I am amazed that this is finale of the entire quarter! Wow! Time flies. As an acculmination of the work cultivated in these past 10 ish weeks, let’s dive into OVERLAP.

We find ourselves in sunny San Luis Obispo, California at the intersection of See Canyon Road and San Luis Bay Drive.

arial w model Site Diagram-01

hill across NEW

When learning is open source, a network engages and empowers students, teachers, outside professions, and communities. The web of influence in pursuit of learning is not limited to those within the four plain walls of a typical high school classroom.  The established “lecturer teacher at the front and 30+ silent listeners in individual desks” model is demolished. In an Open Source Learning (OSL) environment, hubs and interest groups become focal points for discovery, participation, and belonging. Students and teachers must have flexibility, variety, and choice, especially with room size, acoustics, and furniture.

This interdisciplinary network celebrates the overlap of the individual and the communal, the exploratory and the focused.

conceptual diagram

Looking at a place of gathering, I started with a single courtyard.


Responding to the scale of 450 students, I made two courtyards.


The next step was to link them with a commons.


This three part link creates cohesion between the student body, the spaces created, and the programatic elements.

final step of commons

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The repeated traditional classroom is designed for 25 students. Size of the space affects the nature of the activity to take place. Learning will be more productive, participatory, and engaging where there is a variety of sized spaces. The hub is a communal nucleus for 150 students to find identity and cultivate interdisciplinary learning.

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The interactions and levels of engagement are determined by the size of the space. My proposed model of allocated space is to enhance the level of engagement on a personal level as well as provide flexibility, variety, and choice acoustically and in transparency.

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By anchoring the interest groups to the ground and organizing the three hubs above, students are exposed to the focused resources they have access to, enhancing this notion of exploratory learning.

hub interest orange


The hubs are indicated in green, interest groups in blue.

Sectional relationships are key to make visual connections between spaces and link programatic elements, reenforcing this nature of overlap and network of learning.

section diagram thing-01 ecs section print without words

This photo was taken before the model was fully assembled but it represents the sectional relationship between the upper courtyard, lower courtyard, commons, and hub in the top right.


On the interior, I wanted to achieve flexibility in the spirit of giving students and teachers choice in how to shape the engagement and shape the size of the space. Ideas to achieve this flexibility involve movable panels. Also, transparency allows for visual connections. From the student’s perspective, you can be made aware of what other students are learning through being able to peek into rooms.

Movable wall large Movable wall corner

Taking advantage of the San Luis Obispo temperate climate and to extend the classroom beyond the walls we put up, connecting the indoor and outdoors became a design strategy.

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lighting integration-01shadows

Reflecting on where the project is now, I would address circulation and further defining it. In some of the hubs, I think there is too much flexibility. Perhaps defining some more fixed spaces would be helpful. I think that two of the hubs are consistent in nature, but one of them is sort of the odd man out based on the geometry I confined it to. On that note, this geometry lends itself to rhombus shared rooms. This obtuse and acute angle could be annoying in the space OR I would have to delve more deeply into those shapes and prove if and how they would work. One of the critiques I received was that more daylight could be let in, so perhaps I overshaded some spaces. The residential section and its integration could be further developed since it has been fiddled with less. Relation to site and how the academy, sports court, and parking relate to the culture and sense of place offered by Avila Beach, that particular valley, and treasures up See Canyon Road could be developed.


Overall, the overlap and multiple levels of integration cultivate a more effective learning environment.