Design Workshop – Fostering Creativity, Collaboration, and Engagement

Thursday evening, November 1, Centerbrook Architects hosted its first of two Design Workshops, as Indian Creek embarks on its Campus Unification journey. A total of 60 participants, varying widely in role, experience, and expertise, came together to brainstorm and think creatively about broad campus layout options, Lower School building design and learning space relationships, interconnectivity with the Upper School building and program, and opportunities through space and layout to foster community pre-k through 12.
Over the course of three hours, Lower and Upper School faculty, administrators and staff, students, alumni, parents, and trustees, participated in four activity sessions. The evening started off with Project Team introductions and quickly dove into the first activity. In the provided Workbooks, individuals began with a guided 50-minute outdoor site walk-through, on what turned out to be a beautiful night and start to the workshop. Upon coming back inside, participants warmed up with a rapid fire activity to discuss what makes Indian Creek special. Over a dinner break, Centerbrook’s Jim Childress and Russell Learned, provided a short presentation about 21st learning spaces and design concepts, to provide some education and design thinking before diving into more activities.
For the next two activities, both in table-top format, groups were given materials including large campus maps, boards, markers, and representative coins/trinkets, to visualize and map out their group’s objectives. The first table-top grouped individuals by expertise, with the goal of identifying Indian Creek learning space needs and relationships to each other (unique to different LS grade groupings),  PK-12 administrative/staff layout opportunities, and finally, how PK-12 community can be fostered through thoughtful campus lay-out and space creation. The final activity, which “pulled it all together,” had groups visualize and organize their vision for the campus lay-out, including placement of the Lower School and its various important components. Placement of potential shared community spaces, to build connections PK-12, were also discussed by groups and laid in relationship to the existing Upper School and their chosen Lower School placement.  
The Workshop’s flow strived to push group creativity and critical thinking, as well as team collaboration. Stakeholders were all intermixed and re-blended for each activity, creating an opportunity for very different individuals to work together and also, get to know one another. Indian Creek School is grateful to Centerbrook Architects for not only the architectural experience that they bring, but their exceptional experience and understanding of the importance of stakeholder engagement and building pre-k through 12 community and continuity. Centerbrook’s ability to craft a workshop and activities specific to Indian Creek’s project goals did not go unnoticed, and participants left feeling engaged, collaborative, and energized. Centerbrook took home a lot of Workbooks, filled with great information to review and ponder over the next month. The group cannot wait to re-unite again in December for the second workshop, to learn and react to some proposed concepts.   
Other Engagement Opportunities
The aforementioned Design Workshops are not the only opportunities for engagement. Indian Creek School in partnership with the Board’s Buildings and Grounds Committee, continues to strive to engage our greater community and collect input related to the Campus Unification projects. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Diana Ortiz, Director of Operations and Sustainability, to share your thoughts or learn more about how to get involved.