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Alyssa Buada

Alyssa Buada

Alyssa is passionate about all things design. It started with her curiosity about seeing spaces differently and how that manifests into experiences for users. The complexity of interior design has driven her to learn more about inclusiveness, sustainability, wellbeing, construction, and much more.

English Learning Center

The NEST which stands for Network, Educate, and Socialize together; is an English Learning Center for immigrant women. The intent of the facility is to support women through improving their English skills, providing daycare services for students with children, and more importantly helping them to create a sense of belonging.

English Learning Center

Rationale and Design Narrative

Immigration plays an important role in contributing to Canada’s multiculturalism, to which immigrants have accounted for 21.9 % of Canada’s population in 2016 (Statistics Canada, 2016). With hopes of finding better opportunities for themselves and their families, the ability to speak, read, and write English fluently is a necessary skill for life in Canada. In addition to English proficiency, deskilling is a prominent barrier that prevents immigrants' from finding jobs in their field of work. As a result, immigrants are underemployed and are limited to precarious jobs that are consequently lower-skilled, lower-paid, and lack security of permanent employment. English being a second language for most newcomers, language training gives them the opportunity to improve an individual's employability or allow them to further their education.

Design Connection to Research

Inspired by a nest, it serves as a sanctuary: a safe place of refuge for newcomers. The circular design of the main spaces is juxtapose with linear rooms surrounding them, so that students can easily navigate around the institution. Signage can be found through the use of maps, room numbers, and icons for key areas to help with wayfinding. Classrooms have flexible seating to support the different learning styles and to encourage student engagement. Food being the universal language, there are cooking classes to help patrons learn about each other’s cultures, as well students can put into practice their communication skills.

Character of Space

Ideally, the end goal is to leave the NEST, but the process to get there is also influenced by the outside world. The facility serves more than just an institution for English classes but it is a community hub for people to get together. It bridges the gap from outside and inside. Whereas, the facility itself explores both space and place. Space refers to a continuous area or expanse which is free, available, or unoccupied, while, place pertains to the physical environment within a physical environment. The space is the Learning Center, while the place is created by private niches and in-between spaces intentionally spaced throughout the building.

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