Super Session: Finding Delight, Connection, & Meaning in a Virtual Learning Landscape 


8:30 AM – 9:30 AM


We are learning to work and live within unprecedented contexts. The pandemic has pushed everyone to be creative and nimble in utilizing the tools and resources available to us to enable virtual working and learning environments. Educators, parents, facility planners, and architects are all re-calibrating to ensure our youth are continuing to stay engaged, inspired, and intellectually stimulated in lieu of being together in one building. How do we continue to find delight, connection, and meaning within an increasingly virtual learning landscape? How are our roles as educators and facility planners evolving within this continuously shifting paradigm, and how should we adapt in order to stay relevant? What alternatives can facilities planners offer teachers and learners when physical classroom space is unavailable?

We need not travel far to find these answers. This session will prove that learning happens everywhere. We will explore how core standards that have contemporarily been taught inside physical classrooms can be translated across our communities through our local parks, playgrounds, streetscapes, backyards, views outside our windows, and within the walls of our homes. As planners and designers, we are skilled at recognizing and defining powerful learning environments. This session will highlight these skills and demonstrate how partnerships between architects and educators can propel teaching and learning beyond the traditional classroom environment.

Amy Yurko, Anne Taylor, Linda Keane, Steven Bingler, and Victoria Bergsagel will offer diverse perspectives coming from leading edges of design, educational planning, and curriculum development to facilitate an enriching conversation and interactive jam session with the goal of opening our minds and connecting with each other from afar.

#1: How to use built, natural, and cultural environments as tools for teaching and learning.
#2: How to use project-based and place-based learning within seemingly insurmountable obstacles (such as a pandemic).
#3: Utilize core standards defined by educators and leverage environmental design principles applied by architects to rediscover and redefine the learning landscapes that surround us.
#4: Create a design studio and learning center at home and in your neighborhood.

Educational Visioning: Exhibits an understanding of best and next practices related to educational leadership, programming, teaching, learning, planning and facility design – establishing credibility with educators, community members and design professionals while being able to conceive and lead a visioning process. Demonstrates the ability to articulate the impact of learning environments on teaching and learning and uses that ability to facilitate a dialogue to uncover 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 designer.

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.     

Amy Yurko, Architect & Educator, Founder & CEO of BrainSpaces 
Amy Yurko is an architect and educator who believes in applying brain-based strategies to the planning and design of learning environments. She is the founder of BrainSpaces, a consulting firm that offers collaborative visioning, programming and planning expertise to school districts throughout the country. Amy is the recipient of the coveted A4LE International School Planner of the Year Award and Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding achievements in planning and designing educational facilities throughout the world. With combined expertise in planning and architecture, teaching and writing, and leadership and practice management, she is uniquely positioned among her peers to positively influence the profession, its practitioners, and those who use the environments we create.

Anne Taylor, Ph.D. Honorary AIA, ACSA Distinguished & UNM Regents Professor Emerita, University of New Mexico School of Architecture & Planning
Anne Taylor is Regents Professor in the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of New Mexico, where she was the founder and director of the Institute for Environmental Education. She is also president of a nonprofit School Zone Institute (SZI), an organization with a 50-year background in programming for school design, where all parts of the building and landscape act as learning tools. Her curricula uses the built, natural, and cultural environments as learning tools and employs architectural thinking and design as the process for motivating students P/K-12 to use creative problem solving in studio-like classrooms worldwide. She is the author of Southwestern Ornamentation and Design, School Zone: Learning Environments for Children, Linking Architecture and Education: Sustainable Design of Learning Environments, as well as several architecture and children curriculum documents.

Linda Keane, Architect, Artist, AIA, NCARB, Director & Co-Founder of STEAM by Design eLearning resource, Professor of Architecture and Environmental Design & Founder of Architecture at the Art Institute of Chicago
Linda Keane is passionate about greening public imagination. She is founder of architecture at the School of the Art Institute and co-founder of STUDIO 1032, which combines architectural practice with animation and academic publishing for awareness of the complexities and importance of the design of the environment. Keane’s socially constructed landscapes are rooted in nature, with artistic, environmental, educational, and entertaining intentions. She writes, lectures, and publishes on the necessity of nurturing K12 creativity including ARCHITECTURE an INTERACTIVE INTRODUCTION, The Aesthetics of Sustainability, Eco literacy: Greening Public Imagination, Designing Design Education, The Culture of Design Education, STEAM by Design and Design THIS Place Built Environment Education. She is a dynamic keynote speaker, online teacher, and American Institute of Architects Webinar Presenter on 21st Century Learning Environments. Linda is currently Director of the STEAM by Design eLearning resource.

Steven Bingler, Architect, AIA, Principal & CEO of Concordia Architecture, Planning & Community Engagement
Steven Bingler is the founder and CEO of Concordia, a community-centered engagement, planning and architectural co-design studio in New Orleans, Louisiana and co-founder of the Common Edge Collaborative, a non-profit organization dedicated to reconnecting architecture and design with the public that it’s meant to serve. Steven is included in Wikipedia’s roster of internationally acclaimed urban planners. His manuscripts and research papers have been published in books and journals on urban planning, architectural design, education, public health and smart growth. His work has received support from the Ford, Rockefeller, Bill and Melinda Gates, Wallace, Prudential, George Lucas, Irvine, and William Penn Foundations, and the Philadelphia Education Fund. Concordia’s award-winning education, cultural, housing, and recreation projects have appeared in Newsweek, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, Metropolis, Architecture and Architectural Digest.

Victoria Bergsagel, REFP, Educational Design Strategist, Founder and President of Architects of Achievement
Victoria Bergsagel 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. Harvard-educated, Victoria has been a teacher, counselor, principal and school district administrator. She also served as the director of educational partnerships at Talaris Research Institute, working with scientists to conduct, integrate, and interpret the world’s leading brain research. Victoria now works as an educational design strategist throughout the US and abroad, helping people realize their hopes and dreams for their communities and children. She has written a book (Architecture for Achievement), authored several articles, lectured at Harvard, USC and Berkeley, served on the national AIA school design jury and advised the Obama White House on STEM education. Excelling in community engagement and organizational development, Victoria is renowned for her strategic approach, heart for equity and ability to bridge the worlds of education and architecture.

LearningSCAPES Virtual Conference: Passport to Learning



+1 480.391.0840
11445 E. Via Linda, Ste 2-440
Scottsdale, Arizona 85259 USA