Programs & Events

Previous Conferences & Symposia > 2014 Annual Conference

Saturday Workshop Presentations

Saturday, October 4, 2014     9:00 am – 12:00 pm

The Future of Career/Vocational Education

Julie Walleisa, AIA, LEED AP, CEFP, Dekker/Perich/Sabatini
Benjamin Gardner, Dekker/Perich/Sabatini
ACE students, ACE Academy (Portland)

How can we transform our approach to career/vocational education spaces, to better prepare students for today's careers, and the requirements of tomorrow's careers that are not yet fully defined? What spaces and resources are needed to prepare students for creative, service, and other complex careers, compared to the industrial careers of the past? This interactive workshop will provide an overview of current trends in vocational education, and use group exercises to create a vision of vocational education in 2025, including consideration of instructional needs and physical environments. The workshop will be facilitated by two architects with experience in vocational design, as well as high school students from ACE Academy for Architecture, Construction & Engineering in Portland, OR to provide varied perspectives and assistance with the group exercises.


  • Participants will be able to describe current issues and trends in vocational education.
  • Participants will be able to define their own vision of vocational education in 2025.
  • Participants will be able to compare conflicting concepts of future vocational needs, and the school's role in bridging the gap between high school and college/career.

Participants will be able to apply this vision to inform planning and design decisions relating to current or future vocational education spaces.

View presentation [1.1 MB]

Making Things to Learn and Learning to Make Things

Frank Locker, PhD, Frank Locker Educational Planning
Nick Salmon, CTA
Elliot Washor, Big Picture Learning

THE SITUATION: This session explores the implications of student-focused maker spaces on our schools. It builds upon decades of research and results that illustrate the value of students making to learn, learning through their interests and at their own pace, and developing meaningful relationships with their peers, teachers and communities. 100 years ago, schools separated academic learning from applied learning with the underlying assumption that academics were unrelated to application, and that applied learning had little foundation in academics. Now researchers, philosophers and education thought leaders are weaving these experiences back together through concepts that include maker spaces, internships, project based learning and design thinking.

Making Things to Learn
The notion that making and thinking are deeply interrelated is disruptive to current practices in most of our schools. A complete educational program related to making things would:

  • Start with student interest and passion first
  • Accept a high degree of uncertainty
  • Trust that students are open, resourceful and persistent
  • Allow students to go deep, and in doing so, recognize that they will encounter breadth and interconnection
  • Learn from tinkering, exploration and discovery
  • Challenge students with open-ended questions, with no known answer, in which the teacher is co-explorer
  • Assure what is learned is made visible through numerous iterations and prototyping
  • Recognize that work includes failure, recovery, persistence The educational deliveries at most schools do not align with any of the eight points above.

Learning to Make Things
Making things includes fabrication, arts, music, food, technology and digital media. Traditionally considered to be separate and unrelated, they are now seen as part of a continuum of learning that includes academic learning.

WORKSHOP FORMAT: The workshop will feature four components:

  • Workshop facilitators will be joined virtually by Dr Eliott Washor, co-founder of Big Picture Learning, in an overview presentation making things, supported by research and exemplary schools.
  • Workshop participants then will be given a simple kit of parts and an open-ended challenge to be addressed through prototyping, research, failure, recovery and persistence. Extra points will be issued for making it beautiful!
  • The work produced will be critiqued by high school students, possibly from Canby Applied Learning Center, or Alpha High School in Gresham
  • A concluding facilitated discussion on facilities implications of making things


  • Foundational understanding of the cognitive power of making things
  • Direct experience with making things to solve problems
  • the connection between educational delivery and student-focused learning
  • Application of workshop concepts to facilities

View presentation [1.76 MB]

PORTLAND to PORTLAND...Global Connections and Collaborations...exploring new learning frontiers....impacting local communities

Professor Stephen Heppell, Professor of New Media Environments at the Centre for Excellence in Media Practice, Bournemouth, UK
Gary Overton, AHR Architect, Architect
Gary Spracklen, IPACA ,Director of Digital Learning and Innovatio
Terry White Nova Codesign, Edunova Associates
The presentation team at Portland are all members of UK Learning and Terry is an Executive Director of UK Learning

