[Re]investing in education: enhancing education through design
Education, much like architecture, has the power to shape the ways in which we live and how we interact with the world around us. Through thoughtful architectural design, is it possible to design an environment that strengthens the learning processes of children in grades K-12? This paper investigates how an environment can enhance the education of students by creating spaces that facilitate a collaborative and creative environment. Can architecture respond to the diverse ways that help children learn, and engage with each other and their environment? Through case studies that analyze school design since the early 2000s, what aspects of the school can be reconsidered due to change in student learning outcome and the evolving challenges due to advancements in technology that require changes in students' skill set? This paper investigates different styles of learn, the school as a social system and the architectural response required to successfully produce a supportive environment that is conducive to the children's learning processes. This paper will also investigate the problems Chicago is facing with its public education system and explore how design can improve the established system. Many of Chicago's predominantly low-income African-American and Latino neighborhoods are most often the areas affected first when the city begins looking to make budget cuts. Low test scores and overall performance are often the driving force ultimately leading to the closure of many facilities. I believe this paper is relevant to both architecture and education; educational spaces should be created to enhance students' learning processes.