DesignShare E-Newsletter, October 2012

A World of Educational Ideas

This issue features 21st century learning inspiration from around the globe. What kinds of educational spaces and programs best support students? What isn't working so well anymore? From Armenia to Qatar, these ideas and projects will get your creative juices flowing.

Related Links:

DesignShare Website

Newsletter Archives


2013 Learning Environments

The Language of School Design

National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities

Design for Change

Education News

Have an idea for the next issue? 

Exploring Six Principles of Sustainable School Design


An Article for WISE - World Innovation Summit for Education, 2012
By Randall Fielding, Chairman, Fielding Nair International

The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) was launched by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development in 2009. WISE aims to transform education by highlighting its leading role in global development, and by fostering innovative thinking and practices.

Randall Fielding’s article on Sustainable School Design makes a compelling connection between ecological principles and those needed for innovative school design. Strategies that create sustainable schools can also enhance the learning that occurs on the campus, enriching students and the planet at the same time.

Dr. Benson Kamau, a Curriculum and Technology Consultant from Kenya says, “Brilliant article and refreshing in the way it links the design of schools to the design of life.”

Read the Full Article Here

From Classrooms to Creativity Labs

Creativity Lab

Big Changes Rural Armenia

The former Soviet Republic of Armenia is celebrating its first ever Creativity Lab recently established by The Children of Armenia Fund ( The Lab was designed in accordance with a modern classroom model in mind. The country is scattered with dimly-lit, decaying, gloomy learning institutions of the Soviet era. This new Creativity Lab in the village of Lernagog is sunlit from the east to the west. The room is separated into different work areas so that students can work individually, in small groups, collectively as a class or specifically in the technology section.

Learn More About this Inspiring Project Here

Daily Edventures Interviews Randall Fielding

Daily Edventures
"In my recent conversation with Randall Fielding, he shared his frustrations with traditional classroom design (based on an outmoded, lecture-based model of education) and his enthusiasm for new design approaches that support 21st century learning approaches like the flipped classroom. Here, Fielding talks about what’s working in new school designs, including varied spaces with a connection to the outdoors. He also talks about what isn’t working, like poorly executed common spaces with no natural light. Enjoy!"

- Anthony Salcito, host of Daily Edventures

Link to the Interview Here

Welcome to a New Sponsor


VS America is dedicated to customer satisfaction and to supplying premium ergonomic and environmentally friendly furniture to their customers. Their product range adapts to the comfort needs of the student user and is safely produced from recyclable materials. They use natural resources as raw materials with minimum impact and follow safe, environmentally-sound manufacturing processes, including raw material procurement and manufacturing recyclable furniture. Their educational furnishings products are low emitting and easily meet strict GREENGUARD certification requirements in addition to the world-wide environmental policy, ISO 14001.

Visit Their Website Here

New FNI School Opens in Canada

Douglas Park School

By Bill Armstrong

With 43 elementary schools in its portfolio, the Regina School Division always has renovation and new construction projects on its plate. One such project includes a new Douglas Park School, replacing the existing building that opened in 1957. Comparing the design of the old building with the new prompts one to paraphrase an old saying: “This is not your daddy’s school.” It’s also likely that a lot more consultation and pre-planning went into the new building than the old. In fact, the first meetings with members of the school community – parents and educators – were held in January 2009, led by the project’s associate architect, Fielding Nair International.

The result is what Fielding Nair calls a design for the creative age; a 50,000 square foot building that encompasses three multi-age learning communities that open onto a central, south-facing, multifunctional atrium, which Fielding calls the heart of the school that “drinks in the light in this often cold climate.” The design also takes advantage of the stack effect to provide natural ventilation. Each “Personal Learning Community” – pre-K to Grade 2, Grades 3 to 5 and Grades 6 to 8 – will accommodate approximately 125 to 150 students.

More About the School Here

Early Childhood Education Design Conference


Auraria Campus, Denver, Colorado
Friday October 19, 2012 at 7:00 AM MDT -to- Saturday October 20, 2012 at 12:00 PM MDT

The ECE Design Conference brings together nationally recognized experts and thought leaders to highlight best practices and cutting edge research in designing, developing and managing high performance learning environments for early childhood education. The organizers of this conference include architects, developers, designers, operators and policy makers in the field of early childhood education who are dedicated to giving you access to the latest resources and tools in the world of early childhood education and design.

More on the Conference Here

A Sense of Place: Weaving Neighborhood Fabric Back Together

Preserve Philadelphia!

8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Temple University Student Faculty Center
3340 N. Broad Street (at Ontario) 2nd Floor
Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia is a city of great neighborhoods, and preserving their sense of place and distinctive character is key to sustaining a healthy community and achieving successful neighborhood revitalization.
If you are a neighborhood/community leader, you won't want to miss this opportunity to learn about the many resources available to strengthen and build upon the successes in your community by incorporating historic preservation into your tool kit.

Registration is only $20 per person and includes lunch.

For more information or to register click here.

Or contact Melissa Jest at 215.546.1146 x6 or



Wiley has recently published four books for architects and designers of K-12 schools. All written by experts on the design of schools, together, these four books comprise the most comprehensive and up-to-date information on school design. Please visit to learn more about our books on the architectural design of schools.


Fielding Nair International designs school facilities for today and tomorrow with one primary goal in mind — to improve learning. With consultations in 42 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:


Learning Environments (LEX), is the face-to-face information resource for professionals serving the K-12 and higher education markets being held on January 29 – 31, 2013 in Orlando, FL and on July 29 – 31, 2013 in Boston, MA. Formerly the School and College Building Expo, our new name reflects a newly re-energized conference and expo event that fully integrates the latest in education and construction trends and technologies with the creativity and ideas of the design process, to provide you the information and tools you need to support and build the schools of tomorrow—today.


If you want to get the 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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Our goals are to share innovative best practices happening around the world in the field of school design and education. Our audience includes architects, educators, planners, technology innovators, administrators, builders, policy makers, school board members, futurists, students, business and community leaders, and all stakeholders interested in designing for the future of learning.

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