Reinterpretation of Libraries

A Research Playbook

AIA Continuing Education Provider

1 LU

Community Unit School District #200 and Addison School District #4 teamed with Legat Architects to reinterpret the school library as a center for activated learning. Two diverse districts will compare and contrast their approaches – making the research scalable and obtainable for a variety of district administrators, educators, researchers, and designers. A digital playbook, which will be provided to attendees, was developed to denote research methodologies from these projects. The process of the libraries included research tied to curriculum and pedagogy by maximizing flexibility, transparency, wayfinding, and natural light integration. Students, teachers, administrators, and the community were engaged throughout the process for both quantitative and qualitative results. The library research expands to include pre- and post- occupancy surveys, use surveys, and furniture testing. The research led the design to integrate spaces for the nine types of intelligence, tactile learners, and introverted space so that all types of learners could feel safe and comfortable, therefore being placed in a mindset ready to learn. Even the furniture selected would specifically engage in student advancement and research. The data-driven process resulted in the development of a library playbooks, a kit-of-parts, and community engagement standards. The developed standards are highly adaptable depending on the environment selected to be renovated.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Provide audience members with scalable project tools via a digital handout. The tools include the playbook, research findings, the developed kit-of-parts, and community engagement surveys.
  2. Learn how to engage students, teachers, administrators, and community members in a way that encourages ownership and pride in a space. This includes how to modify the engagement to a level that is easily understandable and accessible for young students.
  3. Disseminate information from the view of two superintendents and three educational designers and understand how to engage stakeholders and research from the lens of diverse project leadership.
  4. Lay out the pipeline for research development for evidence-based design practices unique and scalable to diverse districts.
Robin Randall, FAIA, ALEP, LEED BD + C
Robin Randall, FAIA, ALEP, LEED BD + C
Principal and Director of Learning, Legat Architects 

Robin is leader of the national PreK thru Higher Education practice at Legat Architects. She connects personally to each project ensuring the design of every learning environment supports diversity and engages students in a culture of inquisitiveness. Robin's 35 years of experience includes designing and planning award winning educational centers from early learning, elementary, middle, high school including specialty learning environments. Her current research is on How Buildings Teach Kindness.

Jeff Schuler
Jeff Schuler
Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Superintendent, Community Unit School District 200

Dr. Jeff Schuler became superintendent of Community Unit School District 200 in September 2014. Before joining District 200, Jeff served as the superintendent of schools in Kaneland 302. Prior to becoming superintendent in Kaneland, he served as their district’s assistant superintendent. He has served as adjunct faculty at Loyola University, Aurora University and Northern Illinois University. Jeff began his career in education as a teacher of gifted students at Joyce Kilmer Elementary School in District 21 in Wheeling, IL. He has also taught at the middle school level and served as a middle school principal in Northbrook School District 27. He has served as a speaker and columnist for various conferences and publications.

Kelsey Jordan, AIA, WELL AP
Kelsey Jordan, AIA, WELL AP
Fitwel Educational Planner, Architect, Legat Architects

Kelsey is a designer, activist, and leader who is experienced as an educational design professional with an emphasis on education and wellness. Her visions for the future of architecture involve strongly embedded ideologies on designing for equity in the built environment. Through nationally recognized research, she’s an expert on how health and wellness can be implemented for positive change within communities. Kelsey utilizes her passion to design stimulating, future-focused learning environments for Legat Architects.

Track: Research

This track elevates Research on learning and learning environments and focuses on methodology, findings, and implications for practice. Tangible takeaways are encouraged, including tools and resources that support innovation and improvements to learning environments. There is Art in how we utilize Science to improve our design outcomes and our design and research process. To this end, dissemination of research findings is a priority so that learning environments are re-imagined and enhanced based on evidence and measured impact, not based on trends.

Primary Core Competency
Community Engagement: Leads the internal and external communities through a discovery process that articulates and communicates a community-based foundational vision, forming the basis of a plan for the design of the learning environment. The vision is achieved through a combination of rigorous research, group facilitation, strategic conversations, qualitative and quantitative surveys and workshops. Demonstrates the skill to resolve stakeholder issues while embedding a community's unique vision into the vision for its schools.

LearningSCAPES 2023

October 12-15 | Hilton Chicago

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