Core Architecture Studio II
Kinetic Intelligence
More School
PCS 64: Post Carbon School
Grounds for Play
The XR School
Between Indeterminacy and Optimism
Child's Play
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Core Architecture Studio II

Environment as the Third Teacher

A school is more than just its students, teachers, and textbooks; it also includes a building, which is essential to a child’s education and personal growth. Loris Malaguzzi, founder of the Reggio-Emilia educational philosophy in the early twentieth century, called the environment the “third teacher,” together with a student’s parents and teachers. In its full manifestation, the multidimensional school environment inspires and nurtures children by activating all of their senses—a position that Core Architecture Studio II explored this semester.

All eight Core II studios focused on the design of a K-8 public school on the site of P.S. 64, located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Designed by C.B.J. Snyder in 1906, P.S. 64 served as a New York City public school for seventy years before it was shuttered. Today, the building remains abandoned. As part of the research for their design projects, Core II students visited the vacant building, studied its history, and evaluated its current condition in order to envision ways to revitalize the site as a contemporary school.

How can a building both react to and affect pedagogy? When a child feels safe and supported, they will take risks and embrace challenges. How do we design spaces that nurture and inspire individual children so they can reach their fullest potential? At the same time, how does a school, as a civic institution, connect to its community and promote fruitful interactions between the students and the community? How do our schools reflect our cultural values and prepare children for their own futures (not just our present)? How do we build a school today that will serve not only this generation of children, but also the next?

Through many scales of engagement—from the site in general to the detail of a brick—students devised careful interventions in the existing structure. An essential aspect of the curriculum prompted students to emphasize low-embodied carbon structural design. In response, projects reused the existing building or elements of it, integrating new materials with low-embodied carbon footprints and thoroughly considering the future use and lifespan of the structure.

The 2021 Spring semester proved to be a transformative one, as we dispersed from our own learning environment—notably, our studio spaces in Avery Hall—to many corners of the globe. But remarkably, we created a new environment across the filigree of the ether: a “fourth teacher” that emerged in the form of a virtual forum in which those key tenants of community, cooperation, and life folded together into a tactile space of our own.

