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Facilities play a powerful role in student learning. Since 1997, adaptive and mixed-use environments and flexible student learning spaces have been two of the most visible design features that support learning at Henry Ford Academies.

“To me, one of the most brilliant things they’re doing with the Henry Ford Academy is simply saying ‘Look, we have these places in our society that are already rich with culture and content. Why do we build an empty box and then try to make it rich? Why not use an existing asset in our society that’s currently often not very well used?’ There’s an efficiency to that. Five hundred students go to school with hundreds of thousands of objects of material culture. I think that concept could be so easily adapted to so many different kinds of institutions.” – Bruce Mau, BMD in The Third Teacher.

As part of a complete school design, HFLI has developed a design resource guide to familiarize teachers, designers, and interested community members with the educational design principles of HFLI’s network of schools, and the implications they hold for the design, use, and evolution of Henry Ford Academy facilities. While individual facilities vary -- based on the buildings in which they are housed and the particular foci of their local partners -- the hands-on, inquiry-based, and community-connected approach of all Henry Ford Academies require suggest that they adopt an innovative and unified design approach. Download our Design Resource Guide

We also developed a groundbreaking facility partnership in San Antonio, where a unique collaboration emerged that combined the sharing of school facilities with the sharing of curricular resources. Henry Ford Academy: Alameda School For Art + Design leases school facilities from the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD), and in turn, shares its curriculum with SAISD schools.

A Snapshot From One of Our Facilities