Design Patterns Blog on Getting Smart

Randy Fielding, AIA, is the Creative Director for, which Fielding International launched in 2021 to create a shared language and library that is accessible to all. More than 70 design patterns illustrate key ideas in school design, with problem and solution statements, an image gallery, and links to learn more. The library is freely available through a Creative Commons License, inviting collaboration and continual growth. Along with his colleagues, Randy writes about the emerging library of patterns in a blog on Place-based Education at

Blog Highlights

Active Hallway

Activate Your Hallways!

August 18th, 2022 / Place-Based Education

Randy Fielding, AIA, Cierra Mantz, and Nathan Strenge describe the value of activating hallways in schools that allow learners to thrive outside the box.

How to Design a Learning Commons

June 30th, 2022 / Place-Based Education

Randy Fielding, AIA, Cierra Mantz, and Nathan Strenge share six key elements for a thriving Learning Commons.

Learning Suites: A First Step in Overcoming Isolation in Schools

March 24th, 2022 / Place-Based Education

Randy Fielding, AIA, shares why Learning Suites are an important spatial element of a Learning Community, a diverse suite of spaces that foster authentic and collaborative learning experiences.

Writable Surfaces

The Multilayered Benefits of Writable Surfaces

March 10th, 2022 / Place-Based Education

Writable Surfaces is one of the most popular design patterns at Nathan Strenge shares a short story from his teaching days that highlight its multilayered benefits.

A Spatial Paradigm for Thriving Learners

January 20th, 2022 / Place-Based Education

Nathan Strenge identifies and explains a spatial paradigm for thriving learners.

Neighborhood as School_ANN

Learning In Community–What Does it Look Like?

December 2nd, 2022 / Place-Based Education

Randy Fielding, AIA, shares where to start the process of reimagining how learning can happen throughout communities.

Personal Space for Safety, Wellness and Autonomy

November 4th, 2022 / Place-Based Education

Randy Fielding, AIA explores how to create environments of wellness and belonging so all learners can thrive.

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