Blueprint for Learning was a grant opportunity hosted by Remake Learning in 2019-2020 to help schools and organizations across the region redesign learning spaces to better engage 21st-century learners.
A Blueprint Overview
The Blueprint For Learning journey started in July 2019 with Remake Learning’s two-day Space Design Summit. This public event welcomed nearly 200 members of the network to explore the anatomy of modern learning spaces and inform prospective applications.
Joined by leading architects and designers from around the country, attendees learned the facts and figures around how schools (and other places of learning) are designed and built, the principles of effective learning space design, and the connection between the school space and a school’s vision for learning.
The Space Design Summit was co-hosted by Remake Learning and Reimagine America’s Schools, an initiative of the National Design Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting cities and schools through change and transformation.
Following the Space Design summit, Remake Learning received over 100 Blueprint for Learning applications. The review team worked diligently to narrow this pool to 16 finalists.
Finalists convened as the Blueprint for Learning cohort in fall 2019 and attended a series of team-based design sessions. National partners, including the National Design Alliance and Reimagine America’s Schools, led the sessions, along with local architects and space design experts. Together, they helped cohort members craft their final design plans.
In November 2019, cohort members submitted their final design plans for funding and each received $50,000 to bring their project.
In 2020, the Blueprint for Learning members broke ground on their space design projects.
Though many faced changes and challenges due to COVID-19, construction continued for many throughout the year. Others will continue their builds in 2021 and beyond.
During this time, organizations also honed an important aspect of their projects. Blueprint for Learning challenged each cohort member to explore new and innovative uses for their redesigned spaces. They will consider how their spaces might serve as a hub for professional development, continued learning, or community engagement, and develop related community-based programming.
BEFORE & AFTER
See before and photos from completed Blueprint for Learning spaces.
Center that Cares | Pittsburgh, PA
Center that CARES re-envisioned a portion of an old multi-purpose space as an engaging maker space with both high- and low-tech resources and global learning technology.
North Elementary School | Wheeling West Virginia
North Elementary School, part of Monongalia County Schools, remade an overgrown and underutilized greenspace into a functional, accessible, and inquiry-based outdoor learning environment that enables students to learn about the world around them while gardening, exploring nature, and problem-solving.
Creating Places for Active Learning on a Budget
A webinar hosted by Reimagine America’s Schools, celebrating the achievements of the Blueprint for Learning cohort and sharing the lessons learned from creating these active and engaging learning spaces on a limited budget.
Space to Learn
A publication from The Grable Foundation offering ideas and inspiration for transforming learning spaces.
If Kids Built a City
A tour of possibilities for play in the Pittsburgh region from The Grable Foundation.
Reimagine America’s Schools works to leverage public funds invested in school construction and modernization to support new ways of learning. In response to the events of 2020, Reimagine America’s Schools spent the year studying how these disruptions might change public schools and how the design of the learning environment must evolve to support these changes.
In 2019, Reimagine America’s Schools partnered with Remake Learning in the design of a variety of learning environments that support 21st-century learning strategies, including STEM, STEAM, Maker, and other active learning initiatives.
Pittsburgh Area Architects
After Reimagine America’s Schools national Design Team completed a 3-day Design Institute, Pittsburgh area architects provided pro-bono services to help complete the 16 Blueprint for Learning projects. We gratefully acknowledge the Pittsburgh area firms who worked with the 16 grantees to realize these projects:
- AM Architecture
- Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
- Biafore Landscape Development
- Stefani Danes, Carnegie Mellon University
- Desmone Architects
- IKM Architecture
- Joshua D. Lee, PhD & Annie Rantitila, Carnegie Mellon University
- LGA Partners
- Moshier Studio
- Pfaffmann + Associates
- Studio Volcy, LLC
- VEBH Architects
- Allegheny Valley School District
- Attack Theatre
- B.F. Jones Memorial Library
- Bible Center Church
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania
- The Campus Laboratory School at Carlow University
- Center that Cares
- Heinz History Center
- Hope Academy
- Human Services Center Corporation
- North Elementary School
- Pittsburgh Public Schools
- Providence Connections
- Riverview School District
- Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf
- Wheeling Country Day School