Connecting the Built Environment, Community, and Curriculum: McBride Elementary
PlusUs worked with Parkhill, Smith & Cooper, an architectural design firm working primarily in the public sector, to design and fabricate 20 wayfinding, signage, and learning interventions that connect the school community, physical space, and curriculum in a newly constructed project-based elementary school.
The learning interventions take a variety of forms, and are informed by P21’s Framework for 21st Century Learning, The Buck Institute Gold Standard PBL guide, and elementary grade level Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.
Environmental Graphic Design
Print and Signage Design
Large scale signage is distributed throughout the school to assist in wayfinding, build a visual identity, and serve as an opportunity for younger learners to interact with letter forms, word assembly, and color. The color-keyed entry portals help locate each classroom hub. Due to the school's open floor plan, these interventions are visible from virtually all common spaces.
An exploration shed houses various tools for self directed inquiry on the school grounds and gardens.
Quotes are displayed and hidden in various locations around the school to provide inspiration and thoughtful reflection. The quotes also work to reinforce english language arts concepts like figurative language and historical context.
Infographics visualize information about the building's architectural features, such as the 443 foot concrete fire wall, and encourage learners to think about their resource consumption, as seen above a pair of drinking fountains. Other calls to action reinforce environmental consciousness in various places throughout the school.
Small signs, such as the one mounted at a bus drop-off point, highlight details about construction materials. "Have you seen me?" is a series of signs that identify local species and allow students to tag sightings to the sign using an augmented reality app. Learners can use the search and discovery process as an opportunity to explore the building's exterior, materials, and construction practices.