Design Matters in the Little Things

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Apr 29, 2022 Linda Mark Improving the Human Experience

Living our vision of improving the human experience through thoughtful design comes in all shapes and sizes. Linda Mark shares her story of feeling the impact of her work on the Explore! Community School project.

This school serves the East Nashville community where all the struggles and beauty of a racially, socially, and economically diverse neighborhood come into play.  The principal, Stephanie, and I made a professional connection as she shared stories of her teaching career and what her students truly needed. And I could see how our architectural design could help address some of those needs; this was a real life moment, not just something taught in school as best practice. 

In architectural school, we all learn that natural light is important. And then with educational clients, we discuss the delicate balance between designing walls for posters and teaching tools versus using windows to provide natural light that helps students learn. Explore’s teachers were grateful that our design leaned toward natural light because they saw firsthand how students behave and perform better-- they even saw better test scores with their students!

The principal spoke at great lengths about how the building we designed had positively impacted her students and how grateful she was that we took so many little things into consideration. From the large windows to alcoves for small group meetings to color selections, she could sense our thoughtfulness around every corner. Hearing this made me realize we really are fulfilling our mission, listening carefully, and developing intentionally.

It really does make a difference.

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