An initiative of the National Design Alliance

Working with education leaders to create schools for 21st century learning

Campus International School-Perkins+Will.jpg

The Impact

Record investments will be spent in the next few years on the expansion, renovation, and construction of our nation’s schools. Now is the time to leverage this massive public investment to create a new model for school design that supports better outcomes for educators and learners.

More than 59 million students, teachers, and education employees spend their days in our public schools.

Instead of trapping our teachers and students in classrooms built for the 1950s, we need to leverage the massive investment in design and construction to create a new model for 2050.

Nearly $50 billion dollars will be spent in the next few years on the expansion, renovation, and construction of our nation’s schools.

But all too often, the design of these new facilities are still replicating perfect models for 20th century schools and schools are still being built to accommodate learning styles and careers of the past. New strategies for learning are being handicapped and undermined by learning environments that often ignore the advances of the past decades.

There are 120,000 existing K-12 public school buildings in America that were designed for a different time, different teaching styles, different purposes, a different world.

The good news is that these 20th century buildings can be successfully and economically transformed into next generation schools.

Watch the Reimagine America’s Schools team in action as they lead a community design forum in Spokane, WA.

Bishop Lynch HS-Perkins+Will.jpg

Our Mission

Students are learning differently today, and educational facilities must evolve with this shift in pedagogy. Reimagine America’s Schools takes this simple premise as its mandate and is transforming the way schools use space.

Through our charrettes, design workshops, and design thinking engagements we connect progressive educators with forward-thinking designers to create learning environments that embrace and support the way 21st century students learn, giving educators the tools they need to create flexible learning environments and improve student achievement in practical, replicable ways.

Photo: Bishop Lynch High School, Dallas, Texas. Courtesy Perkins+Will.


“Educational space needs to enable 21st century learning rather than forcing it into 20th century space.”

– Karen Perry, Henry County Schools, Georgia


Project Overview

Phase 1 of Reimagine America’s Schools will demonstrate how physical learning environments can support innovative educators to positively impact a student’s education, leading to improved learning outcomes.  


national search

In early 2019, Reimagine America’s Schools will select six school districts from across the country to participate in the first phase of the program. A design strategy will be developed with each district, and the districts will then be paired with teams of top architecture, design, and technology experts so that they may reimagine their schools.

community-based design charrettes
FEB - july 2019

The Reimagine leadership team will work with each district to schedule a series of design engagements in their community. Through design charrettes, interactive design thinking exercises, and technical assistance, educators and students from the six selected school districts will work in collaboration with technology experts and design professionals to create a new model for their learning environments.

national convening
summer/fall 2019

A national convening later in 2019 will serve as the capstone event to share the best and brightest ideas produced to date and launch a national conversation about innovative learning environments for the 21st century.


See how a Denver high school promotes student achievement through its use of flexible spaces and high-tech infrastructure. Video courtesy American Architectural Foundation.


Get Involved

Together, we can turn this into a full-scale national movement of students, educators, and parents standing together for change. When experts from curriculum, design, and technology collaborate to advance new ways of thinking about where and how we learn, they create a dynamic and powerful force. Will you join us?


nominate a school or district

Do you know a school or school district that would be interested in our program? Please let us know!

join the conversation on twitter

Interested in joining the conversation online? Be sure to follow us on Twitter and tag your posts #ReimagineOurSchools.

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