The pandemic has forced us all to reconsider how we remain engaged with our communities. For many organizations, this has meant re-envisioning existing places of gathering to provide support and developing new ways of responding to changing needs. Our final Year of Gathering event brought together leaders from North Philly Peace Park, Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC), and the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh for a conversation on how each has remained resilient and strengthened community connections this year.

Places of Gathering

Patricia Culley, an associate principal at Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, began by asking each speaker to introduce their gathering place. Kirsten Christopherson-Clark, Waldorf’s head of school, spoke of the holistic “head, heart, and hands” process that nurtures student development. The evolution of the school’s campus, including working with our practice to design a new eighth grade classroom building, was informed by a similar approach. Kirsten noted that site studies engaged natural surroundings in much the same way an educator would look at a child: by seeing what’s there, getting a feeling for the person (or space), and then seeing what wants to come. …


Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

Designing buildings that inspire connection and wonder in every person who experiences them.

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