Welcome to
Designing Education Spaces!

This site is about developing and remodeling education spaces at parks and museums. Education spaces are places for interactive and cooperative learning. They differ from traditional classrooms in many ways. At their best, they are created in collaboration with potential audiences. Their design reflects and emphasizes the ideas and meanings associated with a place, the content being taught, and the educational philosophy and approach of the institution. They can be inside or outside and often serve multiple purposes. Usually they need to be durable, flexible, and practical in order to facilitate interactive, hands-on experiences for multiple audiences.

Parks and museums across the country have tried and tested many approaches to creating and using education spaces. This site highlights stories and lessons-learned from six parks and four museums that are successfully using education spaces for schools and other organized groups, families, or general audiences. We interviewed park and museum education specialists and managers, seeking advice on designing education spaces, and assembled them here in a series of case studies, tips, resources, and contacts. We also held a Webinar on June 16, 2009 with designers from the National Park Service’s Harpers Ferry Interpretive Design Center. A recording of the Webinar is available here for you to view.

We hope this resource will serve you well. Good Luck!