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Design for Safe and Healthy Children

A study of best practices for school safety, mental health, and wellness

FRIDAY | APRIL 3, 2020

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Room: Woodley

Public media has been flooded with stories of gun violence in schools over the past twenty years. As important and tragic as these events are, they sometimes overshadow equally concerning, and more frequently occurring, incidents such as self-harm, depression, bullying, substance abuse, and assault that occur in schools every year. Over the past year, a research team at Perkins Eastman has undertaken a study of factors that contribute to the safety and security of schools. The initial premise of the study is that students learn better and are more successful when they feel safe. The study gathers data and research from many sources to understand the different aspects relating to child development, mental health, and well-being. In this session, the team will present over-arching themes recognized from this research, and discuss some of the unique perspectives provided from case study schools in rural, suburban, and urban locations.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand key factors contributing to school safety
  2. Discuss how various features related to “hardening” or “softening” in schools relate to a child’s development, mental health, and wellbeing
  3. Analyze similarities and differences of perceived threats and design responses for three types of schools: urban, suburban, and rural
  4. Explore how designers and educators can collaborate to create safe and welcoming environments for students



March 18-20, 2021   Washington, D.C.

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