I taught high school biology for 15 years and was an administrator for 12 years.  My 27 years in education taught me a great deal about the organization of schools and how schools could serve their community by supporting the growth and development of children.

As an educator, I saw schools as something that should constantly be in motion, always looking forward and learning, and moving in a direction that created both a contemporary and compelling education for students.  To support that, I began to study and employ design as a process framework to support that movement forward.  Organizations love processes, and rightfully so.  Processes can guide and empower, and in the case of design, enrich the experience so that the outcome is more creative and innovative- and potentially more impactful.

My work with The Third Teacher+ as a digital designer and strategist confirmed this.  The opportunity to work side-by-side world class designers on a daily basis was a tremendous growth experience for me.  I now have blended that design experience and my background in education into a skill set that I employ to offer a range of services that can support schools in truly unique ways.

My practice at David Jakes Designs focuses on supporting organizations with their change efforts.  That's a simple statement.  But education is a complex entity and shifting perspectives, mindsets and actions is complex.  And messy.  Sometimes an outside perspective is necessary to lend clarity and experience so that the opportunity has the greatest potential for a successful outcome.

If you are considering change at any scale, and in any direction, perhaps you could benefit from an experienced educator/designer who has done it.   If so, let's talk.

Thanks for visiting.


David Jakes is one of the brightest and most able people I know when it comes to getting people to think deeply about education.
— Will Richardson

Challenges and Provocations of my clients:

  • How might we re-imagine the 4th and 5th grade experience for a school district that is getting new and remodeled learning spaces?
  • How might we create magical library spaces for the K-8 student learning experience?
  • How might we rethink the intersection of student choice, space, library and technology?
  • How might we create an invitation and declaration into a making experience for students?
  • How might we evaluate the impact of spatial change and use that information to make informed decisions?
  • How might we rethink and redesign an ecology of spaces for 7th and 8th graders that become a catalyst for new learning and cultural change?
  • How might we rethink how the physical elements of classrooms can be rethought to create conditions for 21st Century learning?
  • How might we create the lens, mindset, spaces and programs associated with creating makerspaces?
  • How might we shift learning of students by shifting the learning of adults through professional learning events?

You can learn more and get greater depth about my partnerships, projects, and outcomes here.