Proving the Impact of Our Designs

Through the years of designing educational facilities, I have had a desire to know if and how the schools we design support teaching and learning. Through a partnership with The University of Texas at Tyler, research conducted at two of our newest replacement elementary schools has provided us with scholarly evidence to support and inform our work.

Emerging from the investigation were three themes.

New spaces and the impact they have on their overall school experience. Students recognized that their new learning environments offered spaces to learn, work collaboratively or independently and that these new schools make them want to go to school while providing the feeling of freedom and comfort.

Impact going to a new school has had on their engagement in learning. Students have noticed the impact of going to school in a new building has had on their pride to be students at these schools, their engagement and commitment to learning, and the effort they put into learning to make their teachers proud.

Changes in their teachers since moving to the replacement school. Students noted how much happier and calmer their teachers were in the new schools and that classroom designs made it easier for the teachers to teach.

I’m excited as to the implications of these findings in helping our clients create purposefully designed schools and look forward to the future investigations which have been suggested by this initial work.

Stay tuned.