Specializing in Institutional Design
Education Architecture and Interior Design
Contract magazine publishes an issue each year focused on education architecture projects, and we regularly highlight additional education projects on our website. We feature projects in both the public and private realm, from K-12 to higher education, including buildings and interiors for colleges and universities.
Education architecture and interior design present special challenges. Designers must create environments that are safe, while fostering creativity, collaboration, and learning. The materials used in education projects must be especially durable, affordable, and easy to maintain—more so than in some other project types. Buildings for schools often have unique programs. These lead some designers and design firms to specialize in institutional design to efficiently and effectively execute projects in this typology. Some firms that are known for their education projects include Perkins+Will, MSR, Ennead Architects, SmithGroupJJR, Cannon Design, and ZGF Architects.
Trends in education design vary depending on the type of school and its geographic location, among other factors. Common themes today in education interior design include communal spaces that foster studying around the clock, flexible foodservice spaces that accommodate more than mealtime, and classrooms outfitted with the latest in technology to enhance the learning experience. Many education architecture projects take cues from the hospitality world.
Contract also recognizes projects for education through the Interiors Awards program. Designers can enter their best education interior design projects in the Education category, and the winner will be recognized at the annual Interiors Awards Breakfast in New York in January.