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Published September 29, 2022

SERIES: What's Trending

The Valedictorians — Top Education Projects + Products

Adore Floors, CannonDesign, CG Schmidt Inc., DIRTT, Durasein, Ghent, Henrickson, InUnison Design, SIXINCH USA, and The Belden Brick Company.


Each year, global design firm Gensler partners with City Year Chicago to create a student center or room in a Chicago Public School at no cost to that school. City Year works to bridge the gap in high-poverty communities between the support that students actually need, and what their schools are designed and resourced to provide.


Gensler converted a neglected storage room at Sullivan High School in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood into an inspirational learning center managed by City Year’s AmeriCorps volunteers. Teens from the high school worked directly with Gensler during visioning sessions to design a vibrant, adaptable design space for the students, volunteers, and mentors to work together.


To build out the space at no cost to the school, Gensler coordinated donations of products and services from various Chicago-area furniture and construction partners. The refreshed room included new flooring, paint, mural, flat-screen TV, lounge and reading area, computer desks, mobile tables, chairs, a kitchenette, and long tables. Henricksen, a full-service contract furniture dealership with hundreds of manufacturer partnerships, donated all of the Allsteel Nimble stacking chairs in the space.


Today, the room is used for tutoring and academic intervention, after-school programs and clubs, group meetings for social/emotional well-being, and a welcoming place for students to read or study.

Inspired as we are by Henricksen and Gensler? Our editors curated their top education projects and products to help get your ideas flowing. School is officially in session!

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Company: Durasein

Product: Brilliant Collection

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Details: Available in a dazzling array of colors, Durasein's solid surface can be cut, shaped, and molded into all kinds of incredible forms so you can bring your wildest visions to life.

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Company: Ghent

Product: Proma Projection Porcelain Whiteboard – 5’H

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Details: Ghent’s wall-mounted and mobile whiteboards and glassboards functionalize and complete spaces both inside and outside the classroom. With durable materials and carefully considered construction, each markerboard carries a warranty fit for an educational environment.

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Company: DIRTT

Product: DIRTT Combination Wall

Project: University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine

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Details: This school of medicine built a new, multi-story facility on top of an existing building. Universal and accessible technology was a high priority for the school. The 16 classes had to support different types of learning and instruction. The spaces needed flexibility for lectures and collaborative projects, individual study and research. Writable surfaces are everywhere throughout to maximize working space. Integrated room schedulers and key card access help students and staff use the rooms efficiently.

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Company: InUnison Design

Project: Addition at Benilde St. Margaret, Saint Louis Park, Minnesota


Details: Benilde St. Margaret's dynamic Catholic learning community develops the student's highest potential in body, spirit, and mind. We utilize colors, materials, and space planning to create an attractive and vibrant space. Our goal was to create a learning environment that supports a college preparatory curriculum for students who will one day be leaders in the global community. To achieve this goal, we produced three new college-level science classrooms/labs and a larger space for collaboration, study, presentation, and instruction - one that is inclusive and washed in daylight. The new stairwell creates an important link between the upper and lower levels.

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Company: Adore Floors

Product: Durable LVT Flooring


Details: Adore brands create solutions for the challenging requisites that need to be met by education specifiers. From universities, student residence rooms, classrooms and common areas/corridors, the demands for campus and building design are simultaneously exacting and wide.

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Product: Block 2 and Bubble 1-6


Details: Create a learning environment with bright colors and high-quality furniture. SIXINCH furniture is designed to be high quality and durable making it great for educational spaces including libraries, classrooms, and higher education spaces.

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Company: CG Schmidt, Inc.

Project: A.O. Smith Corporate Technology Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Details: The new A.O. Smith Corporate Technology Center features a spacious lecture hall for continuing education classes, located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by CG Schmidt.

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Company: CannonDesign

Project: Academic core buildings, Ohlone College, Fremont, CA

Certification: LEED Gold


Details: Ohlone College’s Fremont campus—located about 40 miles outside of San Francisco—is a key part of the higher education system within California’s Bay Area. To better prepare local students to seize the region’s in-demand jobs, we partnered with Anderson Brulé Architects and the college to design its new Academic Core. The project includes three new buildings designed to transform the student experience: a science center, a music and visual arts center, and a learning commons housing study rooms and a library.

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Company: Durasein

Product: Face Brick: 470-479 Light Range | Texture: Smooth | Size: Norman, Shapes

Project: College of Architecture and Environmental Design, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio

Certification: LEED Platinum


Details: The College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED) at Kent State University is a four-story brick bar, carefully scaled to match the larger campus buildings. The 117,000-square-foot building, which is LEED Platinum certified, unites for the first time all of the CAED's programs inside an expansive 650-seat design studio. The architects worked with The Belden Brick Company to produce a honey-hued iron spot brick, a narrow, Norman-style 470-479 Light Range face brick, and a custom bullnose brick.

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Looking for even more education design inspiration? Head to and explore top projects and related products.

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