The Educational Village

This article on the educational-village style of school design was written by Irene Nigaglioni and was featured in School Planning & Management. It covers the benefits of  green spaces in school environments including health benefits for students as well as improvement in cognitive development.

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Pokémon Go: An Unexpected Inspiration for Next Generation Learning Environments Augmented Reality

Pokémon GO’s use of AR technology, which superimposes computer-generated imagery on a user’s view of the world, has multi-sensory appeal, while the structure of the game encourages players to move around and work together to achieve their ultimate goal in the game – catch as many Pokémon as possible. By blending entertainment, mobility and teamwork, Pokémon Go leveraged technology to not just provide a personalized experience, but also encourage players to interact, explore and be active.

Although mobile applications and games often seem isolating and somewhat stationary, last year’s augmented...


Outdoor Playing = Outdoor Learning

This article about the importance of outdoor play for learning was written by Dr. Deborah J. Rhea and Irene Nigaglioni. It was published in the Educational Facility Planner.

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Biophilic design increases the opportunities for awe within the space

Neuroscience in School Design

Recent research on the relationship between the physical environment of educational facilities and its impact on students has shown that design can definitely affect learning. Different design features, such as daylight, temperature, acoustics and color have the most influence on students, and when designed correctly can positively impact the learning process. However, little has been published on the effect architectural design can have on learning, by studying how it affects our brain. This is now changing as neuroscientists have found that the moment we walk into a space, our brain is engaged and activated, sending electrical currents to thousands of brain cells. Given that learning activities...

Biophilic design

Improving Informal Learning Spaces through Biophilic Design

Learning environments should be nurturing, inspiring and motivating, while also providing an appropriate backdrop for learning; however, this may not always be the case as some learning activities may be stressful for students. In addition, learning spaces are not always designed to make students feel comfortable.

In this age of “anywhere, anytime” learning, locker-lined hallways are learning deterrents, and the desire for more collaborative learning experiences is creating the need for open areas where students feel safe, supported, inspired and motivated.

Biophilic design can bring informal learning spaces to life...


Awe-Inspiring School Design

A CNN article titled “Stress really is killing us,” explained that as a society we are living with increasing levels of stress, and this stress is leading to early death rates. While this is disturbing, I was particularly troubled by the commentary about these levels of stress starting as early as infancy and negatively impacting school-aged children.

Students often come to school with extra baggage from home, whether it is lack of access to nutrition or other challenging living conditions. These are further exacerbated with stressful conditions in schools, such...

Marcus Ninth Grade Center in Lewisville Independent School District

Today’s Learners and the Next Generation of Schools

As summer starts to wind down, the excitement of the start of school becomes the topic of conversation with many families.  However, that excitement is oftentimes short lived as our students return to traditional, perhaps even outdated school facilities.  These are schools lined with long hallways with lockers, flanked by square classrooms, and limited view to the outdoors. The traditional double loaded corridor I just described can be found in most schools, and it is representative of a different era of instruction and learning. The move from that era, to...