Eye to the Future

Nov. 1, 2003
"Schools of Tomorrow Envisioning the Future of Education Facilities" was the focus of a special roundtable conducted by American School & University at

“Schools of Tomorrow — Envisioning the Future of Education Facilities” was the focus of a special roundtable conducted by American School & University at the fall meeting of the American Institute of Architects Committee on Architecture for Education.

A panel of five prominent education architects and planners addressed a room full of fellow professionals, exploring concepts that will shape the look and function of future school facilities. (The roundtable will be published in AS&U's January 2004 issue). Technology, community use, sustainability, security and other issues were explored during the event.

While much “futurizing” was discussed, it was evident that tomorrow's education facilities will have as their foundation many of the concepts that today's progressive institutions strive to include in their current construction projects — some of which can be found in this year's Architectural Portfolio competition. For a glimpse of some of today's exceptional learning environments, you can peruse the more than 200 projects included in this year's compendium.

Each year, American School & University gathers some of the nation's most prestigious education administrators and architects to serve as jurors for the Architectural Portfolio competition (turn to p. 10 and 12 to meet the jury and read its commentary). The jury reviews projects over two days, selecting two primary citation winners, category citation winners, and other outstanding projects:

  • The William W. Caudill Citation — the top K-12 honor — was presented to Thompson Middle School, Newport, R.I., designed by HMFH Architects.

  • The Louis I. Kahn Citation — the top post-secondary honor — was awarded to Central Texas College, Planetarium and Technology Center, Killeen, Texas, designed by Freese and Nichols.

  • A Special Citation was awarded to Crow Island School's (Winnetka, Ill.) Environmental Master Plan, designed by The Kestrel Design Group.

Of course, the Architectural Portfolio would not be the valuable sourcebook it is if it weren't for the architects and education institutions that contribute their innovative ideas. By sharing this vital information, schools and universities have the resources to continue raising the bar as the next generation of learning environments are planned, designed and constructed.



Number of citations awarded by the expert jury to projects exhibiting the best in education architectural design and planning.


Elementary-school projects selected for publication in this year's Architectural Portfolio.


Middle-school projects appearing in this year's awards competition.


High-school projects selected to appear in the 2003 Architectural Portfolio.


Post-secondary projects appearing in this year's awards competition.


Number of selections from New Jersey, which accounted for the most projects featured from any state, followed by North Carolina with 16.

About the Author

Joe Agron | Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher

Joe Agron is the editor-in-chief/associate publisher of American School & University magazine. Joe has overseen AS&U's editorial direction for more than 25 years, and has helped influence and shape national school infrastructure issues. He has been sought out for comments by publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, ABC News and CNN, and assisted with the introduction of the Education Infrastructure Act of 1994.

Joe also authors a number of industry-exclusive reports. His "Facilities Impact on Learning" series of special reports won national acclaim and helped bring the poor condition of the nation's schools to the attention of many in the U.S. Congress, U.S. Department of Education and the White House.

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