The Schmidt Associates’ approach to K-12 projects has, at its heart, a dual idea of transformational learning spaces.
Transformational Learning Spaces Positively Change Young Lives
Of course, the first and a very important meaning of “transformational” is the idea that every one of our designs must contribute as directly as possible to the educational journey that transforms every student’s life. Therefore, spaces we design should reward curiosity, foster discovery, and help to draw out the unique attributes and abilities of each child. Here, a successful approach shows itself indirectly through a happy and purposeful school environment. It will also bring more directly quantifiable success factors, such as improved test scores and reduced absenteeism.
Transformational Learning Spaces Positively Adapt To Accommodate Changing Contexts
There is another equally important, but sometimes less immediately apparent, aspect of transformation. As the societies that schools serve evolve, a range of fresh pressures on education professionals and demands on the community’s resources is also constantly emerging. The demographics, curriculum, and budgets that shape today’s school buildings could all be radically different within just a few years. This context requires real flexibility. And flexibility means spaces that are capable of physically transforming.
This may require “innovation centers” – environments that could be a collaborative classroom, a dance studio, or even a science laboratory all in the span of a single school day. It may mean future proofing through advanced technology infrastructure, so that subjects we haven’t even thought of today can be delivered in 10 years’ time without needing entirely new buildings. It could even mean spaces that can flex to accommodate twice as many children, or half today’s number.
In Both Senses, K-12 Design From Schmidt Associates Is Transformational
Whatever the demands of today and tomorrow, we never forget that the schools we design must be places of wonder. And for us, the privilege of being involved in their creation is always truly transformational.
To initiate your own transformational learning spaces, talk to our dedicated Schmidt Associates’ K-12 team.