Innovate, Iterate, Prototype: How failing fast can generate engaging and effective learning environments.


North Tower - 1st Floor Garden 1

  • Primary Core Competencies: Educational Visioning
  • AIA CEU: 1. 0 LU
  • Secondary Core Competencies: Community Engagement


Our multidisciplinary presentation team of a superintendent, a planner, and two architects will demonstrate a variety of techniques in design thinking with real world case studies of how these processes produced effective and engaging learning environments for a range of activities and ages; from early childhood through middle school and high school. The first case study will explain how design thinking led to a renovated early childhood center. The second will focus on the creation of a cutting-edge STREAM Lab within the confines of an outdated natatorium. The third will include the design process for visioning and community engagement for a new performing arts and indoor athletic facility for a middle school and high school.

Learning Objectives

OBJ #1  Describe how design thinking can lead to improved engagement from a community visioning group.

OBJ #2  Understand how rapid prototyping can streamline the design process and create unexpected solutions.

OBJ #3  Define the steps needed for design thinking to be productive in creating an effective and engaging learning environment.

OBJ #4  Contrast the different paths in design thinking to develop a successful outcome for varying age levels and differing educational programs.

Gregory Monberg, AIA, ALEP, Director of Architecture, Wightman

David Eichberg, Superintendent, Berrien Springs Public Schools

Tony Leininger, President, CARMI Design

Carl Baxmeyer, REFP, AICP, Planning Department Manager, Wightman & Associates