While students may only be 20%-25% of our population today, they are 100% of our future. That is why education is one of the most important investments a country can make and the sole purpose for the existence of the Better Learning Podcast.

The Better Learning Podcast brings on valued guests that talk about ways we can improve education for our kids. Because after all, they are 100% of our future!



April 3, 2024

School safety extends far beyond fortifying against external threats.

While it's crucial for schools to be secure environments, true safety encompasses more than just repelling intruders and weapons. A genuinely safe school fosters an atmosphere where students, staff, and teachers feel secure not only during emergencies but also in their day-to-day activities.

However, the conventional approach to school design often prioritizes security measures that result in a stark, "prison-like" atmospheres.

In our latest Better Learning Podcast episode, we dive deep into an often overlooked aspect of education: the design of school buildings. Imagine stepping into a classroom where every corner, every color, and every space is carefully crafted to nurture rather than hinder learning. Deepa Bharatkumar, an architect at Bassetti Architects, brings her 17 years of experience to the forefront as she shares insights into how the built environment impacts our educational experiences.

One of the key takeaways from the conversation is the importance of pre-design work and stakeholder engagement. Deepa emphasizes that successful school architecture projects are not just about blueprints and construction; they're about understanding the needs and experiences of the people who will inhabit these spaces.

But the journey doesn't end once the buildings are erected. Post-occupancy evaluation becomes a critical tool in identifying areas for improvement and informing future design decisions. By continuously refining our approach and sharing findings within the design community, we can pave the way for continuous improvement in education.


Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/ZD5ZULtXNZU



  • Trauma-informed design is crucial in creating safe and supportive learning environments in schools.

  • Pre-design work and stakeholder engagement are essential for successful school architecture projects.

  • Post-occupancy evaluation helps identify areas for improvement and informs future design decisions.

  • Sharing findings and resources within the design community can lead to continuous improvement in education.


As an architect at Bassetti Architects in Portland, Oregon, Deepa is deeply aware of how the built environment affects people. She sees educational design projects as an opportunity to serve some of the most important people Bassetti designs for – children.

As the mother of two, she places high importance on creating schools that are rewarding and enriching for their users and a landmark for the surrounding community. Over her 17 years in the profession, she has become an advocate for listening to students’ voices, in addition to teacher and district voices, to create spaces that address the needs of the individual and help to create equity within our educational environments.


The Bassetti Architecture Trauma-Informed Design Workbook

Bassetti Architects Website



Follow on Deepa Bharatkumar on Social Media:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/deepabharatkumar/


Learn more about creating better learning environments at www.Kay-Twelve.com.

Kevin Stoller is the host of the Better Learning Podcast and Co-Founder of Kay-Twelve, a national leader for educational furniture. Find out more about Kevin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinstoller/.

For more episodes of the Better Learning Podcast, visit https://www.betterlearningpodcast.com/


Episode 172 of the Better Learning Podcast

Kevin Stoller is the host of the Better Learning Podcast and Co-Founder of Kay-Twelve, a national leader for educational furniture. Learn more about creating better learning environments at www.Kay-Twelve.com.


For more information on our partners:
Association for Learning Environments (A4LE) - https://www.a4le.org/
Education Leaders' Organization - https://www.ed-leaders.org/
Second Class Foundation - https://secondclassfoundation.org/
EDmarket - https://www.edmarket.org/


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