Winning the Long Game with Radical Incrementalism

Growing flexible and equitable learning environments that empower students

AIA Continuing Education Provider

1.5 LU / HSW

The success of North Park School for Innovation’s focus on environmental stewardship and sustainability in education is the story of a dedicated and visionary principal teaming with the Cuningham design team to explore meaningful ways to engage students with nature and natural systems, promote free play, and design for creative collaborative, innovative and flexible learning environments. North Park School for Innovation is a Green Ribbon School and has goals of achieving Zero Carbon by 2025. They have focused on closed-loop systems regarding energy and waste, actively engaging students and curriculum with this process.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Fully integrated learning environments. How to connect the indoor to the outdoor and the world beyond through design and educational programming to positively affect the well-being of users, and provide equitable access to environmental education.
  2. Radical Incrementalism. The power of doing one thing well, repeatedly, to power a path to net-zero. How long-term planning, educational programming and design intertwine to realize the higher goals of a school that positively affects the physical environment and the welfare of students, faculty, staff, and the larger community.
  3. Net-zero on a public-school budget. Making partners, managing resources, and enabling staff to empower change directed towards your goals.
  4. Empowering the most vulnerable. Programming that engages all students with the environment to build awareness, understanding, and agency in a changing environment.
Jen Garman
Jen Garman, AIA, LFA
Architect, Cuningham,

Jen leads the Regenerative Design Initiatives of Cuningham’s Grow Studio with her passion to create ecologically-minded spaces. The value of her holistic approach is built into the design details of the built environment and woven into her collaborations with clients to realize innovative visions for 21st century learning. Her work for schools across the nation is marked by her dedication to advocating for progressive learning spaces that positively impact people and the world around them.

Devon Clark
Devon Clark, ASLA
Landscape Designer, Cuningham,

Devon brings a passion for landscape architecture while combining a collaborative and interdisciplinary design approach to the team. He has contributed his skills from small scale to large scale K-12 schools, residential sites and public works projects. Working to meet the needs of the client, community, and team, Devon’s interactive approach allows him to craft site plans that are focused on form and site function and then translated into a human scale.

Neil Arends
Neil Arends

Jeff Cacek
Jeff Cacek  
Principal, North Park School for Innovation

Amanda Weiker
Amanda Weiker  
Project Designer, Cuningham

Track: Evidence and Impact

What evidence is there that design matters? That a particular method of delivery is advantageous? That one product is better than another? What lessons have you learned?

Primary Core Competency
Design of Educational Facilities: Acts as a resource to the design team in providing ongoing guidance and support to ensure that the emerging and ultimate design aligns with the established community vision, education goals, future programming, written design standards, best/next practices and education policy.

Learning Units/Health, Safety, Welfare (LU/HSW)
HSW Topics: Programming and analysis. Project planning and design. HSW Applicability: The programming, planning, and design of North Park School for Innovation is a decade long case study in enabling the vision of North Park to become a model school for sustainability and equity in education. The inclusive design process was centered on creating innovative learning spaces and safe, healthy environments that connect students to the environment with design and integrated educational programming that uses the school as a living lab for a healthier future.

learningSCAPES 2022

October 5-9
Marriott Rivercenter | San Antonio, TX

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