Description —
This study is being conducted by the Halifax team of the SSHRC Partnership Grant project Quality in Canada's Built Environment: Roadmaps to Equity, Social Value and Sustainability (QCBE). While awards for quality in architecture and design have proliferated in the last 20 years, little is known about how design quality relates to end user experience. Architects and designers may consult prospective users during the design process but are seldom able to return to their projects once they are built for more than a cursory post-occupancy evaluation. 
The interdisciplinary QCBE project therefore explores what quality of design means in practice and in use, and how the concept of quality can be understood and developed to enhance equity, sustainability, and social value and inclusion.
Our team is exploring quality in schools that have received design awards.  Schools are crucial institutions in society and rightly attract much scholarship on curriculum and pedagogy, but little research has investigated the spatial dimensions of learning environments (Walden 2015). We want to explore the relationship between ‘quality’ in design and ‘quality’ of use-value and experience. Have design intentions in awarded schools been fulfilled or subverted in practice? 
We are especially interested in whether the built environment of school is experienced as inclusive and welcoming, as per design intent, or whether spatial experience still reflects the social stratification and other divisions that education in capitalist societies has been observed to generate

Team —
Academic Partners
Susan Fitzgerald, Architecture, Dalhousie University
Martha Radice, Social Anthropology, Dalhousie University
Derek Reilly, Computer Science, Dalhousie University
Michael Putman, Architecture, Dalhousie University
Brian Lilley, Architecture, Dalhousie University

Community Partners
Alex McLean, Zuppa Theatre
Darrell MacDonald, Nova Scotia Department of Public Works
Leah Perrin, City of Halifax Principal Planner

Stavros Kondeas
Brendan Roworth​​​​​​​

Funding —
Social Science and Humanities Research Council

Timeline —
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