the beginning.

So what exactly is open source learning? It’s been a solid eight weeks and I don’t know if I could give you a clear answer on that; but I do have some ideas. Open source learning is allowing students to take their education into their own hands and make what they want of it, something a lot of us weren’t given the chance to do when we were in school. It’s about making, exploring, testing ideas, and pushing the boundaries of learning. It’s giving kids independence, freedom, and the trust that they will push themselves to achieve a higher level of success. Its learning of the 21st century.

Okay, great. Now we have an idea. But, lets take this a step further and translate these ideas into architecture. What does that look like? To me, it looks like a lot of transparency in order to facilitate movement and inspiration. It looks like flexible spaces for flexible learning, because kids changes their minds quickly about what they want to do. It is integrated teacher–student spaces so the students never feel far from help, but never feel suffocated either. Its about a seamless transition from inside to out, to let daylight in thats good for the brain.

My design revolves around a school that has 3 communities of 150, each of which break off into separate interest groups of either culinary, industrial, organizational, or media design. Each group has their own space, as well as each 150 has their own cluster to learn the basics. folding of the skin pulls you in a certain direction, whether back inside the building, or out to the landscape. Stacking facilities vertical movement between the spaces, and the integration into the site allows for a consistent connection to the outdoors. Its a school for the new age.


  • negative space: pulled from a tessellated game board, this model made me understand the importance of negative space, and what it can do for form.
  • stacking: pushing, pulling, stacking. all the good stuff.
  • programthis was about understanding my form while adding in program. i realized that certain spaces begin to act really well with each other in the vertical sense, and began to be able to comprehend my building in section.
  • mass//glass: it’s pretty! and helped me to accentuate the folding which become a predominate part of my form.



  • A) a way to show the different types of program placement in elevation.
  • B) separation of different spaces: what happens in these outdoor cutouts?
  • C) movement thru the building; a space that pulls you in and up.



The big concepts I need to focus on in my design.

1.)  circulation:

Because if we’re being honest, my circulation is a mess right now. Suggestions were that I create a central atrium, bringing both light throughout the space and facilitating vertical circulation. There was suggestions about having clean hallways, but also using those halls as hidden nooks for children to take a break. The last idea came from LPA, in which I was told to have a grand stair that moves around the whole building, weaving inside and out, and pushing into certain spaces.

2.) transparency

A main goal of my school has always been to bring the outside in, and I think that became difficult for me when I started to add in program. Some spaces were completely open, while others received little light. I was urged to use transparency in a way that creates different spaces throughout the project, but also keeps them connected together. And the transparency didn’t have to just happen in plan, in could also happen in section where double height spaces begin to have a visual effect. The transparency would allow for spaces to be formed in different ways. For example, a courtyard. While it may be a different space, there are elements that make the in and out cohesive.

3.) experience

Overall, my spaces needed to be cleaned up. The plan was awkward, and none of my spaces really made sense or were cohesive. The commons needed to be cleaned up, and teacher offices needed to be integrated within those. The experience was off, and made for some awkward spaces. That being said, it was also pointed out to me that each space can definitely have their own characteristics; I don’t need the space exact space on each floor. Its a balance of blending the different to make it look like a cohesive unit.

So where do I go from here?

Working in section and from the inside out will be my next move. Both of these concepts are pretty new to me, but I need to move past pushing program into spaces and having everything turn out unbalanced. Also, starting with a fresh view point on circulation needs to happen. After our trip to San Diego, I have so much more to pull from. Until next time…