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  • Places for Learning + NATURE

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    Places for Learning + NATURE

    Thursday, May 18, 2023 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm PDT

    NOTE: Ticket sales will close 24 hours prior to program; limited capacity for 50 registrants

    Why is bringing nature into learning spaces and bringing learning spaces into nature so important? What is the history, present and future of biophilic and nature-based educational environments? Join us for an in-person moderated panel discussion with professionals who leverage landscape and nature in their designs for better learning outcomes.

    This program is in collaboration with the AIASF Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) which is a recognized AIA learning community for individuals engaged with and interested in planning and design of learning environments, including public and private colleges and universities, community colleges, early childhood and K12 facilities, museums, libraries, cultural and civic centers, and other educational spaces.

    Refreshments will be provided by Cambria

    Image Credit: Tom Fox, Licensed by SWA Group


    Kirstin Weeks, Principal, BioStudio

    A leader in regenerative design and urban ecology, Kirstin works with interdisciplinary teams to create sustainable, resilient, biophilic built environments where people and nature thrive together. After 12 years as an energy and building ecology specialist at Arup, Kirstin started Bio Studio to offer innovative, climate-positive consulting while bringing to the forefront her passion for urban ecosystems and the enhancement of wellbeing and environmental justice through connection to nature for all.

    Kirstin is an accomplished workshop leader and a respectful communicator with a wide range of stakeholders, striving to create an environment where everyone can be heard and work toward consensus.  Her work in learning environments is grounded in experience as an outdoor environmental science educator for SFUSD in her early career.  She is pleased to be a member of JUST Collaborate, partnering to facilitate equitable engagement and project planning, especially for education and community projects.  Beyond academic projects, Kirstin’s experience extends from net-positive mixed-use, office, transit and civic projects to ecological restoration strategy and habitat planting design.

    Kirstin holds an A.B. in Environmental Studies from Dartmouth College and an M.S. in Architecture and Building Science from UC Berkeley.  She lives in San Rafael, California with her husband, daughters, and a menagerie of pets and farm animals.


    Shawn Lani, Director, Exploratorium Studio for Public Spaces

    Shawn is the founding director of the Studio for Public Spaces at San Francisco’s Exploratorium. He has spent the last three decades creating large and small and large-scale public space installations that blend placemaking, art, field research, and education. His team creates a wide array of whimsical, unexpected, and wholly unique tools for better understanding a place. The recipient of three National Science Foundation grants and a national AIA award, Shawn’s team works closely with communities to explore not only the physical landscape but the cultural, historical, ecological, social landscapes as well.

    Shawn’s most recent project, Middle Ground, features social science interactives and has earned multiple design accolades including SF Design Week’s “Civic Design” award for transforming culture within government organizations benefiting the residents who live in the community. Before founding the Studio for Public Spaces in 2013, Shawn earned a Master’s Degree in Museum Studies focused on design and education in 1995. He has worked at the Exploratorium for over 28 years and has created numerous exhibits and artworks which are now located in over sixty museums worldwide.


    Bill Hynes, Associate Principal, SWA

    Bill has over two decades of experience designing and building award-winning projects, including estate residences, resort/hospitality, parks/civic/mixed use spaces and well as schools and educational landscapes, having worked on several K-8 and college campuses, including dozens of projects at Stanford University. Bill is dedicated to creating timeless designs that capture the spirit of a place and solve problems, tell stories, while creating beauty and value for his clients.


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    Thursday, May 18, 2023
    5:30 pm - 7:00 pm PDT
    Event Categories:
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    SWA Group
    530 Bush Street, 6th Floor
    San Francisco, 94108
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    AIA San Francisco
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