‘Qualities, Places, Settings – Family of Schools’

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Qualities, Places, Settings – Family of Schools



An exhibition exploring school design in Scotland was recently on at Architecture and Design Scotland, The Lighthouse, Glasgow (25th April – 20th May 2012). The exhibition ‘Qualities, Places, Settings – Family of Schools’ looked at a range of issues impacting on learning spaces.

The three parts of the exhibition consider Qualities, Places and Settings as key drivers in the design of Scottish schools.

At the centre of the exhibition – Family of Schools – are examples of new school designs that deliver different responses to their environment and surroundings. Across the country there are examples of local authorities choosing to develop their own ‘Family of Schools’ reflecting their local preferences and building on common design approaches informed by their experience. A ‘Family of Schools’ approach is a Scottish approach to delivering school designs relevant for Scotland. Videos can be viewed here

Addressing our current school estate, a section of the exhibition also looks at creating new ideas in old buildings through innovative uses of interior design, where the key stakeholders, the students, take centre stage in creating their spaces at James Gillespie’s in Edinburgh and Campbeltown Grammar. The “Try Before You Buy” project looks at ways in which innovative interior design techniques can create new educational settings. In Campbeltown a space was identified within the current 1960s school in which ideas generated by students and staff could be developed, tried and tested.

Building on the success of this project A&DS is now working with Edinburgh City Council to explore a space can be reimagined within a vacant Victorian building as a future decant facility for the upper school of James Gillespie’s High School whilst their new school is under construction. Visit newideasforoldbuildings.org for more information

By way of introduction, the exhibition also highlights some of the core design qualities we aspire to in all Scottish schools: challenges captured in drawings by Professor Alan Dunlop.

Speaking about the exhibition Sam Cassels, the Head of the Schools Programme, said

“Well designed learning places are first and foremost places which people want to be in. The aim of school design is straightforward: to create places where remarkable things can happen every day. This demands the relentless pursuit of better ways for design to enable learning.”







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