Our passion for education and community outreach was ignited recently when our Tulsa office was asked to visit the Educare Pre-K classroom at Hawthorne Elementary in Tulsa Public Schools and talk about design inspiration as part of their architecture unit. Heather Miller from marketing and Adriana Vadasz from the interior design team were a great fit–bringing both a love of children and design talent to brighten their day and expand their young minds to what’s possible. Iggy Peck, Architect, one of our favorite children’s books, was the kickoff to our lesson.
Can good design make 8th grade math more exciting? We think it does, and knowing what tough critics middle schoolers can be made this year’s Project Classroom makeover challenge even more fun. One of the most gratifying projects we complete every year, this mini makeover of a public school classroom for a deserving teacher uses all aspects of our project management–from planning and design through construction.
After selecting Ms. Emily Partridge, an 8th grade algebra teacher at East Central Junior High in Tulsa as our 2016 recipient, our team of volunteers met with her in July to learn about how she uses the room, her wish list for the space and color preferences. Here’s what the classroom looked like before we got a hold of it.
After three months of planning, our team (along with partners Cyntergy AEC and Wallace Engineering) took over the room for the weekend to breathe new life into the equation, so to speak. Our favorite part is the big “reveal” on Monday morning, when Ms. Partridge and her students saw the room for the first time.
Our approach was a collegiate theme, inspired by Ms. Partridge telling us how she encourages her students to think beyond high school. A chalkboard wall was our solution when she mentioned how much they like writable surfaces.
We look forward to Project Classroom every year–making a difference for students is why we do what we do at KSQ.more
KSQ has been visiting K12 schools throughout the country for career days and while judging the NAWIC LEGO Block Kids competition recently we met a shy 6th grader named Justin who was one of the top finishers in his bracket. After the competition, Justin’s grandmother approached us to express her gratitude and share her grandson’s interest in the design field. We then coordinated an office visit for both of them to help Justin get a better understanding of the architecture and engineering careers…more
It’s fair to say KSQ staff relish an opportunity to play with LEGOs and encourage a fondness in others for the classic building blocks. We’ve created an original bilingual LEGO STEM classroom program and recently had the opportunity to judge a Block Kids competition. The national LEGO building competition is hosted by the NAWIC (National Association of Women in Construction) and aims to introduce K-6 school children to the AEC industry. Members of our Charlotte office judged a local competition and helped select students to move on to the regional (and hopefully national) level. The event showed us what students could design and create using 100 LEGO blocks, a piece of string, and aluminum foil within a 40 minute time frame.more
This week a KSQ design team’s efforts brought a teacher to tears–happy ones. Over the weekend, we completed our third annual Project Classroom makeover for a deserving and dedicated public school teacher at Grissom Elementary in Tulsa Public Schools. Her reaction at the “big reveal” Monday morning made all the hard work well worth it!more
When I began studying gerontology (the social, psychological, cognitive and biological aspects of aging) and researching senior living design, I toured dozens of existing senior living communities across the United States. Whether the property was upscale or inexpensive, I noticed the lack of natural light and outdoor experience spaces across the board. The design was counter-intuitive to the research and the need for designs that provided more than shelter, food and medical services was apparent.more
Over the past few decades professionals involved in the planning and construction of buildings have grown increasingly concerned about the impact of the built environment over the planet and humankind. Third-party building certification systems such as LEED, Green Globes, and Energy Star have been developed to evaluate and rate the performance of projects while also serving as a sustainability guide during design and construction. Recently The WELL Building Standard was created and launched as another certification system, but WELL certification focuses specifically on human health and well-being and evaluates the impact of the built environment on people’s mental and physical health.more
What do you get when you mix architects, interior designers, 5th graders, Legos and the Spanish language? An incredible dual language STEM project experience! Our team recently had the opportunity to work with students at Eisenhower International School where they are immersed in Spanish in their classroom. Since several of our staff speak Spanish as their native language, we thought this would be a great combination of sharing their language as well as what we do in our profession. We were right.more
I wasn’t overly fond of high school. I was painfully shy, my world was small, and cell phones didn’t exist so I couldn’t hide behind my phone scrolling through social media. Recently, I returned to my high school campus, and instead of being the reluctant, shy student I once was, I was the confident professional supporting Kingston High School both as a 1982 graduate and as a team member from KSQ–the firm chosen for a comprehensive and historic re-imaging of the school’s 100-year old campus.more
As (my) Baby Boomer generation inches closer and closer to both retirement and our “golden years” of a senior lifestyle, more and more of this generation are seeking an intellectually stimulating lifestyle where we can engage in multigenerational experiences and events sponsored by our alma mater such as university courses, lectures, art exhibits, music performances as well as football and basketball games. Active seniors often choose to reside in a university-based retirement community that provides the vitality and energy associated with campus life. Who can blame them?more
Student housing on a grand scale is the defining characteristic of the new Residential & Dining Commons at Southern Methodist University. The sheer scope of the project—1,250 beds in five residence halls, a 500-seat dining commons and an 800-car parking structure – is massive, even by Texas standards. But the detailed Georgian-style architecture paired with high-quality materials, including slate roofing, brick and high-performance glass also contribute to the impressive nature of this project that opened to students in August.more
Sure, it was about 36 degrees this morning but the excitement about the new Collegiate Center at Edison Preparatory School was motivating enough to draw a crowd of supporters out on the school’s lawn to break ground on the project. It wasn’t just a quick “it’s cold outside event” either. No, this had to be celebrated right so we brought in the marching band and pom squad and took the time to recognize the goal of the project–we’re taking preparatory to a whole new level, and the groundbreaking ceremony had to be taken to a whole new level as well.more