Reimagining the Student Experience


Lowell Tacker

Cecilia Gutierrez
LPA, inc.

Lowell Tacker


1 Learning Units/Health, Safety, Welfare (LU/HSW)

How applies to HSW:

This session will cover Occupant Health and Welfare through the benefits of sustainable design decisions and aspects like lighting, views to exterior, and natural ventilation that improve occupant comfort and well-being.


This session will highlight the process and outcome of a research based design process. Attendees will virtually participate in an observational research dive to understand how the student voice can influence the redesign of any space on campus. In the heart of San Antonio, Alamo Heights High School is a historic campus that is treasured by so much of the community; the addition of a new Student Commons comes with an opportunity to reimagine the student experience & redefine life on campus. Throughout the master planning process, the District’s work in creating a Learner Profile was put to use as it helped inform and prioritize strategies for improving campus life. Additionally, the learner profile work informed the design of the student commons – as spaces that support social and global engagement and help students develop a healthy sense of self as they engage with peers in the Student Commons. Participants will understand how programmatic challenges can become opportunities by doing a deeper dive and designing with the student in mind.

Learning Objectives:
  • Through a participatory activity, participants will understand how observational research can influence a design outcome.;
  • Understand how to create open space in an existing campus, particularly in an urban context with a tight campus site.
  • Understand the work of creating a learner profile to enhance student experience & how that context translates to an educational design response.;
  • Recognize the influence of community use of the student commons, and how this programmatic priority informed design decisions.
Primary Competency:

Educational Facility Pre-Design Planning: Manages a master planning process that combines educational planning, facilities assessment and utilization, demographic research, capital planning and educational specifications with a community-based vision to establish a plan for learning environments. This includes the ability to translate existing or aspirational instructional models to specific programming and spatial relationships.

Primary Domain:

Process: Content of this session/workshop will focus on the importance of quality processes and practices implemented by the project team when creating learning environments. The who, what, when and how of various disciplines and applications.

Secondary Domain:

Toolbox: Content of this session/workshop will focus on the approaches, methods and applications when transitioning from design and concept into reality, actual existence through quality performance, execution and/or product.