Research on community formation, the role of built space and
user feedback inform the development of an open source tool to

help build community in learning environments.

Building Community in Learning Environments:

Evidence-Based Interventions to the Built Space

Great design is equitable design, and evidence-based design should be available to everyone. The creation of caring, inclusive, participatory communities fosters deep learning and a sense of well-being in learning environments. This integrative study will provide insights and perspectives about how the built environment can aid in the creation of a sense of community through relationships, common purposes, collaboration, and autonomy. Most importantly, it will share the best evidence-based interventions and strategies with the design and educational community in an approachable format that will allow incorporation in any project, no matter the budget, schedule, or scale.


This research studied the relationship between different types of architectural design and operational interventions and their ability to foster healthy community and influence factors of occupant well-being in educational environments.


The influence factors are verified through the four strategies of community formation:

1. Cultivating respectful relationships.

2. Emphasizing common purposes and ideals.

3. Providing opportunities for cooperation.

4. Providing opportunities for autonomy and influence.


The areas of focus include:

  • What are different factors that contribute to community building?
  • What are the benefits of fostering sense of community in educational environments?
  • What evidence-based strategies can contribute to the creation of factors identified as community building that can be applied in educational environments?
  • Identifying design and operational solutions and different levels of intervention, from new buildings and large-scale remodels, through interior and furniture only design changes, to operational interventions only.



Meet the Research Team

Morana Medved
Director of Interiors
SJSU Educator

Gayatri Medury
Architect / Associate

Lele Yu

Vanessa Williams
Director of Marketing

Allison Hook

Bill Gould
Founding Principal