Spaces4Learning K-12 Virtual Summit

Trends and Best Practices in K–12 Learning Spaces


Spaces4Learning Summit

Spaces4Learning is launching its inaugural virtual summit, focusing on one of the most important aspects of educational facilities: learning spaces. Join the editors of for this free half-day summit, where they will bring you together with independent experts who plan, design, and develop learning spaces and facilities for K–12. Learn about trends in space design, as well as best practices for planning and implementation. Be sure to join us!

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Virtual Summit Agenda

SESSION 1     10 a.m. PDT / 1 p.m. EDT

Designing for Success: Discovering a School's Unique Identity to Create Inspiring Learning Spaces

Sprouting from the soil of community gardens, the new annex allows Waters Elementary School to nurture a growing student body in a space as vibrant as their integrated curriculum of fine arts, environmental studies, and technology. The exterior design reflects the school's unique identity and history, drawing inspiration from existing buildings and the external neighborhood. Working within the material and financial requirements of Chicago Public Schools, we reflected the school's unique curriculum by using nature-inspired colors for the floors and walls of each new space. The bright yellows, greens, and blues of the interior are illuminated by large, open windows in every classroom and common space, allowing students to connect with nature both inside and outside of the building. Indoor and outdoor learning environments allow students to explore their creativity. Through the construction of the annex, new life has been brought to an old building through elements reflecting the school’s history, values, and vivacity.

What you will learn:

  • Find exterior and interior design inspiration in a school's curriculum, existing facilities, and external community.
  • Create both indoor and outdoor learning environments for K-8 students.
  • Understand principles of wellbeing to design spaces caring for the mental and physical health of students, faculty, and staff.

Damon Wilson, AIA, Sr. Project Designer of Bailey Edward Design

SESSION 2     10:45 a.m. PDT / 1:45 p.m. EDT

Daylighting for the Future

Daylight is critical for our health and well-being and in a key aspect of designing an optimal learning environment. Studies show that effectively daylit spaces can positively affect academic outcomes and student engagement. A successful design considers the balance of daylight and aims to create generally uniform lighting so there is no glare or other conditions that may inhibit students’ ability to learn.

At the new Chapman Middle School in Weymouth, the largest middle school in Massachusetts, the educational program called for an arrangement of three grade-level wings branching out from a central hub, which meant that classrooms are oriented in nearly every possible direction. Providing natural light in the project areas at the center of each classroom cluster added an additional design challenge. Working with high-performance engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti, the design team completed analysis to determine the best way to provide suffuse and controlled natural light.

In this session we will look at the unique and practical solutions developed for the Chapman School as a case study and describe how the use of perforated sun shades in different configurations reduces reliance on artificial light, creates a healthy environment for students, and reduces operating costs for the Town.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the ways that daylight harvesting can conflict with effective learning practices.
  2. Be able to describe strategies for providing daylighting to learning spaces while controlling for glare.
  3. Be able to discuss tools for analyzing spatial daylight effectiveness.
  4. Be able to illustrate how to make evidence-based design decisions when faced with many variables.

Matt LaRue AIA, LEED GA, Senior Associate of HMFH Architects
Alejandra Menchaca, PhD, LEED AP, WELL AP, Principal and Founder of Airlit Studio

SESSION 3     11:45 a.m. PDT / 2:45 p.m. EDT

Hottest Third-Party Solutions

Our partners demonstrate how their products and services help enhance learning in the classroom and beyond.


Since 1979, Jonti-Craft has been the leading manufacturer of children’s educational furniture. With over 4,000 handcrafted pieces across multiple brands and categories, we furnish spaces that engage, inspire, and protect young learners. From schools and daycare centers to churches and waiting rooms, we have just what you’re looking for.

Inventionland Education
Inventionland Education designs award-winning Innovation Labs® and maker spaces in K12 schools. Its design team works with architects, designers, and educators to design, construct and install immersive spaces in underutilized rooms, libraries, and new construction. Its K12 applied STEM course is recognized as a top 10 STEM solutions provider.

School Outfitters
At School Outfitters we’re dedicated to bringing your learning space visions to life, whether it’s new construction or renovated classrooms. We pride ourselves on enterprise-level project services like expert space planning and hassle-free installation. And with our ready-to-ship inventory, your project will get done on time and on budget.

A certificate of attendance is available for all individuals who register and attend the full summit (live or on-demand).

All registrants will have access to the live event and an on-demand recording of the presentation. If registrants want to watch the presentation again or have a scheduling conflict, they can register and access the on-demand version of this summit, which will be available soon after the live event.

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