DESIGN FOR LEARNING
Our education studio designs, creates, and builds innovative, sustainable, and harmonious state-of-the-art learning environments that inspire the students they support and enrich the communities they serve. Our approach is evidence-based, carefully considering how each of the following factors effect learning. - Click each item for a detailed explanation. -
Distant views and views of nature provide needed breaks from close work restoring students' ability to concentrate. Ophthalmologists advise distant views for eye relaxation during computer-work. Without eye relief, students are apt to become irritable and unproductive, especially young children, whose eyes are still developing. Read the study.
The color red boosted performance on detail-oriented tasks such as proof-reading and memory retrieval by as much as 31% compared to the color blue, Conversely, in blue environments students were twice as productive creatively when brainstorming, etc. than with red. Read the study.
› Natural Lighting
Students in classes with the most daylight from windows and/or skylights progressed 15% faster in math and 23% faster in reading compared to students in classrooms with the least daylight, and these results did not vary by grade. (Energy costs for electricity for lighting and air conditioning are also reduced). Read the study.
Students in carpeted classrooms had higher test scores in math and language than students in rooms with hard floors. Background noise also affects learning, particularly for young children who require optimal conditions for hearing and comprehension. Read the study.
› Ceiling Height
In rooms with high ceilings, people are significantly better at seeing connections between seemingly unrelated subjects. In one experiment, undergraduates came up with nearly 25% more connections between different sports when sitting in a loft-like space than in a room with an 8-foot ceiling. Read the study.
› Indoor Air Quality
Poor indoor air can make both students and teachers sick. The American Lung Association determined that American children miss more than 10 million school days each year because of asthma aggravated by poor indoor air quality. Operable windows in classrooms promote student progress, associated with 7-8% faster learning. Read the study.
› School Size and Class Size
Wherever and whenever practical, smaller schools and smaller class sizes allow for greater attention per student. Read the study.
› Multi-sensory Connections
Acoustics, lighting, size and shape of room, temperature, odor, and wall and floor materials all effect students' ability to focus and listen. Linking active and passive, indoor and outdoor spaces facilitates mind-body integration. Read the study.
› New Construction
Student attitudes become more positive after a move to a new school building. Students who “felt safe” increased from 57% to 87%; “felt proud” increased from 43% to 77%; “enjoyed going to school” increased from 50% to 61%; and “bullying” decreased from 39% to 16%. Read the study.
› Quality Building
Newer school buildings, good lighting, thermal comfort and air quality, and advanced laboratories and libraries, are all tied to student behavior. The higher the quality, the lower the incidence of vandalism, absenteeism, suspensions, expulsions, violence, disruptions, tardiness, and smoking. Read the study..
› Interdisciplinary Design
Our approach is holistic, considering not just the physical setting but also the social, organizational, pedagogical, and emotional elements of school environments. Read the study.