ARC 493 / 593: Architecture for learning environment: Rethinking the School Corridor

(A corridor in Forest Elementary School, Williamsville, NY).

(A corridor in Forest Elementary School, Williamsville, NY) 

School buildings play a key role in the learning experience of millions of children in the United States. Therefore, school facilities offer a unique opportunity to engage in a national-scale effort to transform learning environments for children. This special topic seminar aims to experiment with such transformation, beginning with a K-4 public school facility built in a Northeastern suburb in the 1950s.

Focusing on the circulation spaces, the project aims to examine the integration of cost-effective design renovation, art installations, and alternative programming in school settings. The research will focus on the capacity of color and strategic formal interventions to improve the sense of belonging in school-age children. The proposed design experimentation will enhance spatial legibility, enliven the school structure, and create a sense of place. Successful research output will be integrated into a potential design studio on 2020 Spring semester.


Erkin Özay is a registered architect and an urbanist with a research focus on urban asset distribution practices and their spatial impacts on the city, with a specific concentration on the design of educational environments. 
Jin Young Song's research and practice in the U.S. and Korea investigate parametric design of dynamic facade systems and the socio-cultural importance of the building facade.