HorizonTV Featuring BD+C: Watch Episodes On Demand At HorizonTV

How corporate design keeps educational design relevant

Learning is a lot like working; it varies daily, ranges from individual to collaborative, formal to informal and from hands on to digital.

December 07, 2016 |
LPA Blog

There are many different terms used to describe learning and what method is best for today’s student and how school design supports each modality. However, when we break down each description— personalized, flipped, 21st century, project based, problem based—these teaching methods are simply designed to engage students and maintain an interest in learning. 

Learning is a lot like working; it varies daily, ranges from individual to collaborative, formal to informal and from hands on to digital.

Let’s take a moment to look at the workplace. In our experience, the design of a corporate environment tends to be an expression of a corporation’s brand and their culture, with the agility to change over time as demands evolve. Additionally, we all work differently; some personalize their desk space, others might be mobile workers, and whether we engage in project teams or work collaboratively to develop product solutions, at some point, we are all in need of a little individual or quiet space.

What is significant here is the variety, the choice and the flexibility. Corporate environments incorporate a landscape of settings designed to support the culture of the organization; so much so, that the design becomes a unique expression, influencing how occupants utilize and behave in the space.

When we approach educational design through the lens of our corporate practice, we can use these examples as models to inform and create purposeful educational environments beyond the traditional classroom-lined hallways.  

The following corporate patterns are strategic ideas shaping our educational design perspective:


Evidence of Collaboration        

Schools should be curated with students and with student work. Imagine a creative office, project information is displayed throughout and spaces stimulate interaction and a collision of disciplines and ideas. To achieve robust skills in critical thinking, school facilities must support a culture of learning throughout the campus.

Reinvent Efficiency

Learning happens everywhere. So how might every space be considered a primary learning environment? Some of our most memorable learning experiences do not occur within the four walls of a classroom. Just like some of our most creative work doesn’t occur in the conference room. For instance, think efficiently about the circulation and the outdoors to double as spaces for self-directed learning, problem solving or social interactions that reimagine their original intent.

Embrace a Temporary Spirit     

It is what it is, until it isn’t. We’re often challenged within educational design to make decisions that will impact the future for the next 50-plus years. How might we consider embracing a spirit of temporary solutions that allow for future flexibility? Plan for movable furniture in lieu of built-ins, wireless technology instead of tethered, and more strategically, think about this concept at the level of integrated design: talk about the placement of structure and utilities and how demising walls can be void of any obstacles that prevent adjustments to the layout five to 15 years from now.

LPA Blog | LPA

LPA believes that sustainability inspires great design—design that’s environmentally intelligent and efficient—yet also visionary, vibrant and life-changing. From K-12 and higher education facilities to civic, recreational, corporate and healthcare developments, LPA delivers design solutions that benefit the environment, improve the bottom line and enrich the human experience. As one of the country’s only design firms with a dedicated research team, LPA draws on cutting-edge data, analysis and technology to shape projects and improve their economic, environmental and social value. www.lpadesignstudios.com

Related Blogs

The design for Normandie creates opportunities for residents to connect with nature and their neighbors. Courtesy LPA Inc.

The design for Normandie creates opportunities for residents to connect with nature and their neighbors. Courtesy LPA Inc.


February 23, 2021 | Multifamily Housing | LPA

The mainstreaming of modular construction offers a cost-effective and creative solution to develop new ty...

LPA Blog Cover
January 02, 2019 | Reconstruction & Renovation | LPA

With some facilities, a little creativity can save money and salvage a building worth saving. 

August 03, 2018 | Healthcare Facilities | LPAGigi Bainbridge

California hospitals can save money with a holistic approach to retrofit issues.

June 28, 2018 | Architects | LPA

The challenge is to design makerspaces that work, spaces that function as a tool for educators to produce b...

December 06, 2017 | K-12 Schools | LPACraig Drone

A step-by-step process finds better answers, saves money, and produces measurable results.

October 26, 2017 | Higher Education | LPAGlenn Carels

A building is much more than its appearance; it’s how the user will behave inside of it that determines its...

A hallway and study space at the Samueli Academy
September 08, 2017 | K-12 Schools | LPALowell Tacker

Flexible, modern classrooms should be viewed as a key element of a sound financial strategy, producing a so...

An active outdoor space for students
August 18, 2017 | K-12 Schools | LPAWinston Bao

Active design can be incorporated into any facility or campus with a few simple steps.

July 05, 2017 | Office Building Design | LPAKaren Thomas

Whether for a team of 20 or 200, if today’s professionals are not currently working in an open office envir...

May 22, 2017 | Education Facility | LPAAndrew Wickham

Recently, in educational design, we have seen a trend toward more flexible learning spaces.

Overlay Init

Your card will be charged: 0