Kinetic Intelligence
If the purpose of education is to unlock the full potential of the student, what are the key contributors to that end? Toward the articulation of a school design, this studio employed two primary filters: what is a space of learning and where does the school begin and end, if at all. Students explored spatial logics in accordance with the realm of the body and speculated critically between conducive postures, spatial configurations, and sensory stimulation that use existing data to reimagine an optimal learning environment. Students were challenged to express the program organization, speculating critically and imaginatively within and beyond the physical building container.
Students: Enrique Bejarano, Qingning Cao, Daniel Chang, Ruonan Du, Kristen Fitzpatrick, Jacqueline Pothier, Anya Ray, Khadija ann Tarver, Eve Wakabayashi, Zixiao Zhu
School with Two Systems
My project emphasizes the efficiency of the school by supporting simultaneous usage by students a...
Prescribe, Spontaneous Ritual
The title Prescribed, Spontaneous ritual speaks to the notion that each school day is unique. Des...
Soft Boundary
School plays an essential role in cultivating community atmosphere, especially for the next gener...
H2O School
For the Kinetic Intelligence studio, I decided to study the movement of swimming. Breaking down d...
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The 24-Hour School
The 24-Hour School in Manhattan’s Lower East Side has been guided by considerations of analog mov...
Learning Field
The Learning Field seeks to create fluidity between the different learning spaces to allow for a ...
Intuitive dance has no choreography. Anyone who moves is a dancer and there is no right or wrong ...
L.E.S. Team School
My project analyzes the mechanics and philosophy behind the movements in the game ultimate frisbe...
Momentum Liberation
Momentum Liberation takes inspiration from the movement of bike coasting, which involves the cons...
More School
Integrating school, life, and city, this studio focused on designing for a new type of educational facility that extends its program to double as a community hub for the neighborhood. Given their critical role and physical presence in cities, schools have the unique potential to evolve from isolated educational silos into platforms to interact, learn, and generate meaningful connections for all. In, out, and around, this studio explored how schools can be more, do more, and effectively become more integrated and lively components of the public realm.
Students: Zoona Aamir, Saba Ardeshiri, Laura Blaszczak, Yiyi Gao, Blake Kem, Hanyu Liu, Jonghoon Park, Carley Pasqualotto, Yueyue Su, Kaixi Tu, Tong Wang, Dongxiao Yang
Public Swirl
The proposed adaptive reuse design for P.S. 64 extracts the hallway and reimagines it as an inter...
P.S. 64 and Annex
How do we keep the memory of P.S. 64 while moving forward? This proposal for the new P.S. 64 is b...
The New P.S. 64
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1990 requires that public schools creat...
Postscript 64: The Reintegration of Public School (P.S.) 64
At the same time that P.S. 64 is much like other schools built in New York City at the turn of th...
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Permeable Borders
With the current H-plan of P.S. 64, the middle bar of the existing building physically partitions...
Timber Conservatory
The P.S. 64 structure and the surrounding community gardens have been symbolic centers of local e...
The Triple C School: Classroom, Courtyard, Community
Classroom, Courtyard, Community reimagines the idea of community gardens––that established the re...
School of Exploration
Educational buildings nowadays no longer only serve as a place to attend school and study, but as...
Rescue P.S. 64: The Plan of Attack
P.S. 64 is ultimately political. Stuck in between multiple interweaved layers of an interest/powe...
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Homeland 64
Homeland combines the history of P.S. 64 with the legacy of anarchist education and the free scho...
PCS 64: Post Carbon School
The school as a building type presents an added responsibility for the designer: one must not only imagine possible futures but also create environments that can activate the minds of children in unexpected and spontaneous ways—both experientially and intellectually. This studio operates from a basis of energy and resource scarcity by doing as much as possible with as little as possible. Rather than an approach characterized by austerity, however, we attempt to rethink school building from the ground up by questioning basic assumptions that undergird the carbon economy. We are concerned with supply chains, material flows, embodied energy, and life-cycles of building materials. We are also interested in exploring design opportunities presented to us by phased construction, time-based or ephemeral modes of occupancy, material procurement, possible strategies of disassembly, re-use, programmatic flexibility, alternative materials (whether heavy and earthen or lightweight), and novel forms of construction and assembly as avenues for design research. Our site is in New York, yet students are invited to operate with the resourcefulness, efficiencies, flexibilities, and informal systems seen in parts of Asia, Africa, and South America as precedents for design and construction. Could these methods from the global South help us to reimagine ways a school functions both locally and by extension globally? How could the implementation of such strategies define new territories for the school and its site?
Students: Eleanor Birle, Yingxi Dong, Anne Freeman, Alec Harris, Joachym Joab, Julie Kim, Xu Liu, Nararya Radinal, Peter Walhout, Linru Wang
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Redistributing P.S. 64
P.S. 64 has been defined by an unusually long period of abandonment and decay. Portions of physic...
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Liquid Lab +
Rainwater, sunlight, wind, and microorganism are the hidden forces that shape our environment. Th...
