A conceptual winner.
An innovative model high school takes the prize.
Design with a difference.
Winner of the “Conceptual” category at the 2017 SXSWedu Learn by Design competition, Citti Academy is an innovative high school model developed to help high-risk students overcome societal obstacles.
Based on a seven-pillar approach to teaching and learning that ranges from personal growth to financial stability to business development, the Academy has three main objectives: free students from poverty and illiteracy; challenge them to develop collective intelligence; and inspire them to be active participants in both their local and global communities.
Housed in a transformed industrial shipping warehouse in Los Angeles, Citti Academy provides a warm, welcoming environment that recognizes and supports multiple learning styles and intelligences. By repurposing an existing building rather than building a new one, construction funds can be focused on adaptation and purpose-specific design, adding only what is needed for optimum functionality.
Inside, skylights, glass garage doors and large windows provide ample natural lights. The floorplan is divided between open “advisory clusters” and “learning pods” and traditional, enclosed classrooms for activities that benefit from additional quiet and privacy. Shared spaces, including seminar rooms, small group rooms, an all-school commons and a kitchen, facilitate gatherings, engagement and interaction. In place of a single media resource center and computer lab, technology and media resources are seamlessly integrated throughout the school, increasing access. All learning spaces are crafted to accommodate a 1:20 or 2:40 student/teacher ratio, ensuring each student is known, optimally supported and prepared for success.