Innovation Transforms Learning Environments – And It’s on Full Display at EDspaces

At EDmarketplace, exhibitors and specialty spaces comprise a future-forward exposition showcasing vibrant, creative, innovative, connected solutions to address the design needs of the built environment, PreK-12 through higher ed.
by Adrienne Dayton
Education Market Association

It’s been two years since the educational facilities market has gathered in person, and EDspaces is ready to welcome the industry back, November 3-5, 2021, in Pittsburgh. With a track record of continued growth and vitality, EDspaces leads the market as the premiere conference dedicated to understanding how the intersection of space, pedagogy, and technology impacts student performance.

EDspaces is now owned and operated by Emerald Expositions, with the Education Market Association (EDmarket) coordinating the educational components of the event including sessions, tours, and the Educational Distribution Symposium. “EDmarket is proud to be the primary sponsor of EDspaces, working closely with the talented team at Emerald, the new producer of the event,” says Jim McGarry, EDmarket president/CEO. “This year marks the first in our 20-year sponsoring partnership as the content and education provider for EDspaces. Visit us at booth #1240 to learn about this partnership and all of the other new product introductions from 2021.”

EDspaces is home to best-of-breed professional learning including dedicated, pre-show distributor education. Everyone involved in manufacturing and distribution is invited to participate in the pre-conference Educational Distribution Symposium on Tuesday afternoon, November 2. Join your colleagues for education market training and networking as EDspaces charts service goals, explores new ideas, and embraces strategies for success.

Immersive educational experiences

School and A+D attendees kick off EDspaces November 2 with an inspirational tour and two deep-dive preconference events focused on reimagining schools.

This year, EDspaces delivers more than 50 accredited educational sessions in nine different tracks, taking place in six state-of-the-art classrooms designed by leading vendor and architectural firms. These unique learning environments provide an immersive experience. They allow participants to experience firsthand the cutting-edge educational spaces created and produced by Hord Coplan Macht, Legat Architects, Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, Marotta Main Architects, mediatechnologies, and Moseley Architects. Discover and experience EDspaces continuing education content while contemplating student interaction, engagement, and reaction in these spaces.

With an emphasis on various learning styles, the EDspaces education program includes 16 mini-sessions on the exhibit floor, plus three pre-conference events. Attendees can earn up to 15 continuing education hours for AIA, 12 hours for IDCEC, and four GBCI hours. Out of the 52 AIA sessions, 18 qualify for HSW credit.

On Wednesday, November 3, the opening plenary will inspire attendees to envision a better, brighter future highlighted with a keynote by Bill Strickland. Bill will share his thoughts on “Make the Impossible Possible: A Blueprint for Change” based on his experience as an education icon in Pittsburgh and worldwide. His presentation describes his personal journey from inner-city youth to head of an organization that fosters art, occupational skills, architecture and light, plus the equal availability of quality-of-life for every person. Learn how these opportunities can create nurturing environments for students regardless of background and encourage educators to rethink their approach to physical space and its direct impact on learning.

On the menu in the exhibit hall

The opportunity to garner new ideas continues in the EDspaces exhibit hall. Discover more inspiration from more than 150 outstanding companies. EDspaces provides the industry’s largest and most complete display of new products designed for student success. Take advantage of this timesaving, one-stop shop to see all that is new and innovative.

An informative series of “snackable education sessions” in various specialty spaces adds to the EDspaces Experience.

Attendees can enjoy lunch in the Zen Garden Café designed by ThenDesign Architecture. Enjoy scratch cooking that will showcase myriad delicious and creative offerings with ingredients from the local Pittsburgh community. Chef Greg Christian from Beyond Green will share his expertise on how to serve meals that are nutritious, sustainable, and affordable!

And back again is EDfest, the all-industry social gathering. After two full days of new ideas and learning, unwind, network, and enjoy the relaxed vibe starting at 5 p.m. on Thursday in the convention center.

See real schools and learn about safety

On Friday afternoon, choose from among nine new and renovated schools and universities featured on three EDfacility Tours, all departing from the convention center. This is your chance to look at cutting-edge ideas in real life usage by visiting multiple projects. You’ll hear from their school officials and architects about what went well and what they might do differently next time. K-12 tour stops include Montour Elementary School; Chartiers Valley Middle School; Peters Township High School; Energy Innovation Center; Pressley Ridge School for the Deaf; and Mount Lebanon High School.

On the college tour, attendees can visit Chatham University, Eden Hall; University of Pittsburgh, Posvar Hall; Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business Quad; and the Frick Environmental Center.

For the ninth year, the American Institute of Architects Committee on Architecture for Education (AIA CAE) co-locates its Fall Conference with EDspaces and serves as a valued Knowledge Partner. AIA CAE has designed an outdoor classroom for you to experience on the exhibit floor – emphasizing opportunities to think differently about designing outside and in nature.

Since safety has become such a significant factor in the designs of today’s schools, the Campus Safety Conference (CSC) will co-locate with EDspaces for the first time. CSC provides intensive learning and collaboration among security, public safety, emergency management, administration, facilities, business, and IT professionals responsible for creating safer learning environments for K-12 districts and higher education. With this partnership, entire teams can experience the latest in facility and educational design while planning for a safe and secure learning environment.

EDspaces continues to be the ultimate networking, education, and product-sourcing event in the education community. Step away from your desk for a few days, reload your brain and recharge your batteries, and then get back to work helping schools meet the challenges of the next generation of students. Register today at!

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