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Readers Respond: How Can We Build Better Schools?

Responses: 5

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From the article: Winning School Designs
Students learn best when they have a safe, comfortable space to interact with their teacher and classmates. What features would you include in the design of your dream school building?

Secure windows

I read your comment about not being able to secure large windows. We have an application patent on a system that retro fits polycarbonate (200x stronger than glass) over existing glass. We are working with the Sandy Hook Commission and hope to do doors and windows soon in Connecticut. It works and is almost invisible. [NOTE: See Defence-Lite (DL) One system at floodstacker.com for more information.]
—Guest Gary Trott

Better Schools Mean Better People

I think we should create a school for adults who dropped out of school so they can get their diploma...for ages 21 and over, in all 50 states.
—Guest Zuri Jones

Treehouse school - learning in freedom

How I wish a school could be built on a TREE HOUSE... in fact a series of them... each subject/class on 1 tree connected through hanging bamboo/rope bridges with cable car rides in between / and slides that would bring the children down. Sort of have them live a dream, reach out to the sky yet keep them "down to earth" That would be MY dream school! :)
—Guest suruchi

Modern Schools - Lipstick on a Pig

Over-population has resulted in the need to build rapidly with light-weight materials. There isn't time to build human-friendly structures. These modern structures may admit lots of light, and often are painted in colors like children's toys in a failed effort to make them desirable, but like most modern architecture that has been foisted on the public, they are cold and only conducive to efficiency. Thank goodness it is difficult for humans to live without plants, else there would be nothing but plastic boxes with large ugly panes of glass; naked steel framing (showing off the architect's "genius"); jutting, harsh angles; and pavement. It's no wonder kids are on drugs, the world is too mechanical and electronic - not conducive to human flowering. Suggestion: recognize this truth that people don't state for fear of appearing ignorant and unsophisticated. Example: In Denmark, where these horrors abound, niches with remnants of lovely ornamentation of the past are pointed out.
—Guest Build for humans.

The "both/and" membrane

There should be places at the edges of buildings that are both IN and OUT -- where you can enjoy nature while being semi-connected to the inside. Screened porches are an example, as are atriums with major plant materials, or greenhouses. It's a loss when a building is a single box plunked into its site with only one sharp plane dividing the two worlds. With the "both/and" spaces, you can still do school-related activities but without so much glare, wind, rain, mosquitoes, dust, etc. There are lots of ways that people and nature-oriented designers can manifest this idea of a "both/and" space -- both for new construction and remodels -- and our schools will become richer places for it. Thanks for listening!
—Guest Robert Gay, architect

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