This past year, PSFK took notice of a number of new schools around the world that used planning and design thinking to create interesting new environments for learning. Prior to the recent economic downturn, commercial projects with giant budgets were able to push innovation in architecture and design forward. Now the money and need for new commercial buildings and retail stores are pretty low leaving architects scrambling to look for work.

Schools in the US have been a magnet for criticism and a chronic problem. But for architects and designers, there is an immense amount of opportunity to inject creative thinking and innovation. Schools may be the big architectural story of 2009.

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