Schools of the Sacred Heart
Brief: The school was interested in improving their teaching environments to gain a competitive advantage. We were tasked to illuminate the ways in which we could align their overall strategic initiatives, manage organizational change, and redesign their spaces to unify their community.
Process: Our team began by embedding ourselves in the lives of students and teachers for a week, conducting numerous interviews, focus groups, and captured the culture of Sacred Heart from the inside out. We checked in with the Education Innovation group to discuss our Insight Week Findings and illuminate Quick Wins and Big Idea project possibilities. We identified a quick win project to activate a highly traffic, low functioning gathering space. Design and construction were completed in one summer.
Outcome: A comprehensive masterplan document with tangible recommendations scaling from small quick-win type projects to be completed in a summer to larger capital investments in their properties in multiple phases. Our suggested improvements were backed by space utilization studies, insights from user research, leadership workshops, and observations. The redesign of “The Center” was the first catalyst project implemented: a lounge and study area for the high school girls.
Role: Engagement Strategist, User Researcher, Interior Designer, Graphics
Read more about the design process of Sacred Heart below, or check out more of my work samples:
Schools of the Sacred Heart, San Francisco
The Schools of the Sacred Heart in San Francisco is a collection of four schools within one learning community that weaves academic excellence, spiritual values, and a commitment to single sex education in a co-educational context. As Sacred Heart looked for ways to embody their values and implement their latest strategic plan, TheThirdTeacher+ team used the physical environment to help transform their organization and culture.
We began by stepping back from a traditional master planning exercise to instead focus on a process rooted in strategic alignment and opportunity mapping. After an immersive insight week, working group meetings, and deep study of Sacred Heart’s historical and urban context alongside their organizational goals, we synthesized a collection of driving of patterns to help us understand their community. We translated these patterns into a collection of projects –– small projects to catalyze change quickly and big idea projects to inspire innovative thinking.
How does technology affect our learning posture?
Below are excerpts from our masterplan document, a comprehensive analysis of their campus and culture to identify opportunities for improvement in their built environment. Starting with their strategic plan, a full week of observation, interviews, and stakeholder workshops, we proposed a series of small projects to inspire change. My contribution included: User Research, Workshop Facilitation, Visioning, Programming, Schematic Design, 3D Modeling, Furniture Specifications, Graphic Design, Photography.
In the summer of 2013, we identified a “quick win” project to embody the change their community was striving for. We designed a new learning center and social heart in their all-girls Convent High School. This project created momentum as they began the implementation of their strategic plan and empowered young women and their teachers to reflect, collaborate, connect, and celebrate together more effectively. This project is the foundation of transformative prototypes, projects, and planning to create a more innovative Sacred Heart.
Created in collaboration with Trung Le (Project Lead), Christian Long (Facilitation), Lori Day (Design), Ashley Marsh (Analysis), & Melanie Kahl (Strategy) at TheThirdTeacher+ a studio within CannonDesign.