We work within and across the three domains of a learning ecosystem to create and design vision alignment.
We work to align a Learning Ecosystem: the dynamic cross-section between a school’s vision (what it is aiming to achieve for its students and community), its educational program (how a school functions to achieve that vision), and its social and physical environment (culture and places where the program is delivered).
We believe good design is about alignment. Any architect can come up with solutions, however, if the solutions do not align with the intended purpose and goals, then they really do not accomplish anything. Designing a school building is much more than architecture and aesthetics, it structures how people interact with each other and provides a setting for learning. Our approach to design means it adapts to the unique needs of learners and teachers that use the environment, aligning to the vision and educational program of the organization.
A school building is only one part of a learning ecosystem; therefore, it needs to be designed within the overall context. We begin with questions that seek to deeply understand the entire learning ecosystem and we approach design collaboratively by including multiple stakeholders in the process. For instance, if one particular goal is for students to become agents of their own learning and partners in the learning process, then we need to work collaboratively with students, teachers, parents, and school leaders to imagine together what activities would take place that foster self-directed learning in their school and how the physical environment and other resources could support those activities. By working together in this manner, not only are we able to generate new ideas and solutions for this goal, but we are able to challenge perceptions and beliefs about how a school should look and function.
Because we approach design more broadly and with a focus on educational goals, our team includes educators and lifelong learners who work alongside architects, designers, and engineers. We believe that complex challenges are more effectively solved through interdisciplinary collaboration.
What Makes Us Unique
- Our work focuses on the alignment between the vision for learning, the programs and activities that bring that vision to life, and the environments in which learning takes place
- We think about and design learning environments comprehensively, including architecture, education, and operations
- Our process discovers the challenges that stand in the way of learners thriving – including schedule, facilities, programs, and practices, and proposes solutions that customize to the unique context of each community
- Our global experience allows us to cross-pollinate good ideas that work from around the world
- Our team of educators and designers helps organizations make the transition into new spaces and new ways of operating
- We support communities from the earliest days of envisioning a new learning environment, including seeking funding, space, and hiring educators, all the way to coaching educators on how to best leverage the new learning environment after it is built
Working With Us
We Begin by Being Curious
- We approach every school community with the curiosity of a child. We have fun!
- We channel the curiosity and joy that is at the heart of learning.
- We understand how schools work, and begin by seeking to understand the unique ways in which your school works.
- We engage and empathize with the learners who will use the space – children and adults.
- Our process discovers the challenges that stand in the way of learners thriving – including schedule, facilities, programs, and practices, and proposes solutions that are customized to the unique context of each community.