Real World Learning in Week One—Experts in Design


What if school were more like real life?

Today our elementary and middle school heroes welcomed three "external experts" into their Studios to give feedback on their first Quest called Design the Studio.

For this Quest, our learners were given the following challenge: 

With your group, in the next week you will create a visual and a proposal for a design of this Studio that will make this the best place to learn. You have a budget of $500 for the main classroom, $300 for the backyard, and $200 for sports equipment. Your proposal should address elements of form and function.

As you'll see below, Dana, Audrey, and Philip are experts in their field and thus well positioned to guide our learners about the feasibility and promise of their designs, which they are pitching to our co-founders tomorrow. 

Dana Lynch is founder and CEO of Dana Lynch Design, Ltd.

Dana Lynch Design, Ltd. is an Atlanta-based interior design firm focusing on both custom homes and large scale developments. DLD specializes in partnering with clients during the design and build process to anticipate construction issues and successfully execute complex features in high-end custom homes. DLD has relationships with talented artisans that result in exclusive designs and fabrication that addresses the unique challenges of each project. DLD strives to push the traditional design aesthetic forward in lieu of following trends. The DLD design philosophy celebrates the tension created by the juxtaposition of opposites and raw materiality.




Audrey Bennett is an Interior Designer at Dana Lynch Design, Ltd.

Growing up with an artistic and creative father, Audrey gained her love for design while watching him build houses and create beautiful spaces. In the midst of flipping her backyard and horse barn into a wedding venue in preparation to marry her college sweetheart, she realized that design is what she was created to do. Audrey’s keen eye for design reflects in her work. Her love for people allows her to organically connect with her clients. She thoroughly pays attention to her clients’ style, personality, and visions as she strives to bring her clients' spaces to life. Audrey was formerly in partnership with K&J Design Group of Atlanta as their team's Interior Designer. Today she works with Dana Lynch Design, Ltd., including the interiors at Pinewood Forest. Audrey is a University of Georgia Graduate, Football Wife, and Sports Enthusiast. She and her husband, Michael, reside in Brookhaven.

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Philip Shell is the director of landscape architecture at Pinewood Forest.

Philip currently oversees the design and development of exterior spaces from sidewalks, to parks, to private courtyards. He graduated from Starr’s Mill High School and went to college at Auburn University where he focused on designing outdoor spaces ranging from pocket parks to town planning. Intrigued by the ability to promote social interaction through intentional design, he took a job with HillWorks design firm focusing on adaptive reuse projects. He has worked for the CEO of Chick-fil-A for the past 6 years, overseeing his private residence and collaborating with designers from across the nation on a master plan for the westside of Atlanta, Georgia. During that time, Philip managed a 250 acre tree farm while leading the design for Chick-fil-A’s main corporate entrance as well. He and his wife recently moved to Peachtree City and have 2 small children.

Please join us in thanking Dana, Audrey, and Philip!

Tyler Thigpen