Applying WELL to Learning Environments

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM


Humans have an innate tendency to seek connection to nature which, consequently, provides extensive physiological and cognitive benefits including improved intellectual capacity, stress reduction, increased creativity, and greater overall well-being. These benefits are perhaps more crucial than ever as people become increasingly disconnected from the physical world—from one another, from their surroundings, and from themselves. This disconnection is linked to rising rates of anxiety and depression, stress from constant virtual connection, and decline in traditional sources of community. And, despite the known benefits of nature, humans spend approximately 90% of their time indoors. A well-designed built environment has the potential to offer relief through opportunities for people to reconnect—to their community, to their body and senses, and to their physical environment. This session will apply this thinking to the design of educational environments that positively impact the health, wellness, and success of students and educators alike. This session will utilize the WELL Building Standard—the leading tool for improving health and human experience through design—in the context of K-12 educational environments. Speakers will explore the WELL Building Standard and highlight strategies within the 10 WELL concepts that are most applicable to learning environments. Through specific examples, this session will demonstrate how health and wellness principles have been integrated into the design, as well as the pedagogy, policies, and procedures, of schools around the world. Emphasis will be placed on biophilic design as a key approach to achieve the goals set forth by WELL. Case studies will offer proven strategies for incorporating biophilia into design within varying budgetary constraints. In addition, this session will take a deep dive into one application of biophilic design: green infrastructure. Speakers will exhibit how green infrastructure systems can create living laboratories that expand pedagogy in areas such as art, robotics, and nutrition.

#1: Understand the WELL Building Standard in the context of K-12 learning environments
#2: Identify biophilic design solutions that align with WELL concepts to improve health and wellbeing of students and educators
#3: Recognize how design can impact and expand pedagogy and school operations
#4: Articulate the applications and benefits of green infrastructure

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.

Educational Visioning: Exhibits an understanding of best and next practices related to educationalleadership, programming, teaching, learning, planning and facility design. Establishes credibility with educators, community members and design professionals while conceiving and leading a community-based visioning process. Demonstrates the ability to articulate the impact of learning environments on teaching and learning and uses that ability to facilitate a dialogue that uncovers the unique needs and long-range goals of an educational institution and its stakeholders – translating that into an actionable written/graphic program of requirements for the design practitioner.

Mayva Donnon, AIA, LEED AP, Principal, KSS Architects
Mayva is an expert in the design of engaging learning environments at a range of scales from institutional master plans to early childhood and K-12. A leader in the academic market, Mayva is responsible for balancing project delivery from conceptual design through delivery. Mayva is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and the University of Pennsylvania where she completed her Master of Architecture.

Angela Spangler, MS, WELL Faculty, AEP Director, International WELL Building Institute
As Director of the International WELL Building Institute’s Commercial Team, Angela supports the global growth and adoption of the WELL Building Standard. Angela received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho in Psychology with a minor in Architecture and earned her Master’s degree in Human Environment Relations from the Design and Environmental Analysis program at Cornell University. Angela is a WELL Faculty™ and has her Associate Ergonomics Professional accreditation.

Jesse Rosenbluth, Business Development, Green Infrastructure Technical Services, Omni Ecosystems
At Omni Ecosystems™, Jesse has worked at every stage of green infrastructure implementation, from concept design through installation and management, on an array of institutional, commercial, and residential projects. Jesse's work in the field of applied ecology began at Kenyon College researching wetland remediation. He then worked with the Columbia Slough Watershed Council in Oregon, and in Michigan and subsequently Illinois managing operations at organic vegetable farm and flower farms.

LearningSCAPES Virtual Conference: Passport to Learning



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