Out and Under : Outdoor Classroom Study for COVID-19
Convene is proud to release its most recent collaborative effort: Out and Under, a design and feasibility study for the emergency deployment of outdoor covered learning spaces during COVID-19.
Some of Convene’s most recent work has focused on re-envisioning and redesigning schoolyard spaces, with an emphasis on natural play and outdoor learning. Consequently, we’ve been really excited about the current local and national discourse about creating outdoor classrooms as a response to COVID-19. This is a time to think audaciously and boldly about what is possible.
Sadly, we have seen logistical, budgetary and design complexities become intimidating barriers to progress. Particularly daunting is the need for shelter – creating safe and comfortable covered outdoor teaching spaces – and the challenge of building enough shelter to serve thousands of students across multiple sites within a district.
Convene saw an opportunity to help. As landscape architects our work is the design and feasibility testing of outdoor environments. We are trained to analyze the complexities of human experience, cost, context, weather, and more, to create successful spaces for people.
So we teamed up with our long-time collaborator Jason Medeiros of Outdoor Classroom Design to apply our skills to the challenge of quickly and cost effectively creating covered outdoor learning spaces. The result it Out and Under.
We are distributing this document far and wide with the hope that it might bring clarity and confidence to the urgent work of creating outdoor classrooms. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any feedback and questions.