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Editor's Focus
Editor's Focus: Multi-layered Design

Editor's Focus: Multi-layered Design

Your telephone isn’t just for avoiding those political calls or talking to your grandma anymore. The cell phones of today serve multiple functions: secretary, flight planner, game buddy, grocery shopper and more.

Today’s education institutions are no different. A classroom building doesn’t contain just classrooms. No longer are school districts and campuses designing one-dimensional facilities that serve just one function. 

Nowhere is this more evident than in this year’s Educational Interiors Showcase competition. Throughout this issue you will find school and college facilities that do several things well, squeezing the project budget to the limit. The two main winners showcase the idea that everyone has a stake in education construction. 

This year’s Crow Island School Citation winner, Homestead Elementary School, Garden City, N.Y., went the extra mile to build less space while making it more useful. The addition to this elementary school can function as a library, art space or music room. An adjacent computer room can be used alone or in conjunction with the other spaces. Operable partitions can be opened and closed as needed.

In the same way, this year’s Collegiate Citation winner isn’t just a place where students can grab a cup of coffee. The Ohio State University’s Ohio Union, Columbus, is a place to dine and shop, plan an event in one of the facility’s ballrooms, or get involved with campus activities such as homecoming.

The building provides a literal crossroads for the campus. The jury described it as a “well-composed mosaic of spaces.” 

Students played a role in each phase of the union’s construction. They voted on color schemes, tested what furniture would be used, and worked closely with the architect to help design the ideal study spaces.

Many thanks to this year’s jury, who wore several hats during their service: as brainstormers, as experts, as someone who may maintain the facility, as designers. We appreciate their time and commitment to recognizing outstanding design. 

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