Community Design Collaborative


Philadelphia, PA

Project Details

A Scalable, Modular Solution for Outdoor Learning

The Community Design Collaborative spearheaded Design AID: Outdoor Learning Ideas Competition to seek innovative and creative solutions for outdoor learning in a time of global crisis – and beyond – to bring students back to school as soon as safely possible amidst COVID-19 and to expand opportunities for outdoor learning in the future. In response, a team from KSS devised MODS, which builds on the module of a milk crate to create a field for outdoor learning at various scales.

Starting with the ground plane, a six-foot physical distancing grid creates a field to deploy and define the three major elements: the Commons, the Hub, and the Pod. These elements can be used as separate learning environments for smaller scaled spaces, such as a parking space or joined together as a whole within a school-yard. The Commons’ painted pixelated path connects the Hub and Pod areas and allows students to plug in their modules to collaborate and learn safely as a school community. The Hub, a semi-enclosed space made up of a larger Container-Module, is used for structured learning. The structured learning space within the Container-Module can be manipulated to allow ventilation or expand past standard dimensions with the addition of a simple trellis. The Pod is a small-scale space for unstructured playful learning activities like gardening, painting, or playing, and can be manipulated to serve any activity or lesson. The basis for the design, the Crate-Module, is portable–it can be carried, climbed, or planted–and used to organize personal storage and manipulatives in a sanitary way.

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