Co-creation, Exploration and Connectivity: A Library Transformation Story at Shanghai American School


Garden 3

  • Primary Core Competencies: Design of Educational Facilities
  • AIA CEU: 1. 0 LU
  • Secondary Core Competencies: Educational Visioning


In today’s creative economy, the role of the traditional library needs to transform from a place where one consumes content and information to a place for creative endeavors.. Schools around the world are seeing an increased need for environments that support active engagement where students can investigate, synthesize, and develop the skills needed to thrive in today’s economy. Considering the competitive market of international schools and while working hand in hand with the librarians and marketing director, the renovation of the school’s library at Shanghai American School was co-created from the diverse view-points of educators, designers and marketers. Together with this diverse group of stakeholders, the project was envisioned from start to finish, as student-centric. The updated space is dedicated to how today’s students learn best and includes cafes, small group rooms, tech help desks, virtual learning areas, and cozy individual learning nooks. This unique and in-depth process, involving a wide array of stakeholders informed the transformation , creating a space that supports student innovation, comfort and collaboration.

Learning Objectives

OBJ #1  Explore the iterative visioning and design process of redesigning library spaces, with diverse stakeholder groups, to support future-ready learning

OBJ #2  Hear from media specialists about the changing landscape of media centers, and the risks and rewards of re-envisioning a media center

OBJ #3  In the competitive market of international education, the marketing and communications team will tell you how their point of view shaped the design of the new media center at Shanghai American School

OBJ #4  See a case study of how Shanghai American School is creating a new media center model to support student innovation and collaboration

Aimee Eckmann, FAIA, ALEP, LEED AP BD+C, Practice Leader, Principal, Perkins+Will

Steven Turckes, FAIA, ALEP, LEED AP, PreK-12 Global Practice Leader, Principal, Perkins+Will