Project Description


Blueprinting the learning environment for a VC-backed network of schools that Silicon Valley hopes will re-invent education

AltSchool is an educational software developer and network of “micro-schools” founded by Max Ventilla, former head of personalization at Google and backed by the likes of John Doerr, Peter Thiel, Mark Zuckerberg, and Andreessen Horowitz.

The education start-up develops digital platforms and applications to deliver data-driven, individualized student learning experience at its lab schools in San Francisco and New York and at partner schools across the nation. AltSchool engaged MKThink to develop a strategy for the physical design of its learning environments.

The project team deployed sensors, conducted observations and interviews at four locations to evaluate space utilization and environmental conditions and applied the findings to inform and develop Strategic Conceptual Guidelines to direct AltSchool in the build-out of future locations.

The guidelines present a matrix of 9 spatial typologies to align with different modes of learning, a menu of flexible layouts, and acoustics and lighting specifications. The comprehensive toolkit will expedite the roll out of AltSchool’s growing network of campuses and offer guidance its partner schools implementing its platforms.

Project name

Strategic Guidelines and Design Criteria


Conceptual Design, Conceptual Strategy,
Design Development, Master Planning,
Interior Design


San Francisco, CA


2014 – 2015