School Space Re-Design

Initial Driving Question: How can we improve Muriel Clayton Middle School to better support learning?  Google Doc student handout.

Phase #1: Inspiration

Step One: With our inquiry question in mind, we toured our school with observational journals, pausing at various areas to take notes on our experiences.

Step Two: We gathered our found data & questions onto post it notes.

Step Three: Sharing Group Data. We gathered into groups and share our experiences with others, placing our post-its onto large sheets of paper. Individual knowledge becomes shared knowledge.

Step Four: Groups analyzed & organized the found data into similar sections on each poster. We also gallery walked to see what other groups found.


Phase #2.Developing Human Centred Design inquiry questions based on our found data.

This is always one of the most challenging hurdles to overcome as it requires developing a solid question which will lead to many possibilities and hopefully designs which can make a positive impact upon others. Taking our data and forming them into meaningful and human centred design questions, students were challenged to create questions which encompassed the following:

  • How can/might we?….
  • What impact are we trying to create?
  • Why does this impact matter? Who will we help?

Easier said then done. One group question began like this “How might we improve the school hallways to improve the school experience?” A great question, yet not quite stating what impact they were hoping to have. Why did it matter if the hallways were changed? Who would such a design impact? I challenged them to keeping editing. As a class we shared our questions on the whiteboard and collaboratively edited them together.

Soon, this question shifted into: How can we enhance the school hallways to better communicate and foster school culture and be welcoming to all? 

In the end, we had seven great questions:

How can we make the front entrance of MCMS support a safe and welcoming environment?

How can we improve the MCMS student washrooms to decrease graffiti and increase the overall bathroom experience?

How can we make our school environment more universally supportive? 

How can we make our forum more accessible and support student learning?

How can we enhance the MCMS’s office infirmary to support MCMS’s students?

How can we enhance the school hallways to better communicate and foster school culture and be welcoming to all? 

How can we reduce daily power consumption at MCMS to save energy use and costs?

We are currently in the process of the research stage…