The Survey Says…Teacher and Student Driven Solutions for NextGen Furniture Standards

AIA Continuing Education Provider

1 LU

Needing an affordable strategy for implementing the goals of its new and progressive Education Specifications across the entire district, Santa Monica-Malibu USD settled on furniture to effectively deliver benefits to every one of its students. A year-long study with collaborative workshops with “test drive” furniture, over 1,200 student surveys, and 12 working classrooms full of demo furniture all culminated in informing the NextGen Furniture Program before purchasing a single chair. What followed was a robust NextGen program furnishing 248 classrooms at 11 schools. We’ll share lessons learned, insights gathered from our research and how it positively affected students district-wide.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Provide examples of how to use research and workshops to establish a NextGen furniture selection process.
  2. Describe which NextGen furniture solutions teachers and students responded to the most and why.
  3. Share lessons learned in the planning and deployment of a district-wide furniture order and installation.
  4. Demonstrate how new furniture enables educators to better utilize their STEAM curriculum and the benefits they see as a result.
Carey Upton
Carey Upton
Chief Operations Officer, Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District 

Carey is the Chief Operations Officer with the Santa Monica – Malibu Unified School District where he oversees Facility Improvements, Maintenance & Operations, and Facility Use. He guides the construction and modernization of school facilities with over $800M in voter approved general obligation bonds. Though Carey’s journey to supervising school facilities might seem unconventional, his extensive experiences have led to a passion for engaging learning environments. Carey directed, designed, produced, and stage managed over 400 theater productions at major regional theaters. He was a middle/high school Artist in Residence, a university lecturer, and a teacher in professional theater programs.

Aaron Buehring
Aaron Buehring
Director of Educational Environments, Lionakis

As the Director of Educational Environments at Lionakis, Aaron brings over 10 years of interior design experience to the team. His background as both a professional anthropologist and an interior designer offers a unique perspective on how humans interact with space. Aaron looks at design holistically, incorporating finishes, branding, furniture, art and lighting into each project, with a clear understanding of the user experience. With a strong commitment to research-based design, he is passionate about delivering the most current thought leadership in NextGEN learning environments.

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
Design of Educational Facilities: Acts as a resource to the design team in providing ongoing guidance and support to ensure that the emerging and ultimate design aligns with the established community vision, education goals, future programming, written design standards, best/next practices and education policy.

LearningSCAPES 2023

October 12-15 | Hilton Chicago

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