Trauma-Informed Design

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 (hopefully 120 minute) interactive plenary in-person session will be both concrete and conceptual. (We are happy to provide sketches or videos soon after we are accepted.) 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.

Lorna Fast Buffalo Horse, Director, Multiple Pathways to Graduation
Lorna is Director of Multiple Pathways to Graduation in Portland, Oregon. Lorna has served for the last 15 years as a high school principal. During her tenure as principal at Alliance High School over the last six years the school was twice named one of the top 50 high schools in Oregon. She has consistently gravitated toward schools and programs that support students who have dropped out of school or are at risk of doing so, and has, along with her staff, raised achievement and graduation rates. Prior to becoming a principal, Lorna served as a Dean of Students, Multicultural Coordinator, ESL/Bilingual, Migrant Education and Indian Education Coordinator for a district in Washington. Lorna is currently working on her doctorate at Portland State University, where she is studying alternative school policy and its impacts for at-risk students. 

Association for Learning Environments (A4LE)

LearningSCAPES 2021

October 14-17
Hyatt Regency | Denver, CO