contact maria lorena lehman

send your message

Thank you! Your submission has been received!

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form

spECIAL MASTERCLASS: Design concept formulation

AHA MOMENTS, GUARANTEED.

Join Now to learn my HPA Design Formula to improve your architectural design concept formulations. This formula will help bring your mindset, skillset, and project design results to new heights. Plus, get the Design Insight Digest, FREE.

CLICK HERE TO JOIN NOW

A New Era for School Architecture

By Maria Lorena Lehman — Get more articles like this sent to your email HERE.

Image Credit: © Night Owl City | Flickr

WHY CHANGE NOW?

Did you know that school design has not substantially changed over the past 200 years? (1) Well, school architecture is undergoing some significant changes now, and computers are a big reason why. The following is an excerpt from Tomorrow’s Schools, by Jackie Craven, to highlight this point…

The Shape of Things To Come In tomorrow’s classrooms, students no longer need to face a podium, teacher’s desk or writing board. Learning stations are distributed along walls, in island clusters or in zigzag patterns. For small study groups, work spaces are triangular rather than square. Rooms are wheelchair friendly with wide, unobstructed passageways and low handles and switches. (1)

Lights, Cameras, Action This futuristic classroom resembles a television studio with two monitors, three cameras and related equipment. One of the monitors displays presentations broadcast within the school building, while the other displays students and teachers at other locations — anywhere in the world. The television cameras are directed at students and the teacher, or focus on visual aids used in teacher presentations. Bright overhead spotlights enhance the quality of video transmission. (1)

Sounding Off Flush mounted microphones on student desks assure that everyone can hear and be heard. Materials used for walls, ceilings and floors are especially chosen to optimize voice clarity. Echoing linoleum hallways are a thing of the past. (1)

Plugging InIn the school of the future, there are no computer labs with rows of monitors and miles of tangled cables. Electrical outlets and communications ports are strategically located throughout the building. Wide conduits inside walls and beneath floors accommodate wires and cables. (1)

Going Mod More than ever, school design is modular. Rooms are added to divided and reconfigured as the curriculum changes and technologies evolve. Portable carts allow computers to move freely throughout the building. Movable partitions permit teachers to shift from small to large group activities. And, since furniture design is standardized, work stations may be moved and reassembled anywhere in the building. (1)

With computers really stirring things up in the world of school design, it is important for architects to understand how to balance these emerging technologies with fundamental architectural features (like views of nature, healthy levels of natural light and a strategic use of interior color) to foster learning for healthy classroom designs.

DON’T LET TECHNOLOGY TAKE OVER

It is important for school architecture to support student learning, socialization and health — not only by focusing on computer technology, but by finding a balance between that technology and other essential elements that make up a successful school day for a student.

For example, technologies like “monitors, cameras, microphones and computers” (1) can merge with optimized acoustical treatments and modular furniture arrangements that can take advantage of natural daylight or promote lively student interactions, discussions or scholarly debates.

THE KEY IS INTEGRATION

Be sure that technology informs your design but does not overshadow it.

(1) Craven, Jackie. Tomorrow’s Schools. About.com.

...

NEXT STEP: YOUR DESIGN PARADIGM SHIFT

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

...

TESTIMONIALS

what members are saying...
Maria: I came across your website through a reference in today's Architect Weekly ezine and am delighted I did. I'll bookmark your site and check back often. I read the first article and then the second and thirty minutes later realized how much time had passed. I've been practicing for thirty years and have always missed the stimulation of academia. I find each of your brief dissertations sort of like a day in design studio. Thanks for the inspiration.

Ron Ward
AI Group Design
I am excited to see you touch a vein of values in architecture, I have been chasing myself for years. Your depth of involvement in these very deep subjects is really beautiful and passionately dealt with and well written. Sound, color and value, shape, texture, scale, smell.... all definitive measures of the spaces we should be alert to. [...] I will savor the rest of your investigation of sensuality in architecture. I'm Glad I found you.

Dennis McLaughlin
McLaughlin Architect
read more testimonials
journal article collectionsresearch designs

Maria Lorena Lehman is a multi award-winning visionary author, designer, and educator from the United States. Maria holds a Bachelor of Architecture with Honors from Virginia Tech and a Master in Design with Distinction from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. CLICK HERE to learn more.

maria lorena lehman, as seen in...
featured posts
Design Creativity

Do You Design Architecture "Beyond the Box"?

Developing the ability to evolve your design process is critical not only to your architectural brand, but also to the clients and building occupants your design projects serve. By formulating design concepts that push boundaries, you eliminate getting stuck or plateauing as you improve your design thinking and design doing from project to project.

Adaptive Architecture

The Fluidity of Nature in Architectural Response

With the continual development of biomimicry that learns from nature to create design solutions, it is important to see the “bigger picture” as well. This is about more than replicating nature’s design exactly as it presents itself. Instead, to embody the fluidity of nature within environmental designs, an even deeper philosophical design awareness is needed. A designer with such an awareness may ask: How can a building “breathe” in and out to help its occupants as they strive to reach their goals?

Design Process

How to Expand (and Sharpen) Your Design Process

When designing architectural environments, how do you notice your creative thinking? Yes, this question asks how you as a designer can observe your design process. Why is this important? When you become truly aware of your creative process, you are able to step outside of it to ask important questions and make critical decisions to improve and optimize how you design.