The Super Seminar session will be introduced through a special video link with Professor Stephen Heppell. Stephen will draw on his international experience to explain why the vision and approach to learning that is being developed at IPACA (where Stephen is Patron) is critical for successful learning for students, teachers and local learning communities irrespective of global location.Stephen will identify the need for more collaborative working and team working for both students and staff and demonstrate the value and gains of "real" and empowered student engagement in the design and use of learning spaces. Stephen will show how technology is a key enabler for learning and its use and design implications for the organization of individuals and group work activity.The Primary Objective of this "Portland to Portland" workshop, which all of the contributing design team share ( see below) will be to demonstrate the importance of a strong vision and pedagogy driving the design and organization of learning. There will be a strong focus on the importance of an integrated design team working with and on behalf of the learners teachers and educational clients and stakeholders. The Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy ("IPACA") is co-sponsored by the Aldridge Foundation and Dorset County Council and has Professor Stephen Heppell as it's patron.

Background on IPACA

The Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy (IPACA) is an all-through Community Academy for children aged 3 to 19 on the South Coast of England in Dorset.

It is an ambitious and exciting Academy with a distinctive educational vision.

  • It has a "stage not age approach" where all learners move on when ready to succeed.
  • It has at its heart a "schools within schools" model based on its House/Home base organisation.
  • Students become better known and supported in their family focused House groups throughout their time at IPACA supporting their personal and social needs as well learning together as a house group in their foundation programmes of study.
  • The learning environment is technology rich with an agnostic approach to devices.
  • Just like it's approach to furniture, the Academy's use of technology is flexible, agile and is there to support the needs of the learner.

Super Seminar Delivery Approach (2 workshops within one)

Stephen will introduce the workshop by direct video link. Stephen will set the scene and demonstrate the strength of the IPACA approach. Stephen will also identify why making a reality of such a vision that is shared by many still does not translate itself into a transformational sustainable experience within the culture and design of many schools. The educational drivers that were established and then developed through dialogue to influence the design of the campus and the creation of innovative learning spaces will be described. The session will focus on how an integrated design team was established that promoted the development of a responsive not reactive design approach. This created design dialogue with a much wider range of design professionals that was critical for the design and delivery of this progressive vision. This input will be followed by a practical workshop activity with all delegates identifying the skills and competencies needed by all professionals for the delivery and sustainability of such a powerful vision through an integrated design team approach. The session will go on to explore the importance of staff and students working in different ways to exploit the potential of the new learning spaces. This is the underdeveloped area of learning and teaching pedagogy which is often ignored and can result in regression through a lack of understanding and confidence in working with students in new spaces. Transition strategies will also be explored. We will share strategies that help staff develop new skills with students to have effective transition into new environments. Practical exercises will be used to illustrate this in the workshop .This will look at approaches with students and teachers in the spaces and the way technologies and team working is being applied.

A second workshop activity will look at developing new lead learning behaviors through collaboration and the use of technology to lead and manage learning in these new environments. We intend to further develop the title theme of connecting continents exploring frontiers by sharing inputs from Oregon teachers and other Portland Leaning Communities who are part of CEFPI.

We believe this workshop will appeal to a wide range of delegates and place practical examples of innovation around learning at the heart of what we are creating day by day at Portland UK, Portland, Oregon and internationally. The session is intended to be interactive throughout share and building on the contributions of all delegates.

View presentation [91.9 MB]

1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Empowering Educational Transformation with Lean

Craig Webber, Group2 Architecture Interior Design
Laura Plosz, Group2 Architecture Interior Design

The workshop will illustrate the use of the Lean process to empower educational transformation. Lean is a management philosophy derived from industrial engineering with one of the most famous examples being the Toyota Production System. Lean has been widely adopted in the healthcare sector and in the Province of Saskatchewan is now being applied to the educational sector as part of the Saskatchewan School Bundle project. Participants will be divided into three groups to participate in various elements of the Lean process: one group to work on Value Stream Mapping; a second group on the '7 Ways' building shell development; and a third group on the '7 Ways' interior concept development. Group 1: Participate in the '7 Ways' building shell exercise. '7 Ways' is a Lean process which requires the participants to develop seven options for solving one problem. Each group will be provided three completed 'Ways' and will be asked to develop four additional Ways based upon the project parameters. Upon completion participants will report to the full group on the challenges and learnings related to this process. The full group will then participate in the review and selection of the most advantageous way utilizing the Lean 'Selection by Advantage' method. Group 2: Participate in the 'Value Stream Mapping' exercise. 'Value Stream Mapping' requires that the participants identify a typical process with steps and associated times during and between tasks. This group will be asked to outline the design process for an educational facility including time associated with tasks and deliverables. The participants will be asked to identify Value Added elements and Non-Value Added elements. These elements are assessed based on contribution of value to the 'Customer'. Group 3: Participate in the '7 Ways' interior concepts exercise. The participants will be provided with program gaming pieces related to the area of the shell being developed by Group 1. The goal will be to create seven distinct concepts that fit within the 'container' provided with the goal of improving the learning environment. After all groups have reported and shared learnings the group will select the most advantageous Way through the Lean 'Selection by Advantage' method. Examples of other Lean events utilizing these processes will be shared to illustrate the development of of these exercises as well as subsequent scale models and full scale mock-ups. Participants will receive an introduction to the application of Lean methodology to the educational sector. These principles can be used to transform the design of learning environments and to identify opportunities for broader educational reform or improvement.


