Trauma-Informed Design

Association for Learning Environments (A4LE)

1 LU / HSW

Educational challenges and the amplified exposure to systemic inequities wrought by the global pandemic are having wide-ranging effects on students and educators everywhere—particularly those who have or are, experiencing trauma. (Even before COVID-19 struck, the National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence found that over 60% of all children under the age of 18 had experienced some form of trauma, crime, or abuse in the prior year, with some experiencing multiple traumas.) This comes at a tremendous price to society. In fact, 85% of children in Head Start, 90% of youth in the juvenile justice system, and 93% of adolescents in psychiatric treatment programs have experienced trauma. While complex and prolonged trauma can have profound effects on physical, mental, and behavioral health outcomes across the lifespan, promising practices have begun to emerge that can buffer children, adults, and families from the effects of adverse experiences and to prevent their most negative consequences. This session will offer trauma-informed care practices, tools, interventions, and designs that promote healing and resiliency in children and adults so that people, systems, and communities can function at their full capacity and potential in school, in the workplace, and in community, family and interpersonal relationships. Designed to engage participants, this interactive plenary in-person session will be both concrete and conceptual. An interdisciplinary panel will offer concrete trauma-informed design patterns and processes to help school and community planners, designers, and architects design for resilience and healing today. The panel will also offer conceptual ideas for future educational designs and share their optimism for new ways of teaching and learning, offering innovative design ideas for 2070 and beyond.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the concept of trauma-informed design.
  2. Learn about the effects of adverse experiences on students, teaching and learning.
  3. See a variety of strategies for mitigating negative consequences of trauma.
  4. Through discussion and examples, learn critical criteria for designing space for children who have experienced adverse and traumatic events.

Victoria Bergsagel, REFP, Director, Architects of Achievement
Victoria is an educator passionate about designing schools where all students achieve. She founded and directs Architects of Achievement and has a gift for nurturing people’s talents and insights to arrive at inspired solutions. She has been a teacher, counselor, principal, adjunct professor, community relations director, and school district administrator. As director of educational partnerships at a brain research institute, she worked with an interdisciplinary team to conduct and integrate the world’s leading brain research.

Mandy Davis PhD, Director of Trauma Informed Oregon and Associate Profession of Practice, Portland State University School of Social Work
Dr. Davis specializes in providing training, consultation, and supervision to systems, organizations, and providers on topics related to implementing trauma-informed care and trauma-specific services. In addition to her systems change work, Dr. Davis teaches courses related to abuse and trauma and trauma-informed care and provides training in the Trauma Recovery Empowerment Model (TREM). As a licensed clinical social worker, Dr. Davis has over 20 years of experience working with survivors of trauma.

Lorne McConachie, FAIA, Principal, Bassetti Architects
Lorne is a Principal at Bassetti Architects at their Seattle, Washington office. Lorne has over 40 years of experience planning schools that focus on personalized, collaborative spaces that support differentiated learning, engaged communities, and sustainable connections to place. He is especially adept at trauma-informed design where safe, welcoming, and flexible spaces are vital. Lorne's architecture, writing, speaking, and consulting have contributed to enhancing learning environments, inspiring students, and enriching communities.

Joe Echeverri, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Principal, Bassetti Architects
Joe is a Principal at Bassetti Architects with over 18 years of experience. As the leader of Bassetti’s Portland office, he plays an active role in local, sustainable design, with a keen interest in modernizing existing and historic school buildings. Joe’s interest in K-12 architecture was infused by growing up among a family of educators. In addition to his passion for design, Joe enjoys inspiring students through volunteer and intern mentorship programs within the greater Portland area.

Sarah Skoterro, Clinical Director, Thira Health
Highly regarded nationally and internationally Sarah is a human concept developer – with a 30-year career guiding and growing programs and institutions to advance population health within the context of mental health. Her indelible interest in how large systems inform small systems, and vice versa, drives a longitudinal commitment to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of humans interacting with the healthcare and educational systems across the country. Sarah has served in roles ranging from Executive Director to Clinical Director, and always draws upon the voices and perspective of the often “voiceless” and persecuted to formulate inclusion, reduce risk, improve health outcomes and increase the validity of approaches to healing and innovation in service provision.

Association for Learning Environments (A4LE)

LearningSCAPES 2021

October 14-17
Hyatt Regency | Denver, CO