ASFM Adventure Challenge Course

As a result of the successful 2019 Edge of Excellence Campaign, we were able to bring to transform the typical playground into an Adventure Challenge Course. The manifesto/story of this transformation is coming soon. Until then, enjoy this preview of the new possible at AFSM.

The Redesign of a Character Ed. Classroom

The Redesign of a Character Ed. Classroom

As part of our ongoing journey to redesign a representative sample of all learning spaces nursery - grade 12 at ASFM, we recently redesigned a High School Character Ed. Classroom. It was an amazing experience which challenged us to think differently about how community, connection, and social learning can be enhanced through spacial concepts. To learn more about the experience explore the manifesto above.

ASFM Strategic Innovation Plan: 2015-2020

In 2014 we at ASFM gathered as a community to develop our next Strategic Innovation plan which would guide the general direction of our school until 2020. As we approach 2020 after many years of hard work, numerous prototypes, and meeting upon meeting, it is nice to be able to look back and see where we were, where we are, and be excited for where we are headed. The video below showcases the culmination of the work we as an Innovation department have been working closely with since 2014. Produced by our stellar Communications department, I hope it provides insight into some of the projects that have come to life.

Innovative Quality teaching and Learning

ASFM Edge of Excellence Inspiring Spaces 2016-2019

In 2014 we at ASFM gathered as a community to develop our next Strategic Innovation plan which would guide the general direction of our school until 2020. One such project was the Edge of Excellence Annual Giving program headed by our Superintendent Michael Adams. While programs such as these are common in many Universities and International Schools, it was a very new concept at ASFM. What has been remarkable has been the creation of spaces which would not have been able to be brought to life with out this campaign and the generosity of our community.

Produced by our stellar Communications department, I hope it provides insight into some of the projects that have come to life.

The ASFM Innovation department has been involved with not only the leveraging the Design Thinking process to bring a human/student centered approach to the development of learning spaces but also to the whole process of engaging with the community to bring these concepts to life. Throughout the year we engage with our community through various empathy building experiences. We draw upon these experiences as we come up with ideas for the annual Edge of Excellence campaigns and connect them with the pillars from our Strategic Innovation Plan. Our ASFM L2E2 Design Process refers to this as the “Languages and Landscapes” of the community and serves as a primary filter. Once we arrive at a compiled list, we then wash it through various community groups including, parents, students, alumni, board, etc. to see what potential projects resonate the most with our community.

Designed by David Jakes Designs

Designed by David Jakes Designs

From there, we select a set of 2-4 projects to build prototypes for to pitch to potential donors. Each project requires developing a design team of expert teachers, administrators, maintenance and facility leaders, and Innovation Coaches as Designers to develop a series of deliverables which translates the mission and vision of the school and for the project into a spacial concept.

This becomes the primary document/manifesto we reference as we work with architects as we translate a provocation into a set of drivers and constraints, to spacial concepts to prototypes, layouts, sketches and renders and eventually blueprints and construction documents. By the time we inaugurate a space we know it as well as our favorite book or spot on the couch and we work for about a year afterwards to optimize use, effectiveness, and to align desired behavior with a spacial concept. These need to be living spaces which are agile and responsive to student needs for learning.

ASFM Business Incubator

The progression to this point where we have a clearly defined Design process with clear deadlines, deliverables and tasks to be completes has been a hugely collaborative and iterative process. Each year we learn from the last and optimize for impact with the student learning experience at the heart it. This is a very brief summary of said process but I hope it provides a glimpse into the great projects brought to life when leveraging the Design Thinking Process.

Special thanks to Dr. Michael Adams, Helen Trevino, Marcela de le Garze Evia, and the whole Edge of Excellence Campaign team who made this possible and continue to “Dream Bigger” for our students.

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The ASFM Eco-Patios Manifesto: The story of the redesign.

ASFM Eco-Patios Manifesto

This is the story of the transformation of outdoor “Spaces in Between” into vibrant Eco-Patios at the American School Foundation of Monterrey, Mexico. Special hanks to the leaders of the Edge of Excellence annual giving campaign and the generosity of Fundacion Deacearo, Additionally, this would not be possible without the open mindset of the ASFM community which was willing to explore the possibilities. These spaces will be a source of curiosity and wonder for generations to come.