Written by Samuel Tse
Paint Gunn High School, an organization based on the initiative to repaint the school, began on campus on Wednesday, Jan. 13. This program aims to develop a new color scheme for campus with ideas from students, teachers and parents.
Led by Architarian Design, a Palo Alto firm selected by the School Site Council, Paint Gunn has been surveying students and teachers around school. “[The Site Council] really wanted to have a big component of community involvement,” Architarian Design founder Elaine Uang said. “The posters and things you’ve seen are all part of a process we believe really strongly in which is to be very people-focused and user-centered.”
Their survey posters, which were posted on the side of Spangenberg Theater during the Gunn TEDx event,
include questions such as “How does the campus make you feel?”, “Where do you enter school?” and “What is your favorite hangout spot?”
Paint Gunn values student voice and is trying to collect student opinions.“This campus is built for you to come here and learn and so we really think that the final decision will be up to the students,” Principal Denise Herrmann said.
Much of the student interactions have occurred in focus groups during Flex Time. “We discussed some possible color schemes and our first impressions of different color palettes,” freshman Audrey Li said. “We also talked about how we want to feel on the campus and what colors could bring out those feelings.”
Students have been reacting positively to the increase in student voice. “I think it’s great that the students could have their voices heard in this big decision because I think a color change could have a lasting impact on our campus and students,” Li said.
In addition, students feel that Paint Gunn will bring a positive change to the school. “It’ll be a brand new Gunn campus that is able to nourish a love for learning and a certain pride for your school and campus,” freshman Kristie Huang said. “If our campus can embody our school community, it will impact the way we all feel and act at school.”
Color can also be used to highlight landmarks in the school. “When people come to the school and they have to go to the N building, that can be hard to find if you’ve never been to the N building,” Herrmann said. “So that can be one thing so everyone feels like, ‘Wow, this is a big campus but it’s really easy to get around.’”
There is also a possibility that murals and student art will be included. “We want to make sure that color is used well and can help you guys navigate, give you a cohesive sense of place,” Uang said.