ASCD Empower20 The Conference for Learning, Teaching, and Leading Together

ASCD Empower20: The Conference for Learning, Teaching, and Leading Together is being held March 13–16, 2020, in Los Angeles, California, at the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC). 



Designing Modern Learning Spaces

Architecture, Furniture, and Curriculum

Heidi Hayes Jacobs, Marie Hubley Alcock, Prakash Nair


How can we design learning spaces to support and engage modern students? Educators worldwide are creating remarkable learning environments in schools. Whether you are considering purchasing new forms of furniture, repurposing existing spaces, or creating totally new types of schools, join us for an exciting day of creativity and substance. 

We will explore a wide array of physical spaces and architectural plans with real examples and stunning photographs of new building designs, blueprints, and furniture design, including makerspaces, new library and media repurposing, and outdoor facilities. Most important, our focus will be on how these spaces are the nest for rich curriculum planning and personalized inquiry. Recognizing the range of budget considerations that exist in our schools, we will propose next steps and actions to assist you in shaping your building- or district-based planning needs.


Learning Objectives:

Participants, part of our innovation design team for the day, will

  • Explore possibilities for the design of learning spaces through images, architectural plans, and examples of remodeling and repurposing existing spaces.
  • Connect learning space designs directly to the possibilities for curriculum, instruction, and assessment plans.
  • Examine current furniture design and choices based on student interaction and brain research.
  • Draft an action plan to engage community members, students, and faculty in upgrading learning spaces and learning programs while juggling the reality of budget demands.