The following is a company-submitted press release and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of School Planning & Management magazine.

EDspaces Celebrates High-Performing Learning Environments

(Silver Spring, MD) — The Education Market Association (EDmarket) hosted the EDspaces Conference and Expo last week in Tampa, Florida, bringing together nearly 1,500 key decision makers, product experts, and exhibitor personnel to focus on how educational facilities, furniture, fixtures and equipment can impact student performance. A total of 150 companies exhibited new and innovative products in over 50,000 net square feet of exhibit space.

For the first time, the American Institute of Architects Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) held its Annual Fall Conference in conjunction with the EDspaces, and will continue for 2015 and beyond. The CAE was instrumental in planning an exceptional Educational Facility Tour that included stops at Florida Polytechnic University, Strawberry Crest High School and Tampa Prep Middle School.

The CAE sponsored the opening Keynote Address where Nirvan Mullick, Founder of the Imagination Foundation, energized the crowd by sharing his experience with “Caine’s Arcade”  a model for inspiring creativity in kids all around the world. The next day George Banty, Vice President of Sustainability for Interface, shared his experience with creating environmentally-friendly schools and workplaces. He is Chairman United States Green Building Council and active with EDspaces Knowledge Partner, the USGBC’s Center for Green Schools. At Friday’s General Session, the architects and school officials participating in a two-day design charrette sponsored by the American Architectural Foundation’s Design for Learning Program. The panel shared their findings to help Hillsborough County with their facility planning issue and expansion plans.

During the event, attendees could choose from over 30 CEU-accredited sessions both on and off the floor that delivered high-quality content focused on state-of-the-art, sustainable design and the changing face of learning environments. DEMCO hosted sessions in their Library/Learning Commons specialty space, while other sessions were held in exhibit hall classrooms furnished by Business Interiors by Staples.

The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) awarded the winners of the 2nd Annual 2014 EDspaces Innovation Awards during the conference. The competition recognizes manufacturers and designers for excellence in product design for the learning environment. The judging panel this year included: Dan Bassano, IIDA, NCIDQ, LEED-AP ID+C (Senior Interior Designer, Perkins+Will), Edwin Beltran, Associate IIDA, Assoc. AIA (Principal, NBBJ), and James Kerrigan, IIDA, LEED-AP ID+C (Design Principal, Jacobs). Winners receive recognition by both organization and media partner, Learning by Design.

The 2014 EDspaces Innovation Awards winners are as follows:

BEST OF COMPETITION
Borgo Contract Seating’s Privee

WALL SURFACES
MooreCo’s Luxe Glass Gorilla Glass Whiteboard

FURNITURE – CHILDREN’S
Whitney Brothers’ Whitney Plus Imagination Room

FURNITURE – LECTERN/TEACHING STATION
Diversified Woodcrafts, Inc.’s Hydroponics Growing Center

FURNITURE – STUDENT DESK
Ergotron’s LearnFit Adjustable Standing Desk

FURNITURE – SYSTEMS
VS America’s Shift+

SEATING
Borgo Contract Seating’s Privee

SPECIALTIES
ASSA ABLOY’s IN120 WiFi Lock

Not only were the best products on display but also the best place to learn. EDspaces showcased winners from the AIA CAE Design Awards and the Council of Educational Facility Planners International’s World Conference on Learning Environments in the exhibit hall. These jury-selected projects demonstrate quality of form, functionality, and current architectural responses that promote learning for people of all age groups.

Following the event, truckloads of products valued in past years at over $100,000 were donated to children in need through a partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Hillsborough County. “Our exhibitors are delighted to provide high-quality — and much-needed — resources to the students and teachers in the Tampa area,” says Jim McGarry, President/CEO of the Education Market Association.

The excitement and demand were apparent with exhibitors reserving 70 percent of available booth space for 2015 while at the event. EDspaces 2015 will be held October 28-30 in New Orleans, LA. Visit www.ed-spaces.com.

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