Sedimentary School
P.S. 64 is subject to an ever changing ratio of human intervention that maintains the site and na...
The Valve School
A valve is a device or natural object that regulates, directs, or controls the flow of a fluid by...
Rethinking the Shell: Constructing a Porous Urban School
The proposed school that occupies the P.S. 64 lot is envisioned with the overarching themes of po...
FoodLab64 rethinks ‘Farm to Table, Table to Garbage, and Garbage to Farm’ to encourage students t...
Immanent Resource School
The Immanent Resource School adapts the old P.S. 64 with a different relationship to resources an...
School Within a Network
New York City, having been shaped by land formation and geoprocesses, is itself a natural history...
Grounds for Play
In the context of a New York City school today, where open space is at a premium, the available space and time for play are limited. The footprint of a school’s property may allow for a ground level or rooftop playground, and the daily schedule may allow for a meager 20 minute recess period—the minimum required by the Department of Education. Given the known benefits of play on childhood development and well-being, this studio asked: can we build schools that incorporate more integral spaces and opportunities for play? Learning from playgrounds and play objects, how can a building inspire wonder by engaging children in their environment? Within the tight-knit urban fabric and constraints of the project site, expanded space for play must extend beyond the physical ground plane. This studio explored materials and geometry, through the tools of sectional design and physical model-making, to activate volumetric space for play and learning experiences to co-mingle. Students stitched threads of the city’s infrastructure onto the school grounds, and in doing so, fostered opportunities for bridging the unfettered joys of childhood with the joys of adulthood, in hopes of nurturing the next generation of great minds.
Students: Samuel Bager, Marcus Chan, Shuyang Huang, Isaac Khouzam, Myungju Ko, Kim Langat, Christopher Scheu, Madeleine Sung, Jing-Chwen Tzeng, Samantha Velasquez, Tianxu Yang, Yifei Yuan
The In-Between School
The In-Between School was designed around the central concept of creating a unique circulatory ex...
P.S. 64 Revisited
P.S. 64 Revisited considers the architecture of schools in their potential relations with curiosi...
The Breathing School
In response to the potential flood hazard, the design for the School proposes a giant green ecolo...
Grounds for Play
My project proposes to reintroduce play into the space of the city by inviting the city into the ...
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Situated on the lot of a vacant CBJ Snyder school, P.S. 64, this project is an expanded space whe...
ME School (School for Minor Exuberance)
The word minor has multiple meanings. It can relate to a minor key in music, or race and ethnicit...
Curving In
With the spaces only loosely defined and without distinct divisions, the school interior feels li...
Safe Space Playscape
Safe Space Playscape imagines play as a community endeavor. A response against surveillance and p...
30 Degree
30 Degree is a proposal combining the existing P.S. 64 with a newly added incubator space for loc...
WALL: Revitalization of a Highschool
This proposal divides the courtyard around the two existing bars, similar to how a street grid de...
The XR School
The brief for this studio entailed the design of The XR School. The XR School is a New York City public elementary school with a curricular focus on climate change—its causes and the paths to stabilize it. The school building each student designed is envisioned as an integral lesson tool for the students. The studio made extensive use of diagramming to develop and describe the program and the building. Flows of people; energy generation and consumption; vectors of structure, light, and air; program spaces and their relationships to the context; and any other factors defining each project were diagrammed. Isolated diagrams were continually developed through an iterative process provoked by the contamination of each to one another. This culminated in an idealized and multilayered project diagram which guided the development of the school as it was elaborated and made constructible.
Students: Zina Berrada, Younjae Choi, Hallie Chuba, Megan Dang, Rebecca Faris, Kerol Kaskaviqi, Karen Polanco, William Rose, Seung Ho Shin, Jordan Trager, Tianyun Zhang
The XR Centre
Terrace School
Cross-generational interaction is an essential tool for knowledge exchange. The project hopes to ...
Fill in the Gaps: Modules on Top
Located near Tompkins Square Park, the P.S. 64 school is situated in a desirable spot. The school...
This project aims to bridge the food gap in the East Village through introducing a curriculum tha...
Loisaida Center- XR School
The Loisaida Center is a core community space that promotes the arts and the XR school. The Timbe...
School for Environmental Education
At the School for Environmental Education, existing massing is replaced by a vertical stack of pr...
Between Indeterminacy and Optimism
Spaces of learning have the utmost opportunity and responsibility to inspire and enlighten. This studio understands buildings through material and spatial agency encompassing nuanced gradients of hard-, soft- and water-scapes, intertwined to support education, community, and regenerative legacy. Architecture and garden are interdependent and associative—healthy and resilient spatial-scapes are experienced temporally through the changes of seasons, interacting with sunlight and moon shadow. Projects negotiate the delicate coexistence among intertwined, oscillating intergenerational groups and individuals, defining and engaging the issues upon which our collective future depends. Urban-ecological challenges—which are human predicaments, really—demand both innovation and progressive perspective. Here, architecture is a proactive participant—making space for reflection and wisdom while fostering new venues and affirmations of social and environmental integrity. Together, the studio defined uncharted orders and priorities to experience space—and one another—on new conceptual levels of possibilities and understandings.
