People are products of their environment.

Students included. Every campus, lab, and classroom a student enters, their surroundings affect how they feel, how they think, and how they act.

But have you noticed how these spaces more often affect students in the wrong ways, instead of the right ways? They can be noisy. Poorly lit. Distracting.

Bad spaces hold people back. But great spaces unlock incredible potential. They inspire confidence, boost intelligence, and spark creativity.

Just by being in the right space, any student can become a better version of themselves.

Kurani is on a mission to design learning spaces that set humanity on a new path. Will you lend a hand?

Learning Spaces TEDx talk by Danish Kurani

A lifelong journey to build better spaces

Before his 4th birthday, Danish Kurani had already lived in three different countries. By the time he turned 18, he’d bounced between 10 different homes, from Pakistan to Canada to America. The only constant were the LEGO bricks and sketchpad he carried from place to place.

Each time Danish’s surroundings changed, so did his perspective on the world. When he was 10, he felt the impact of thin walls ruining a home’s sense of privacy. When he was 12, he saw the liveliness of ethnic grocery stores, and the sterility of supermarkets. When he was 14, he fell in love with a park he could walk to.

Danish has been honing his architecture for decades

Over the years, sketches and LEGO bricks turned to blueprints and buildings. However, it was soon clear to Danish that working for major firms wouldn’t cut it. Architects seemed to care more about designing iconic buildings and less about how people used those spaces. 

Inspiration turned to entrepreneurship, and in 2013, Kurani was born. Education was the focus. The mission: Put students and staff at the center of every design, and create spaces that serve their needs and goals.

Almost immediately, Danish began finding education leaders who shared his mission. They, too, wanted to give students—and society—a brighter future.

Students in Denver express their creativity in a Kurani classroom

Kurani partnered with New York City to create a new kind of high school, one designed to support young Black men. Then, a partnership with Denver Public Schools to create a prototype classroom that promoted creativity and individuality. 

Soon, more leaders began aligning with the vision. More partnerships formed.

“You helped us build schools that are closely aligned with the communities where they exist.” -New York City Department of Education

Kurani created a Silicon Valley high school focused on experimentation. A school for happiness in India. Computer science labs for underrepresented kids in Oakland and Baltimore.

In Baltimore, Kurani and non-profit Dent Education are creating a youth center for teaching product design and entrepreneurship

Each space Kurani designs is unique, but they all share a common goal: to reflect the communities who use them. 

Whether it’s at the scale of a LEGO brick or a skyscraper, Kurani wants the world to see how design can make a difference in people’s lives. Sometimes, you just need to shift your perspective.

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