Super Session: The Design of Learning Environments

To Promote Student Health and Well-Being

AIA Continuing Education Provider

1.5 LU / HSW

Interactive Workshop: 100 minutes
Q&A: 20 minutes

Extensive research shows a strong correlation between the health of children and the primary environments in which they spend most of their time: home, school, and neighbourhood. Yet, when it comes to designing and constructing schools, architects and planners are rarely asked to employ design strategies that promote the mental and physical health of children. All too often, the holistic health of the child is not prioritized when devoting resources to the design of a school. The concept of salutogenesis—building design that seeks to enhance health and well-being—is relatively new and, as such, lacks guidelines that would otherwise assist architects when designing or renovating schools.

This supersession will introduce attendees to health and well-being research from many different fields to understand how this may be applied within the context of school design. Through interactive exercises this session will help attendees assess the efficacy of a comprehensive set of 27 design guidelines. Attendees will be introduced to the HSAT (Healthy School Assessment Tool). This tool will help school architects and planners as well as school districts and principals assess the educational adequacy of their learning spaces to map out steps necessary to create salutogenic learning environments that enhance the well-being and resilience of all children.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn how to use the Healthy School Assessment Tool (HSAT) that measures over 200 school building elements related to student health and wellbeing and apply this to measure the environmental quality of new and renovated buildings during design and after construction.
  2. Those who attend this supersession will be able to design learning spaces that facilitate the delivery of a holistic, well-rounded curriculum. Such environments will be developed from the ground up with a focus on social and emotional development and overall student wellness.
  3. Understand and be able to design schools that are driven by the latest research in the world of education and salutogenesis – the science of wellness.
  4. Gain a sound understanding of the essential foundational elements of good school design – and they can utilize this understanding to move schools and school districts away from the traditional and obsolete school buildings that still dominate the educational landscape and toward healthier, more sustainable and functional designs – always keeping student health and wellbeing as the focus.

Prakash Nair, AIA
Prakash Nair, AIA

Founding President & CEO | Education Design International
Email: | Web:

Prakash is a world-renowned architect, futurist and the Founding President & CEO of Education Design International. Over the past 20 years, Prakash has helped build EDI into the global leader for school design with innovative work in 54 countries on six continents. He has won many international awards including the 2022 Outstanding Educational Leadership Award and the A4LE MacConnell Award.

Prakash has written dozens of articles in leading education journals, and he has written three books. His first book, The Language of School Design is used as a textbook on school design at leading universities. His book, Blueprint for Tomorrow: Redesigning Schools for Student-Centered Learning was published by Harvard Education Press and has already become the industry gold standard for innovative school design worldwide.

Prakash served as an instructor for Harvard X “Leaders of Learning”, an online course that lets you explore and understand your own theories of learning and leadership. More than 280,000 people from around the world registered for and attended this course.

Parul Minhas
Parul Minhas

Sr. Planning & Technology Consultant | Education Design International

Parul is responsible for designing, managing, and maintaining EDI’s various technology tools such as the Company’s SPACE and PATH APPS and its EduSPACE APP. She also works closely with EDI’s President on leading industry research papers and coordinates the company’s various publications. Parul plays a key role in EDI’s online media presence.

She is a research scholar in the Department of Architecture, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, India and is slated to receive her Ph.D. in 2022. Through her expertise in salutogenic (healthy) design, Parul has created a series of guidelines and assessment tools that educational architects can benefit from as they develop new schools and renovate existing facilities in ways that best serve children’s holistic health and well-being. 

learningSCAPES 2022

October 5-9
Marriott Rivercenter | San Antonio, TX

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