Spaces4Learning Summit 2023

Trends and Best Practices in K–12 Learning Spaces

Thursday, June 15, 2023
1:00 p.m. ET - 3:15 p.m. ET






About This Free Virtual Summit

Spaces4Learning is launching its inaugural virtual summit, focusing on one of the most important aspects of educational facilities. 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 colleges and universities. Learn about trends in space design, as well as best practices for planning and implementation. Be sure to join us!



  • 1:00 p.m. ET
    Designing for Success: Discovering a School's Unique Identity to Create Inspiring Learning Spaces
    Damon Wilson, AIA, Sr. Project Designer of Bailey Edward Design

    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.
  • 1:45 p.m. ET
    Daylighting for the Future
    Matt LaRue AIA, LEED GA, Senior Associate of HMFH Architects
    Alejandra Menchaca, PhD, LEED AP, WELL AP, Principal and Founder of Airlit Studio

    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:

    • Understand the ways that daylight harvesting can conflict with effective learning practices.
    • Be able to describe strategies for providing daylighting to learning spaces while controlling for glare.
    • Be able to discuss tools for analyzing spatial daylight effectiveness.
    • Be able to illustrate how to make evidence-based design decisions when faced with many variables.
  • 2:45 p.m. ET
    Hottest Third-Party Solutions
    Our partners demonstrate how their products and services help enhance learning in the classroom and beyond.

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