Harriman Education Studio Principals to present at A4LE Association Days Conference

Harriman Education Studio Principals Lisa Sawin and Mark Lee will present a lecture entitled Perception is Reality: How Design Can Impact Perception of Safety in School Design.  The session will be presented virtually on July 22 and 23. The theme of this year’s Association Days East Conference is “Inside the Mind of the Learner”.

Research suggests there is a link between student perception of safety and academic performance. As Architects enlisted and entrusted, to design spaces that not only inspire young minds but keep them safe, we wanted to explore how school design impacts the perception of safety. With that in mind, we find ourselves asking: how do we build a new school that provides a sense of safety and security for all students while also maintaining this for administrators and community members? Architects Lisa Sawin, AIA and Mark Lee, AIA – parents themselves examine the reactions students had when presented different types of spaces within a school and different approaches to spaces that serve similar functions. What are the critical questions to ask? What does it mean to feel safe? What aspects of design invoke a sense of safety and security for students? What aspects don’t? What is a hardened environment and how is it achieved without impacting a student’s psyche? How do student’s experiences alter their perception or definition of safety? Can the built environment help foster a culture that promotes safety and security?

The lecture will provide insights into strategies and techniques to engage students, staff, and community members in a dialogue about their perception of safety and what enhancements can be made. Mark and Lisa will also present a case study of their recent work at the Edward Little High School in Auburn, Maine.

Learn more about the lecture and A4LE’s Association Days East Conference here: A4LE Association Days 2021

Mark Lee, AIA, LEED AP

Mark Lee is a Principal architect at Harriman, building on more than 20 years of practice in his role leading the firm’s K-12 Education Studio. A passionate designer and leader, Mark guides new build, renovation, consolidation, and long-range planning for education clients throughout New England. Focused on balancing 21st-century learning environments with durable, long-lasting buildings, Mark works closely with clients to develop spaces that support flexibility and innovation with an eye toward sustainability. Mark holds a Bachelor of Science in both civil engineering and architectural engineering from Drexel University and a Master’s of Architecture from Boston Architectural College.

 Lisa Sawin, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Lisa Sawin is a Principal in Harriman’s K-12 Education Studio. Her design philosophy is rooted in a belief that sustainable design is synonymous with good design. Her experience as a teacher, builder, and architect, coupled with her passion for developing inspiring learning environments, allow her to facilitate a collaborative process between all stakeholders resulting in meaningful design solutions. She holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master’s of Architecture from Norwich University.