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  • Faculty Offices: A Space Allocation Dilemma

    It may not be luxurious or even fully private, but just about every full-time college faculty member has an office where he or she can work quietly, meet with students, teleconference or even record classes for e-learning. Unlike offices, classrooms both general purpose and special function are treated as shared space, scheduled by the department…
  • Learning and Learning Space

    For the last twenty-five years, one of my primary areas of focus both in practice and in research has been the ways people learn and the design of environments to facilitate that learning. In the sincere hope that students of all ages will be back on campus soon, the design of learning space is a…
  • Renovation and Historic Preservation for Education

    One of the most common triggers for planning and design projects in K-20 education is that existing campus facilities and resources no longer meet the needs of the institution. As education evolves to meet the needs of the twenty-first century, changes in pedagogy are driving changes in facilities for teaching at all grade levels, as…
  • K-12 Schools and the Response to COVID-19

    The end of May is usually a time to celebrate the accomplishments of the school year just completed and look forward to new opportunities in the coming year, but this has been a spring semester unlike any other. The rapid transformation required of schools and universities in response to the COVID-19 virus has been both…

  • Productive Struggle, or Why Architecture School is a Model for Education in General

    One of the most influential trends in pedagogy today, especially in the world of K-12 education, is Project-Based Learning, sometimes abbreviated as PBL. Rather than discrete lessons about individual subjects, PBL takes a more integrative, more active, and often a more collaborative approach to learning. Students are challenged with projects which require integration across disciplines,…

  • Why We do What We Do: The Design of Learning Space

    Learning is shaped, for better or worse, by the environment where it takes place. Current research on cognitive science demonstrates that learning requires both an internal process of assimilating new information and a social process of discussion and negotiation to build new understanding. Knowledge is constructed both through engagement with ideas and with others, so…

  • The Impact of Classroom Technology on Student/Teacher Communication

    Winston Churchill famously said, “we shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” This is especially true in schools and universities, where new technology in the classroom is reshaping our definition of what a learning space is and does, and fundamentally changing the nature of the interaction between teacher and student. Members of GFF’s education studio…
  • Making the Most of Makerspace

    St. Mark's School of Texas Makerspace Psychologists and educators from Jean Piaget to Howard Gardner to Maria Montessori have documented that some if not all of us learn best through hands-on activities. Research and anecdotal evidence overwhelmingly support the claim that students learn best when they engage with course material and participate actively in learning.…
  • Sticky Space: The Glue that Holds Your Academic Building Together

    Up to 66% of learning for today’s college students takes place outside the classroom, according to a recent study from the University of Central Florida. “Sticky” spaces, places which attract students and encourage them to stay and collaborate and/or work individually, provide the venue for much of this learning. Recent GFF Education Blog posts have…

  • Reducing Annual Operating Costs Through Good Design

    Lucas Christian Academy Capital projects on school campuses face a significant challenge in accomplishing as much as possible with limited resources, but construction dollars represent only a small fraction of the total expenditures over the life cycle of a new school building. While cost of construction is certainly an important consideration, long-term building owners and…
  • Quality vs. Quantity in Campus Space Planning

    One of the most common client comments we hear in our campus planning practice is “there’s not enough space for ___”. While there may be legitimate deficits in certain types of campus space (more on that later), what we frequently discover though interviews and analysis is that it is not the amount of space that’s…

  • St. Mark’s School of Texas Winn Science Center Dedication Ceremony

    St. Mark’s School of Texas celebrates the dedication of the new 56,000 square foot Winn Science Center. The new building provides a Maker Lab and Shop, Digital Technology Lab, Robotics Lab and Greenhouse along with labs for Chemistry, Biology, DNA and Environmental Science. The Science Center also includes a 250-seat auditorium and a 100-seat planetarium,…