AAF Design for Learning Council Convenes

On October 28, 2013, the American Architectural Foundation welcomed national leaders in design and education to the House of Sweden in Washington, D.C., for the inaugural convening of the Design for Learning Council. A report on the proceedings will be available here shortly.

The Council is being formed through an invitation-only process and will be composed of an influential cross-section of leaders in education, technology, philanthropy, and design, including:

    • Innovative and entrepreneurial architects and educators;
    • Researchers from universities and other institutions focused on the learning environment’s impact on teaching and learning;
    • Technology and digital education specialists;
    • Product manufacturers engaged in education research;
    • Executives from national education and design organizations;
    • Business leaders engaged in education as part of their corporate citizenship efforts; and
    • Representatives of major education foundations.

Design for Learning is AAF’s national initiative to advance the compelling value of design and the design process in supporting educational innovations, improved learning outcomes, and stronger communities. It builds on AAF’s decade of experience engaging education leaders in more than 100 urban school districts—convening intensive design collaborations; conducting observational and applied research; and prototyping next-generation educational models.

Attendees: (From left, back row) David Greenberg, Vice Chancellor for Institutional Partnerships, University of Denver, and Founder, Denver School of Science and Technology; William Bushaw, PhD, Executive Director, PDK International; Tim Dufault, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, President & CEO, Cuningham Group Architecture; Charles Miller, PhD, Assoc. Professor, Learning Technologies/Co-Director, LT Media Lab, University of Minnesota; Ron Bogle, Hon. AIA, President & CEO, AAF; Mark Goodman, Publisher, Learning by Design; G. Craig Wilson, Director, Market Development, Steelcase Education Solutions; Jim Wood, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, REFP, Director, PK-12 Education, FGM Architects; Tom Carroll, President, National Commission on Teachers & America’s Future; Patrick Glenn, AIA, REFP, LEED AP, K-12 Regional Practice Leader, Perkins+Will; Kevin Sullivan, Program Specialist, AAF; Mark de Groh, Director of Knowledge Management & Innovation, AAF; Jim French, AIA, National Educational Leader, DLR Group; Thom Minner, Director of Planning, AAF; (from left, front row) Ira Socol, Design Project Manager, Albemarle County Public Schools; Eric Cantor, Chairman & CEO, New Mountain Learning; Kerry Leonard, AIA, Senior Education Planner & Principal, FGM Architects; Anne Bryant, Executive Director Emeritus, National School Boards Association; Pamela Moran, PhD, Superintendent, Albemarle County Public Schools; Pam Loeffelman, FAIA, LEED AP, Principal & K-12 Practice Director, SHW Group; Linda Lentz, Senior Editor, Architectural Record, McGraw-Hill Construction; Deb Grasman, Senior Interior Designer, Steelcase Education Solutions; John Pfluger, AIA, LEED AP, Principal Cuningham Group Architecture; Tom Rogér, Vice President & Senior Project Executive, Gilbane; Bryce Pearsall, FAIA, Managing Principal & Chairman, DLR Group (David Greenberg, Eric Cantor, Anne Bryant, and Bryce Pearsall are also members of the American Architectural Foundation’s Board of Regents).

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The American Architectural Foundation has been dedicated to advancing the role of architecture and design in American society since its founding in 1943 by the American Institute of Architects.

In its 75 years in existence the Foundation’s work has taken many forms — from educational programming and exhibitions in its early years to large-scale design initiatives and programs —all of which serve to create a rich legacy.

As the managing partner of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design for twenty years, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the United States Conference of Mayors, the Foundation helped move the needle on design and cities. And, through its other signature programs like Save America’s Treasures in partnership with National Parks Service, the Sustainable Cities Design Academy, and Design for Learning, the Foundation has provided critical design leadership training and technical assistance to hundreds of elected officials, education leaders, business leaders, and other key decision makers in the design process.

In recent years, cities and civic leaders have embraced design and design thinking in a way that could not have been imagined when the Foundation begin its work back in 1943 — and AAF’s role in this transformation is a source of great pride for the Foundation. With this increased interest in the role of design in shaping our cities came a proliferation of new organizations to support and facilitate this cultural shift. These advances in the role of design in American society and changes in the nonprofit design sector, coupled with the departure of the organization’s longest-serving CEO, prompted the Foundation’s Board to embark on an intensive and lengthy process to examine the ongoing role and work of the Foundation.

As the Board of Regents reflected on the positive changes of the cultural value of design, the accomplishments of the Foundation, and how the legacy of the Foundation’s work is being carried out by its former staff in new roles and organizations across the country, they reached the conclusion that the American Architectural Foundation had accomplished what it set out to do. As a result, the Foundation began to complete its remaining programs and wind down its operations in the Summer of 2018 and the organization’s endowments have been distributed to allied organizations. The Foundation’s research and reports will remain available on its website as a resource to the field.

The Foundation’s work would not have been possible without the incredible talents of its many staff over the decades, the generous support of its funders, and the tireless dedication of its civic & design partners across the country. The Board remains deeply proud of the significant contributions Foundation has made in its 75-year history and would like to acknowledge that this would not have been possible without the efforts, dedication, and support from so many of you.