The Project

The Paideia Project was created to show the potential for a 21st century education. With funding and support from the Gallatin Student Resource Fund, a team of over 20 undergraduate students at schools across NYU worked in the Spring of 2018 to adapt and redesign the physical and programmatic aspects of a rural high school. Our work prioritized an education that empowers students to be creative individuals with agency in their own learning. Our aim is to show the potential of problem/project based learning, and offer possible opportunities for alternative school models should we move beyond our current paradigm of standardized testing and common curriculum.

Below are a few ways our project addresses some of the problems effecting our current education system in America. To see full descriptions of these problems, visit the Problem page. 



The School

Below are photos from the public school that we used as our template for our designs located in rural Massachusetts. There are aspects of this school that we found promising. Their vocational programs, field gardens, and green houses inspired the design team and gave the curriculum team a sense of what the students found engaging. We used this school as our palimpsest to create The Paideia Project. See our designs:

Architecture  /  Curriculum


The Process

These past few months, we have made New Lab at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, our home. The space, formerly an assembly warehouse for ships during WWII, was created for startups and entrepreneurs, and focuses on hardware – tangible creations – over software. This is where we congregated, every Friday morning, to share our ideas, work on our renders, and assemble our model.

We also used many spaces at NYU. Since New Lab is not affiliated with Gallatin or NYU (we use the space independently as students under Mitchell Joachim), reserving time to use their fabrication tools is often difficult. Thankfully the Tandon Makerspace at NYU is a 15 minute walk away. For the curriculum team, we often had little need to make the trek to Brooklyn for meetings, so we found our space in Gallatin, and other areas around the Washington Square Park campus. Below are photos of our process.