Sean O’Donnell, AIA, LEED AP

Sean O’Donnell, AIA, LEED AP


Sean O’Donnell has over 15 years experience as an architect focused on the design of great learning environments. Sean’s work is informed by his research into how environments successfully accommodate diverse and changing user needs over time. In addition to his concern for how architecture engages the individual, he also draws upon a large scale approach, observing, “there’s always a larger vision of how a building engages its context and the community.” This approach has helped him establish a national reputation as a leader in educational facility planning and design.

Projects of Note


  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Master of Architecture, 1995
  • New York University, Graduate Coursework in Urban Planning, 1992
  • State University of New York at Buffalo, Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies, 1989


  • District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland, New York, Louisiana, NCARB, LEED AP

Notable Honors and Awards

  • Merit Award, Design Share, School Without Walls, 2008
  • Award of Merit, AIA New York, Binghamton University Appalachian Collegiate Center
  • Outstanding Architecture and Design in Education, School Planning & Management, Snyder High School Media Arts Facility, 2000
  • Educational Interior Design Excellence Award, American School and University, Snyder High School Media Arts Facility, 2000
  • The John Reps Prize, Society for American City and Regional Planning History, Best Masters Thesis in American City and Regional Planning History, 1993-95
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, School of Architecture and Urban Planning Award for Excellence in Environmental Design Research, 1995

Beyond the Office

  • AIA/DC, Committee on Architecture for Education, Founding Chair, 2004-present
  • Society for College and University Planning, Member, 1996-present
  • Council of Educational Facilities Planners International, Member, 1996-present
  • Environmental Design Research Association, Member, 1994-present


  • “Lesson Plans,” Contract, February 2009
  • “Building for the Future,” Edutopia, February 2009
  • “Adaptive Economics,” School Construction News, March/April 2009 (bylined)
  • “Design Share Awards 2008,” School Construction News, November/December 2008
  • “Six Design Principles to Set the Stage for Learning,” Learning by Design E-News, September 15, 2008
  • “Place-Making: How the out-of-classroom experience can foster social and emotional learning” Learning by Design 2007