We are thrilled to announce that the Hildreth Elementary School has been awarded a Merit Award for Placemaking and Identity in the SEGD Global Design Awards, a program that sets the standard of excellence for experiential graphic design and celebrates design that inspires and improves the human experience for individuals of all backgrounds and abilities.

The Hildreth Elementary School is a new PreK-5 school located in Harvard, Massachusetts. Founded in the early 1700s, the town has a rich heritage that is reflected in its buildings and landscape. The Graphic Design Studio developed a series of environmental graphics that celebrate these unique aspects and weave them into the fabric of the new building to provide educational opportunities outside the classrooms.

Since the school’s opening, the placemaking graphics have become a focal point within the building and have provided many educational opportunities. The 82-foot-long mural is a focal point alongside the school’s central amenity spaces. The mural serves as a teaching tool to help students understand their physical location and how they are connected to the broader world. Classroom graphics feature Harvard’s native flora and fauna­—the same plants and animals found on the mural–with custom illustrations at each room’s entrance. Harvard’s natural landscape of apple orchards and rolling hills was integrated into a series of sunscreens located around the perimeter of the building. The sunscreens add a unique finishing touch to the building’s exterior. The inside returns of the apples were painted red for an added element of discovery. The combination of graphics provides teachers with additional educational tools while also instilling pride in and connecting to Harvard’s rich history and landscape.

Topics: Graphic Design, SEGD, Hildreth Elementary School, Placemaking, Merit Award