Educational Condenser

  • Alireza Shojakhani, M.Arch. 2019
  • Hometown Tehran, Iran
  • Class Core Design Studio IV: Integrative Design Practice
  • Instructor Jason Long
    Yusef Dennis
    Scott Abrahams

The evolution of educational systems, learning environments, and written material is far slower than the ever changing demands of work environments. Schools of the future should, therefore, adopt a higher flexibility in how they can allow for these rapid and radical changes of the multitude of professions, each with their own specific work environment, etiquettes, and cultures. In a world of mixing disciplines, cultures, beliefs, and values, it is crucial for students to develop entrepreneurial, communication, and cognitive skills in their early learning ages. Grouping students with vastly different personalities solely based on age should be challenged by individual-oriented responsive systems of evaluation, assessment, and grouping based on their abilities and interests.

The proposed design for the Educational Condenser school aims at creating a framework for multiple microlearning environments that can allow students to make meaningful decisions and create their educational experience based on their personal needs and thus, take ownership of their growth and education. By removing walls between classrooms and allowing for lawful mixing and proximity between learning spaces, students are exposed to multiple subjects in diverse fields of study while the circulatory infrastructure provides functionally meaningful spatial divisions without completely disconnecting the educational spaces.

Due to site conditions such as being in the New York City flood plane, being on the path of the developing green belt, and being on the edge of the industrial and residential zones of Greenpoint, the building is carefully positioned to reduce its footprint and stay out of the probable flood zone. Large programs such as the main auditorium and dining hall are elevated and inserted into the building as cantilevers that point and face key views of the site. The spaces in the building that are interrupted by these large cantilevering boxes programmatically adapt and mix with their programs and spaces, thus creating new functions and circulation paths that allow and encourage students to actively and passively engage with the multitude of educational spaces.