  • Learn about alternative processes for improving educational delivery
  • Learn about alternative processes for gathering input from stakeholders
  • Learn about alternative processes for improving educational facility design
  • Learn about how the Lean 3P process can fit within a P3 (Public Private Partnership) procurement process

View presentation [1.4 MB]

Safety + Security in 21st Century Facilities

Gary Armbruster, MA+ Architecture
Frank Locker PhD, Frank Locker Educational Planning

THE SITUATION Safety and security in schools is of paramount importance. Educators nationwide maintain an almost-universal "cultural default" understanding that safety and security is best provided by strategic improvements to the 20th century model of facilities planning: isolated classrooms situated on isolated corridors, poised for "lockdown" at a moment's notice. Those improvements include cameras and alarms. Unfortunately most architects share the same understanding. Unfortunate because these "default" concepts contradict emerging best practices in 21st century school facilities planning. Unfortunate because they contradict proven best practices in safety and security design. Unfortunate because best practices in safety and security actually align with best practices in 21st century facility planning.

WORKSHOP APPROACH This seminar/ workshop will explore the dynamic relationship between 21st century school facilities planning and achieving high levels of safety and security. Dr Frank Locker will initiate the dialogue with an overview of current best and emerging next educational practices, citing exemplar facility designs from across the United States and several other countries. Gary Armbruster will follow with an outline of the most effective principles in planning for safety and security. Together they will interweave security and safety with planning for 21st century learning by critiquing a variety of school planning concepts. Seminar/ workshop participants will then work in small groups to develop safe, secure, innovative 21st century facilities plans. They will be "grounded" with facilities context information developed by Gary and Frank. Teams will report out their concepts, and a whole group discussion facilitated by Frank will complete the seminar.


  • Broad understanding of safety and security issues in educational facilities
  • Overview of planning principles for 21st century learning environments
  • Ability to reference CPTED principles
  • Ability to apply safety and security concepts to 21st century learning environments

What's in Your Tool Box?

Molly Smith, REFP, AICP, thinkSMART Planning, Inc.

This presentation stems from a desire to share many years experience in planning and facilitating successful school projects from the perspective of state-level, school district, consultant, and architectural planning. Our purpose will be to share and demonstrate successful "tools of the trade" developed through our collective experiences. The following topics will be discussed, debated and demonstrated:

  • Collaborative Planning – the Who and Why: Our team will discuss the importance of collaborative planning and team composition, seating, time frames of meetings, and why they are so important to creating a dynamic committee.
  • Facilitator vs Preacher: Our team will compare and contrast facilitated discussions with presentations and the important work that needs to be completed by the committee – both within the meetings and outside. Challenging committee dynamics and how to handle them will also be discussed.
  • Touring: Virtual and Otherwise We will discuss the importance of touring peer facilities and how to conduct an in-district, out-of-district or virtual tour.
  • A War Chest of Session Exercises: Our team will discuss and demonstrate a variety of innovative session exercises we regularly utilize and how these are used to produce different committee responses. Some techniques discussed will be interactive group discussions, carousel questions, visual surveys, curriculum mapping, space renaming, hands-on block and lego exercises, learning scenarios w/furniture props, Participants will be asked to add their own experiences and successful techniques with the group.
  • Presentations and How to Make the Most of Them: We will discuss how, when and why to utilize presentations to inform and intrigue your committee, how to utilize group expertise, and how to keep a meeting moving.
  • Virtual Interaction and Committee Information: A variety of free web-based resources allow planners to maintain a critical project record and on-going contact with their planning committees and communities. Facilitators will discuss how to create blogs and wikispaces through free on-line resources.