Learning About Schools: Where Do Design and Research Fit In?

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Do you wonder how schools can be designed using research about learning outcomes? How are firms across the country using post-occupancy data to inform school projects? How is a culture of learning fostered? Who are the people doing this kind of work? These people are you! Join a group of scholars, practitioners, educators, and learners to share experiences and evidence. Short presentations of projects from around the country will be interspersed with opportunities for conversation and discussion. 

Elliot Felix
, Founder, brightspot
Evie Klein, Co-founder, User Design Information Group, Graduate Center, CUNY
Michael A. Nieminen, FAIA, Partner, Kliment Halsband Architects
Dina Sorensen, Assoc. AIA, Senior Assocaite, DLR Group
Daniel Baumann, Lead Designer, Henning Larsen

Elliot Felix founded and leads brightspot, a consultancy transforming the higher education experience with smart strategy that connects people, programs, and places—on campus and online. Felix is an accomplished strategist, facilitator, and sense-maker who has helped transform over 80 colleges and universities. He is a prolific speaker and writer on reimagining higher education, having presented at more than 50 conferences including EDUCAUSE, SXSW, and SCUP, and written more than 25 articles in publications such as Planning for Higher Education, Library Journal, and Touchpoint: The Journal of Service Design

Evie Klein is an architect and planner with expertise in the social and psychological impact of the built environment in cultural institutions and higher education. She is a co-founder of the User Designed Information Group at the CUNY Graduate Center, where she is currently a doctoral candidate in Environmental Psychology. Her research focuses on how the social sciences can contribute to design processes. Klein is the co-founder of the AIANY Social Science + Architecture Committee. She also serves on the Research Task Force of the AIA National Committee on Architecture for Education. Klein currently teaches Environmental Psychology and Urban Studies at Pratt Institute. Previously, she was the AVP of Strategic Assessment, Planning & Design at NYU.

Michael A. Nieminen, FAIA, has over 35 years of experience as a designer, programmer, and manager of planning studies, renovations, adaptive reuses, and new buildings for college and university clients. He is a member of the Leadership Group of the National AIA Committee on Architecture for Education and is actively involved in the AIANY Architecture for Education Committee. Nieminen has programmed over 10 million square feet of space. His innovative analytical programming and planning techniques focus on intense utilization of existing space, shared space and flexible multi-use space strategies. He has developed clear informative graphic approaches to charting program findings that bolster client engagement. His work has been recognized by the AIA as one of the fundamental acts of sustainability: making better use of what we have and building the most efficient new buildings that we can possibly design.

Dina Sorensen, Assoc. AIA, brings her unique background in the arts, architecture, and interdisciplinary research to enrich the design of learning environments. As a designer, author, and speaker who spearheads interdisciplinary collaboration, she focuses attention on the human experience while aiming to co-create learning spaces that foster agency, creativity, diversity and a symbiotic relationship with nature and technology. Her primary research investigates the influence of design on healthy behaviors and catalyzing connections between public health and architecture. Sorensen channels her passion for lifelong learning and design by re-thinking the paradigm of school as a place in our collective lives where we are called to be at the height of our creativity in our exploration of human potential.

Daniel Baumann joined Henning Larsen in 2011 and has been part of the company's global organization, working in the firm’s studios in Copenhagen, the Middle East, Munich, and New York. He has built a vast understanding of the communities and cultures that Henning Larsen engages in, a knowledge he utilizes in his everyday work. Prior to his move to New York, Baumann was a key leader at Henning Larsen’s specialized Concept and Competition Studio, which designs projects at various scales within the realm of education, culture and civics, commercial office, and urban design. Recently, Baumann has been working on Etobicoke Civic Center in Toronto, East Harbour Masterplan in Toronto, and a confidential office building on the West Coast. In addition to his work at Henning Larsen Architects, he also taught at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture in Copenhagen.


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