Making an Impact

The role of the physical facility and its impact on building users once again is receiving national attention.

Most notably, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) is spearheading a couple of research projects in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health, the General Services Administration and University of Wisconsin — Madison, to study the effects of design on the human mind and how people are affected by different environments. While not specifically targeted at education facilities, many of the results — which are expected by the end of this year — no doubt will be applicable to schools and universities.

Numerous education administrators and planners remain focused on a facility's impact on learning and achievement, and strive to incorporate proven design principles into new construction and retrofit projects. Some of these best practices are evident in this year's Educational Interiors Showcase (EIS).

This edition of the EIS — the first and most prestigious competition honoring exemplary school and university interiors — highlights 90 of the most outstanding learning environments at institutions nationwide.

To judge this year's entries, American School & University assembled a panel of prestigious education and architectural professionals (see p. 12 and 14). The jurors spent two days reviewing projects, paying particular attention to those concepts and ideas that made a project exceptional. After an exhaustive process, the jury selected 23 projects to receive citations.

The top K-12 honor — the Crow Island School Citation — was presented to Century High School, Sykesville, Md., designed by SHW Group. The Collegiate Citation — the premier higher-education honor — was awarded to Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, for its Union Market, designed by Livermore Edwards and Associates and Levin Porter Associates.

In addition to the two main citations, the jury awarded a Special Citation to Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, for its Robert and Jane Meyerhoff House, designed by Artelier Design and D.R. Brasher.

The concepts and ideas illustrated in this issue would not be possible without the education institutions and architectural firms that stepped up to share their visions of innovative education interior design and planning — ensuring today's facilities will continue to welcome and inspire this generation, as well as future generations, of students.



Years the Educational Interiors Showcase has been in existence. It is the first and most prestigious national competition honoring exemplary school and university interior environments.


Number of school and university projects selected for inclusion in the 2003 Educational Interiors Showcase.


Number of citations awarded in this year's competition by an independent jury of school, university and architectural professionals.


Project awarded a Special Citation by this year's jury — in addition to the Crow Island School and Collegiate top citations — in recognition of the unique aspects and innovative solutions offered.


Number of projects from Texas, the state with the most schools and universities featured in this year's Educational Interiors Showcase competition. New Jersey followed with nine projects.

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