibilities, from a renovated primary school in Florida to some upcoming tech and green energy conferences. There's also a review of Martin Chen’s recently published book, Education Nation, that allows comments for a dialogue about what you think the best approach to educational revolution should be.

Related Links:

DesignShare Website

Newsletter Archives

NBC: Education Nation

Buy: Education Nation


School Building Expo

The Language of School Design

KnowledgeWorks Foundation

Great Schools by Design

National Clearinghouse for Education

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Elementary Renovation Creates a Learning Community

Hillel School

by Courtney Cairns Pastor, the Tampa Tribune

The Hillel school in Tampa, Florida got an innovative re-design thanks to Prakash Nair of Fielding Nair International. Because of his contributions, the elementary wing is now a light-filled, flexible learning space. One student’s reaction on opening day:

"Amazing!..." A little boy shouted to Head of School Amy Wasser, "...I get to work here!"

Story Here

A New Look at Carpeting and the School Experience

Medway Medway Library, United Kingdom

The air that we breathe indoors has been named as one of the biggest health risks of the modern world, and is now recognized as being of particular concern in the school environment.  Science and technology are now able to demonstrate that carpet can, and does, have beneficial educational benefits. 

The reason?  Schools are often noisy and, with all those feet churning up dust from the floor, students and teachers can suffer from poor air quality. Long-blamed for aggravating asthma symptoms, carpeting can be designed to trap the particles that irritate the lungs of children.

Article by Andrew Sibley, DESSO

New Reasons To Specify Carpet in the Classroom

Randall Fielding Reviews Education Nation

Education Nation

Milton Chen's recent publication has been featured in a national dialogue sponsored by NBC and MSNBC. Randall Fielding reviews the book in a DesignShare blog article. Respond with your own views in the comments section.

News: Mandatory Solar for All Future New Jersey Schools

In one of the best indications that solar energy is ready for prime time, the New Jersey State Legislature approved Bill A1084 and referred it to committee. This Bill, which would mandate solar panels in the design and construction of all new public school facilities, is currently before the Assembly Appropriations Committee, which is waiting on technical review by the Legislative Council to ensure that such legislation does not violate previous state statutes.

New Jersey’s school construction budget is one of the largest in the U.S., and spending some of the money on clean, renewable solar power seems like a smart bet even in a recessionary economy. Electricity prices are never going to go down, and may even rise sharply as government institutes some form of carbon emissions regulations (cap-and-trade, or tax-only) on pollutive, fossil-fuel electricity generation. Blog Post Here.

NCTI Technology Innovators Conference

November 15-16, 2010, Breakthrough Learning - Transform the Future, The Madison Hotel
Washington, DC

Over 200 nationally recognized leaders from academia, corporations, government and the media will examine the research, policy, and practices that have emerged to transform and strengthen teaching and learning through the effective use of technology. Keynote Speaker: Milton Chen, Senior Fellow, The George Lucas Educational Foundation.

Details Here.

National School Supply and Equipment Association 2010 School Equipment Show

November 17-19, 2010, Phoenix AZ

Be a part of the annual gathering of the industry’s finest manufacturers, distributors, dealers, and those involved in the planning, design and/or specification of equipment for educational facilities. Source new products, engage in industry discussion, hear perspectives on current issues, and network with your existing and potential new suppliers, distributors and purchasing influencers.

Details Here.

CEFPI Sustainability Conference

December 13-14, 2010, Moving Sustainability Forward, Washington Court Hotel
Washington, DC

Join CEFPI in our partnership with AIA-CAE as we team together to engage some of the world's greatest thinkers recognized for their innovation, creativity, and ability to inspire, as we explore sustainability and educational facilities. The two-day conference will equip attendees with practical knowledge that they can readily implement in school districts across the country.

AIA Health, Safety and Welfare (HSW) credits and REFP credits available. Details Here.



Fielding Nair International designs school facilities for today and tomorrow with one primary goal in mind — to improve learning. With consultations in 29 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:


If you want to get word out to the school planning and design community, there is no better venue. DesignShare is the #1 address worldwide for innovative school facilities and designing for the future of learning. Today, the DesignShare web site gets nearly 2 million visits a year, and the e-newsletter reaches over 7,000 subscribers.

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