Category: Insights

Exterior rendering of the Beyond Vision headquarters
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Accessible Design: Beyond Vision's VisABILITY Center – Part 1

Part 1: On a Mission for Accessible Spaces Accessible design was the mission for Bray in creating a new, 130,000-square-foot headquarters for Beyond Vision. This Milwaukee-based nonprofit needed a new space to expand their work providing meaningful and sustainable employment for people with vision loss. A New Accessible Space Dubbed the VisABILITY Center, the new location will…

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Video – Educational Visioning

We’re wrapping up our Understanding Educational Visioning series with a short video that provides a glimpse into the process. In the span of about 90 seconds, we cover what educational visioning is, what it looks like in practice, and how Bray approaches this critical part of any new school’s design. In case you missed it,…

Students nestle into the reading nooks created by the large letters spelling "Storyland" in the entrance to the school's library
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Understanding Educational Visioning – Part 4: Pedagogy

This is the final post in our four-part series looking at educational visioning and its role in the school design process. Read part three. Pedagogy Districts have diverse ways of delivering learning to their students. Priorities can even vary among schools within one district and among grade levels. The educational visioning process seeks to identify…

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Understanding Educational Visioning – Part 3: Identity

This is the third of a four-part series looking at educational visioning and its role in the school design process. Read part two. Identity Every school district has a unique set of priorities, and that’s addressed through identity. That’s when the design team and the district develop an overarching theme that guides their work on…

Commons/cafeteria area with view of stairs and ceiling wood paneling.
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Understanding Educational Visioning – Part 2: Architecture

Architecture It may seem obvious that conversations about a new school need to be about the physical space. But how this happens can be a mystery to those who aren’t regularly involved in the process. Architects base their early discussions of space around the “program.” The program is a list – like cook’s grocery list…

A teacher reads to students who are sitting on tiered steps in the school library, with a large window to the outdoors in the background
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Understanding Educational Visioning – Part 1: What Is It?

What is Educational Visioning? Educational visioning is strategy for the school district – including students and their parents, staff, teachers, and administrators – the architectural team, and the community to develop goals and a direction for the new learning spaces. The point is to bring these voices together, start conversations about the new spaces, and…

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Advocating for A4LE

Image above: Four Bray team members attended the 2021 LearningSCAPES conference of the Association for Learning Environments in Denver, Colorado. Above from left to right: Maria Welch, senior project specialist; Andrew Iverson, architect and project leader; Kate Egan, architect and project leader; and Allison Mastel, architect and project leader. Raising Awareness of an Important Organization…

Students and a teacher work on a robotics project in an open STEM lab with flexible seating and tables at DeForest Area High School
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Celebrating National STEM/STEAM Day: Four Design Takeaways

To celebrate National STEM/STEAM Day, we wanted to share insight from our years of experience designing these important educational spaces. Here are four takeaways we’ve learned after creating STEM, STEAM, and tech ed spaces for more than 35 communities. STEM/STEAM programs gain strength through partnerships with local businesses. The addition and renovation of Tech Ed…

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Mixed-use Safety Facilities: Combining Departments Under One Roof

A shared public safety facility, housing multiple public-serving departments under one roof, can create logistic efficiencies – reducing operations costs, decreasing response times for emergency vehicles, and offering a central location for citizen needs. A shared space can also unite the departments and offer a symbol of pride and safety for the communities it serves.…

Sketch drawing fading into photo of stair case of a historic preservation project designed by Bray Architects
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Considerations for Your Historic Preservation Project

Preserving history for a local community is often an important priority for many of the clients we work with. It is also often an important factor for the local economy – preserving an abandoned piece of history can add aesthetic value, create business opportunities, and provide historical context for future generations. Building preservation does require…

Building a Sustainable Future Title Graphic with sprouting leaves in background
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Building a Sustainable Future: How to Get Started

At Bray, we are committed to building a sustainable future and achieving sustainability goals for all of our clients. We realize that to achieve some of the long-term goals, both globally and nationally, sustainability will be part of every single project conversation moving forward. While not all projects are able to meet the gold-standard goal…

Graphic depicting different school community groups being connected to the school's design
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Celebrating Your School Community Through Architecture

We have all heard, “it takes a village to raise a child.” For a school, it takes a village to provide a well-rounded educational experience. This “village” creates the school community, and while the list might vary by school, most communities include these integral groups: Students Teachers + staff Alumni + past students School Board…