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Discovery Elementary School Branded Environment

Client: Arlington Public Schools

Location: Arlington, Virginia

Scope: School Branding, Wayfinding, Educational Signage, ADA/Code Signage

Architect: VMDO Architects

The carefully themed graphics and signage package, combined with the building’s net-zero energy design, creates a custom and unique learning environment that promotes environmental stewardship for Arlington County students.


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Discovery Elementary School
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The design team created a kid-centric, place-based, wayfinding narrative that went beyond navigation to support a larger vision of spatial interaction.

Discovery Elementary School utilizes evidence-based research proving that young learners benefit from learning and living in an enriched environment. Collaboration with the architects provided a holistic design where every nook and cranny of the school is arranged to create a seamless integration between design, sustainability, and learning.

The design team created a kid-centric, place-based, wayfinding narrative that went beyond navigation to support a larger vision of spatial interaction. The wayfinding helps carefully shape different grade-level environments that reflect each grade’s expanding curriculum and identity. As students progress through the school, their world expands—with the first floor themed around earth eco-systems and the second floor themed around the sky and solar system. Integrated in the wayfinding are colors, icons, and educational signage featuring real-world facts related to grade-level theming – which collectively transform wayfinding features into creative educational opportunities relating students and their actions to environmental stewardship.


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