Resources for learning space design

Architects Brian Guthrie and Jerry Schomberg from Vantage Architects in La Crosse, WI.

Architects Brian Guthrie and Jerry Schomberg from Vantage Architects in La Crosse, WI.

I’m fortunate that the community of Onalaska, WI approved a funding referendum in February that will allow my elementary school to be expanded and totally remodeled over the next year or so. We’ll go from about 55,000 square feet to nearly 93,000. Plus, we’ll be able to change the open concept design of the school (built in 1972) to one that is more suited for contemporary learning and teaching. I can’t wait to see the final product, but am really enjoying the current design process. Our architects have been fantastic and I’m so proud of the staff in my school for the time they put into what we want in our new school.

The point of this post is to share some fantastic resources for anyone else who may be building or remodeling a school or even a single classroom.

The Third Teacher (from the Cannon Design Group) is a great book that shows how learning spaces can positively impact learning. Even if you are just rearranging your classroom, this book will be an excellent resource.

The Language of School Design is an excellent book. If you are building or remodeling a school, buy multiple copies of this book to put in the hands of every person who will have input on the design of your new learning spaces.

Carolyn Foote is a teacher librarian in Texas. I saw her present on learning spaces at the IntegratED conference in February 2014, and left her session with so many ideas that helped guide my current building design process.

Dave Meister is a superintendent in Paris, IL and was the first person I called to start my own education about school design. His new high school should be up and running in the fall of 2014 and it looks like an amazing facility.

Steven Weber is an incredibly helpful person when it comes to creative classroom spaces. Connect with him for an explanation of the Learning Commons he designed for his school.

Naomi Harm is talented in numerous ways, learning space design is certainly one of those areas. I’ve seen her present on the topic and she will fill your brain.

Baker Nowicki Design out of San Diego has been a constant source of information and inspiring ideas. Their designs are beautiful and learning-centered. The crew who manages their Twitter account is quick to share info and answer questions. The video below is just one of the many resources the BND bunch sent my way.