Jon Rollins, AIA

Princeton University / Harvard Graduate School of Design

Jon Rollins is a Principal with GFF, Inc

Mr. Rollins is a leader in GFF’s institutional practice, focusing on university projects, independent schools and communities of faith, with an additional emphasis on historic preservation and adaptive reuse. He combines a detailed and creative approach to solving complex programming and design problems with expertise in building technology and the construction process.

Jon served two terms on the Board of Trustees for Preservation Dallas and has given invited presentations on topics including historic preservation, sacred space and synagogue architecture, and design of innovative learning spaces. Mr. Rollins holds an AB from Princeton University, and a Masters in Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He has been a design instructor at the Boston Architectural Center, and a design critic at the Rhode Island School of Design and the Harvard GSD.

July 24, 2018 -- Design Discovery students finish and present work in their final week, at Harvard Graduate School of Design, Gund Hall, 48 Quincy Street, Cambridge, on Tuesday, July 24, 2018.

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,…

Hockday School - Science Center

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…
St. Mark's School of Texas Makerspace

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.…
Middle School Commons

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…

Lucas Christian Academy

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…