Students: Alex He, Brennan Heyward, Min Soo Jeon, Roman Karki, Ji Yoon Lee, Thiago Lee, Nicolas Nefiodow Pineda, Maclane Regan, Nicolas Shannon, Emma Sumrow, Yuli Wang, Shuoning Yu
Reconfigurable Tension
Through a tensional negotiation, classrooms and other programs reconfigure and accommodate new sp...
Inter(play)connectivity aims to turn P.S. 64 into a place in which play and peer to peer educatio...
Across the Boundaries
In terms of fostering individual identities, it is important to educate students to have the abil...
Serendipity C(onnection)
Serendipity C aims to create gradients of connections from rigid to fluid spaces of learning that...
Cross-Culturality and the Public School
This project considers the Lower East Side’s history and its relation to immigration movements th...
Variant Horizons
Variant horizons embed ideas of light, aperture, and horizon. Exposure to natural light aides in ...
Metathesis is an exploration that is anchored in ideas of reactionary potential. The pedagogical ...
Filtered Corrosion
The school of the past is eroded with varying intensities as formal gestures infiltrate space typ...
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Bounding Voids: A Porous School for the Neighborhood
The flow of school is organized through fluctuations in attraction and repellency––bounding and u...
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Boundless Growth Capacity
This school protects and cultivates children’s curiosity and creativity by providing the tools, s...
Neurodiversity is the idea that neurological differences such as ADHD, dyslexia, and autism are not errors of nature or products of a toxic modern world, but are instead, the result of natural variation in the human genome. Neurodiversity advocates reject pathologizing difference and call on society to regard neurodivergence as a valuable part of humanity’s genetic legacy while ameliorating the severely disabling aspects. This studio took on Loris Malaguzzi’s prompt, “the environment as the third teacher,” through the lens of neurodiversity recognizing that different nervous systems experience environments very differently. Each student designed a school that integrated both neurotypical and neurodiverse students and explored the potentials of multivalent space.
Students: Priscilla Auyeung, Lucas de Menezes Pereira, Justin Hager, Shining Hong, Jennah Jones, Nan Ju Kim, Jixuan Li, Ari Nadrich, Aaron Smolar, Wei Xiao, Rose Zhang
Learning Through Gradients
Light exists not only in form but also as information. The biological way in which light is proce...
Variant School
This project introduces a new pedagogy to the school based on Montessori education, focusing on t...
The Flipped School
P.S. 64 reimagined as the Flipped School proposes a radically alternative form of education, one ...
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Cat’s Cradle School
This project looks at the lack of awareness and resources directed towards special education, inc...
The Bridge
The Bridge School provides a unique learning environment for the homeless youth of the East Villa...
Flowing School
In the 20th century, X-ray examined the body’s physical essence. Nowadays, fMRI measures br...
Sensory School
The Sensory School models a new educational schema that adapts to the full spectrum of sensory se...
Transmissions from Spaceship Earth
This proposal seeks to unearth P.S. 64 as the locus for an architectural and historical project o...
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60 Partitions School
Learning is a process of exchange that involves the exploration of self and the environment where...
The Laminated School
The Laminated School seeks to foster an interconnectedness within the student-staff body and the ...
Child’s Play
This studio explored the use of found and readymade objects––including the structure and facade of the former P.S. 64 building, completed in 1906, which was be the site of the project––as a means of challenging the valorization of individual authorship, originality, difficulty, and abstraction in design pedagogy and practice. Specifically, it engaged the logics and material qualities of toys, games, and stories––exploring their literal translation into architecture. We experimented with using toys to make models, games to make drawings, and stories to make buildings. Or with making models that are toys, drawings that are games, and buildings that tell stories. We asked, should an architecture for children look like an architecture for children? Should an architecture for children be presented like an architecture for children? We considered ways in which architecture serves as a didactic tool, which, in its form and material expression, “teaches” users and viewers something. What can, or should, the architecture of a school teach? And how can, or should, it do so?
Students: Zhan Gao, Kortney Hinden, Cecile Kim, Michael Lau, Cemre Tokat, Wenjing Tu, Jinghan Wang, Mingyue Zhang, Stephen Zimmerer
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Stacking School
The Stacking School challenges the typology of traditional primary schools with repetitive classr...
Walls as Rooms?
In redefining the poache of the thick-walled castle plans (initially collaged from existing plans...
P.S. 64 School of Senses
The aspiration of this school is to create a sensory, kinetic learning environment for children, ...
P.S. 64 Reimagined
Should architecture for children look like architecture for children? Where does the authority of...
Rebuild Corridors
Rethinking the relationship between classrooms, corridors, and playground, the new P.S. 64 School...
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A School of Body Motion
This proposal not only inserts play zones into the building but also transforms the entire struct...
The Insurgent School - 1987

This project is centered around four stories regarding the P.S. 64 building and the systems of...