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Parallax Architecture and Planning Designs Forward-thinking Facilities for Archer School for Girls

Brentwood, Calif. – Culver City-based Parallax Architecture and Planning unveils two forward-thinking educational labs designed for The Archer School for Girls located in Brentwood. The new spaces, The Saban IDEAlab and the MediaSpace, aim to close the gender gap in STEM Education and in the entertainment industry, normally considered to be the domain of boys.

The Saban IDEAlab

A STEM-inspired space, this new teaching lab and workshop is designed to engage girls in engineering and design activities with the goal of fostering greater creativity and tangible manifestations of student ideas as part of the school’s “Integrated Design and Engineering Arts” program.

The project required converting two small classroom spaces into highly functional “maker spaces” supporting multiple forms of digital and manual fabrication.

“Essential design features included broad interior windows for good room-to-room visibility, ample natural lighting, comprehensive noise and dust controls and enhanced power provisions for specialized equipment,” says Craig Jameson, Design Director at Parallax Architecture and Planning. “The result is a safe, highly adaptable environment supporting ever-changing learning and making activities.”

In addition, the space features a machine workshop and a lab with a 3-Axis CNC Mill, flat-bed laser cutter, 3D printers, and collaborative work spaces. This impressive array of tools and machinery enables students to carry a project from initial concept through computer models to physical realization.

The Archer School for Girls offers STEM courses in grades 6 through 12 to develop basic programming, electronics and mechanical design skills along with experience in real-world, creative problem solving. Archer’s curricula includes innovative courses such as Web App Design, Coding, Circuits & Integrated Arts, Engineering & Design, Computer Science, and Honors Research in Science.

“Engineering and design thinking are skills that strengthen a student’s capacity for critical thinking, project management, problem solving and teaming,” said Head of School Elizabeth English. “Archer is proud to stand at the forefront of advancing girls in STEM and to be working toward a future where women are not only contributors to STEM solutions but leaders in the field.”

The MediaSpace

This space is designed to catapult women to the highest levels of media production, including film, television and music. The 21st century learning environment allows students to work collaboratively and independently in a real-world, professional workspace.

The space includes 12 editing bays fully-equipped with industry standard software, a sound booth for vocal recording, a soundproof lighting studio equipped with an infinity wall and mechanical backdrops including a green screen, a 20-seat screening room, and media arts lab for graphic design, film, animation, and digital photography.

“Archer students can experience the complete cycle of film production proceeding from conceptualization, to filming, editing, soundtrack placement and titling to final screening,” said Jameson.

The MediaSpace is the hub of Archer’s Institute for Film and Video Literacy program to further Archer’s commitment to addressing the persistent lack of women in film and television. Designed for multiple courses to occur at once and to encourage cooperative learning across disciplines, the physical space is filled with bright colors and modern elements to nurture an active, collaborative environment.

“Parallax has designed several projects for Archer,” said Head of School Elizabeth English. “The reason we keep coming back is that not only does Parallax design beautiful and highly functional spaces, they take the time to understand our objectives as a fundamentally innovative and collaborative institution. They are highly professional and always ahead of the curve and worked beautifully with our faculty and educational leaders throughout each project.”

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