"The Schoolyard is Sick" in LAM

A thought provoking article came out in the latest issue of LAM. https://landscapearchitecturemagazine.org/2019/06/25/the-schoolyard-is-sick/

It focuses on students’ mental health and the space they inhabit on a daily basis - schoolyards. Health, well-being and sensory integration were the words spoken most at the latest conference we attended, Children & Nature Network, and this article echos those same discussions.

Claire Latané states in the article:

“Such students—along with those who have attention deficit, sensory integration, and autism spectrum disorders—are hypersensitive to noise, light, and visual disarray. What they need—and Latané insists they deserve—is “a well-organized, comfortable, calm environment, plenty of access to nature, and small quiet places to escape chaos.”

At BAY TREE DESIGN we believe that children need the environment stated above. We work with clients - private and public schools - to create spaces that support our children’s whole development. We want children to exceed academically AND also to be confident in themselves, have self-efficacy, take risks, and have access to an environment that supports whole sensory development from visual to proprioceptive.

Below are some images Lisa Howard took while participating in the International School Grounds Alliance conference in Japan last November.

The integration of topography, play structures, natural landscape elements and loose parts provide children with many choices in play.

The integration of topography, play structures, natural landscape elements and loose parts provide children with many choices in play.

At this preschool / Kindergarten in Japan children have many options during recess including quiet spaces, climbing for heights, a “yard” for ball play, and places to look for insects.

At this preschool / Kindergarten in Japan children have many options during recess including quiet spaces, climbing for heights, a “yard” for ball play, and places to look for insects.

The yard also includes a pond where children can study and look for little creatures and begin to understand ecological processes.

The yard also includes a pond where children can study and look for little creatures and begin to understand ecological processes.

Awards for Spaces that Foster Sustainable Communities

BTD was delighted to hear that we have two projects that recently received awards.  Both awards are related to the idea of people needing dynamic, outdoor space to test their ideas, socialize, connect and grow food.

 

The O’Donohue Family Educational Farm at Stanford University was given a Citation Award by SF AIA.  https://www.aiasf.org/page/StanfordEducationalFarm  This project is a working agricultural complex and living lab to test social and environmental aspects of farming and agriculture.

 

RYSE Commons is one of Fast Company’s 2019 World Changing Ideas Awards in the Spaces, Places and Cities category.  https://www.fastcompany.com/90328033/this-center-is-a-space-for-at-risk-youth-to-learn-how-to-create-changeThe campus is based on the needs of youth in Richmond who were involved in the site program development.  The campus includes a central courtyard for art, sports and socializing; a meditation garden for therapy and a garden for growing food.  

 

We feel privileged to be a part of the creation of these spaces and are confident that they will help foster healthy communities and sustainable agriculture for years to come. 

BAY TREE DESIGN, INC. is hiring again!

Five years ago Lisa Howard became the sole managing Principal of BAY TREE DESIGN, INC.  In that time we have worked hard at developing our design brand, project typologies and studio goals.  We have several interesting projects in the works and feel that now is a good time to hire a junior staff person.  We are looking to hire another individual who fits our studio culture.  We are also hoping to find someone who is looking for a position in a small studio where we fit their career aspirations. 

At BAY TREE DESIGN, INC.:

  1.  We strive to design for sustainability with local materials, for ecological processes and habitat, and by putting people in touch with nature.

  2.  We strive to develop unique spaces for vulnerable populations such as children, seniors, and medically and socio-economically challenged populations.

  3. We strive to cultivate an atmosphere for collaboration and support within the studio.

  4. We strive to provide a work life balance for our designers.

We are looking for someone who can work 32 to 40 hours a week, is a talented designer, interested in our type of projects, adept at computers and has time management skills. 

The information for this job is detailed on InDeed.