DesignShare E-Newsletter, December 2010

Renovation and Innovation!

Re-design is a green and cost-effective way to improve school buildings. What should the learning spaces of today evolve into? In an article on the Slate web site, a teacher describes her vision of the perfect classroom. In two videos, FNI principals Randall Fielding and Prakash Nair show us the possibilities inherent in redesigns. And 13 renovated schools in New Orleans win a 2010 leadership award from the U.S. Green Building Council, so congrats to them!

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SCHOOL 2.0 — Designing Tomorrow’s Schools

Prakash Nair

Written and produced by Henry Nevision

This video about Forest Avenue Elementary School shows how old and outdated school buildings can be brought back to life inexpensively to meet the needs of 21st Century learners. It features school planning visionaries Prakash Nair and Jay Litman of Fielding Nair International.

Design for the Creative Age


Keynote Speaker on Education, Design, and Innovation, Stockholm, Sweden, 2010

Randall Fielding, Chairman of Fielding Nair International, shares his vision of school design for the 21st century by employing a variety of outlets. Using the concept of 20 different learning modalities, and design patterns, he explains to conference attendees the diverse approaches to school planning necessary for the success of students in a global society. He will be using Twitter to continue the dialogue throughout the coming months.

Links to Article and Video.

U.S. Green Building Council Announces the 2010 Leadership Awards


The Recovery School District of New Orleans received a 2010 Leadership Award for its commitment to building all public schools to a minimum LEED Silver certification. By 2013, 17 new schools and 13 renovated schools will be in place to serve the children of the district. An individual recipient was State Rep. Karen May of Illinois for her efforts championing green schools initiatives, and for authoring House Joint Resolution 45. HJR 45 creates a LEED Task Force to establish a state program to green existing schools in the state.

Link to Article.

Aging Schools Linked to Poorer Student Outcomes

Study by Cornell University

When assessing education, much attention goes to the administrative control of the school district, teaching and testing. But little goes to the growing evidence that where learning occurs matters. American school buildings are aging and in disrepair, with the worst conditions found in those that serve low-income children.

Low building quality negatively affects student achievement, and this effect is exacerbated when students change schools often; both conditions are more often found in low-income districts, according to a new study by Cornell researchers Gary Evans, professor of design and environmental analysis; Min Jun Yoo, M.S. '08; and John Sipple, associate professor of education; and published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology (Vol. 30).

Link to Article.

My Perfect Classroom

On-line magazine Slate held a contest for 21st century classroom ideas.

Here’s an entry from a teacher, which describes the perfect classroom from her perspective.

She says, “Incredibly rare is the group of thirty persons (whether ages six, eleven, or forty), randomly assigned together, who are all prepared and interested in learning about the same thing at the same level. A good teacher/manager/presenter has the gift of keeping different people, at different levels of understanding, all engaged.”



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:


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