Integrating Research and Architecture: The Future of Learner-Centered Design

Association for Learning Environments (A4LE)

1 LU / HSW

As technology evolves, it propels architectural methods forward with it. Design, construction, interiors, and many other aspects of architecture continue to be greatly enhanced by technological advancement. In the last 10 years, there has also been a slow adoption of business analytics and user research tools. While these tools have initially been used for understanding building success and client satisfaction, they are increasingly leveraged to understand population demographics along with the social and cultural factors affecting the occupants of our schools. Socially responsive, user centered, and human-level research methods are taking off in the architectural world. 50 years from now, this evolution could usher in a new era of socially responsive buildings, researched from the ground-up with integrated data, analytics, and scientific methodologies to provide the best possible educational environments tailored to their unique communities. The days of one-size-fits-all schools are dwindling, and in 50 years they may be a thing of the past entirely.
Learning Objectives:

  1. Review current socially responsive tools used in architecture research.
  2. Gain knowledge of the evolving nature of human-centered data and how it will grow its influence on architectural practice in the next 50 years.
  3. Develop comfort with the integration of research and architectural design in the project planning process.
  4. Understand the intersection of educational visioning and human-centered research.

Liz Katz, AIA, NAC Architecture
Liz is an educational planner and architect based in Seattle, Washington. She is deeply passionate about educational architecture and believes that human-centered research is one of the keys to effective space design. Throughout her career, she has worked on all levels of K-12 projects on the West Coast and in Texas. True to her passion for integrating architecture and social understanding, she received her ALEP designation in June of 2021.

Dustin Saalman, RED Director, NAC Architecture
Dustin is the Director of Research and Experience Design, based in Columbus, Ohio. Prior to joining NAC in September of 2021, Dustin had spent 15 years in PK-12 and Higher Education as both an educator and administrator. Dustin earned his PhD in Educational Evaluation and Research April 2020 and is very excited to bring his years of experience and passion for research to his role.

Philip Riedel, AIA, LEED AP, ALEP, NAC Architecture
Philip is a gifted PK-12 school planner and architect who is passionate about aligning developments in education with facility design. Based in Seattle, he has dedicated his career to the thoughtful design of educational environments, including a variety of schools that serve students with special needs. Philip uses education research, classroom observation, faculty discussions, and building science to develop environments that promote active learning and meet the needs of the whole child. He is the Pacific Northwest Region Director for the International Board of the Association for Learning Environments. 

Association for Learning Environments (A4LE)

LearningSCAPES 2021

October 14-17
Hyatt Regency | Denver, CO