Architecture can give form to rituals, habits, values, and, in some cases, it creates new traditions and a new sense of identity, building vibrant communities by cultivating common interests, needs, and heritage. From early education to institutions of higher learning, we understand that our projects create environments to inspire learning as well as help foster a sense of identity, ownership, and community pride as students discover and experience the world.  
 
At Amidon Bowen Elementary School in Washington, DC, QEA collaborated with the school and community stakeholders to achieve these objectives. A way-finding strategy using color, graphics, and themes was devised to reinforce a sense of orientation and develop distinguishing character within each of the school’s four neighborhoods. Complimentary colors promote a common identity and a sense of continuity from grade to grade. Grade level themes endorse sustainability as a shared value of the school community, reinforcing the education curriculum. Display cases and tackable surfaces at classroom entries exhibit student work enabling each class to develop a unique presence on the corridor. At each experiential level, the design promotes a sense of community pride amongst faculty, staff, students, and parents.