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children walking on diagonal concrete paths between landscaping in front of Design 39, a multistory building with glass facade
Design 39 Campus

A New Model School Prioritizes Autonomy


Poway Unified School District

Project Location

San Diego, CA


156,000 SF



The Poway Unified School District community sought to change the way schooling is done by creating a design-thinking environment that promotes a student growth mindset necessary to change the world. Our solution provides a variety of learner-centric spaces that advance the school’s philosophy of learning as a journey rather than a destination. Adaptive environments move away from a one-size-fits-all model of education to allow for personalized learning. Here, students pursue their passions and progress at their own rate by adopting the learning style and environment that best suits them.

Design 39 Campus encompasses three learning experiences: learning pods with non-traditional grade spans; collaboration areas; and imagination studios that function as maker spaces. The campus prioritizes autonomy to prepare students to be independent and responsible for their learning journey and connects learners to the community through business and industry partnerships.

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