Beyond Four Walls: Transforming Learning Environments with Neuroarchitecture and Sustainable Design

Room: E145-146

Furnished by: Artcobell

Audience: Architects


Call to Action: This session will teach them a new design approach to looking at biology as a design driver. They will leave with specific strategies, mindset tools, and new products to incorporate into their projects.

Abstract: Education is the foundation upon which our future is built, and the spaces where learning occurs wield unparalleled influence over students' growth and development. Join me in an exploration of educational design that marries the insights of neuroarchitecture with the principles of sustainability. In this session tailored for educational designers and higher-education professionals, we will dive into the world of evidence-based design that optimizes cognitive function, creativity, and engagement. Discover how biophilic design elements can foster a connection to nature, enhancing students’ focus, reducing stress, and stimulating imagination. Explore the science of circadian lighting and its potential to regulate attention spans and enhance academic performance. Through research, case studies and best practices, we will showcase the tangible impact of sustainable materials, daylighting strategies, and healthy finishes on student well-being and achievement. Join this journey as we reimagine classrooms, libraries, and campuses as dynamic ecosystems that empower learners to thrive. This session is an opportunity to reshape education through design, ensuring that every space becomes a catalyst for intellectual and personal growth.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explain the concept and benefits of neuroarchitecture and how it applies to educational design.
  2. Identify and implement biophilic design elements that foster a connection to nature and enhance students’ focus, creativity, and well-being.
  3. Evaluate and optimize the lighting conditions of learning environments based on the science of circadian rhythms and their impact on attention and performance.
  4. Recognize and apply best practices of sustainable design that use natural and healthy materials, maximize daylighting, and improve indoor air quality and thermal comfort.
Eric Corey Freed, RA, LEED Fellow, LFA, EcoDistricts AP
Eric Corey Freed, RA, LEED Fellow, LFA, EcoDistricts AP
 Principal, Director of Sustainability, CannonDesign

Eric is an award-winning architect, author, and global speaker. As Principal and Director of Sustainability for CannonDesign, he leads the healthcare, education, and commercial teams toward low-carbon, healthy, regenerative buildings for over 30 million square feet a year. For two decades, he was Founding Principal of organicARCHITECT, a visionary design leader in biophilic and regenerative design. His past roles include Vice President of the International Living Future Institute and Chief Community Officer of EcoDistricts, both nonprofits pushing innovative new paradigms for deep green buildings and communities. He serves on the board of Design Museum Everywhere, whose mission is to “bring the transformative power of design to all.” Eric is the author of 12 books, including “Green Building & Remodeling for Dummies” and “Circular Economy for Dummies.” In 2012, he was named one of the 25 “Best Green Architecture Firms” in the US, and one of the “Top 10 Most Influential Green Architects.” In 2017, he was named one of Build’s American Architecture Top 25. He holds a prestigious LEED Fellow award from the US Green Building Council. Watch TEDx Talks »

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 2024 Conference in Portland, Oregon


Oregon Convention Center
777 NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, Portland, OR 97232


October 16-19, 2024


+1 480.391.0840