Sharon Exley, MAAE
Sharon Exley makes play an art. Under Sharon’s direction, Architecture Is Fun has become one of the most respected specialty practices focusing on architecture for children. Elevating learning and play environments to sophisticated design, she has successfully executed award-winning projects that include museums, playgrounds, outdoor learning environments, children’s ministries, healthcare facilities, experiential and exploratory environments for children, their caregivers, and their communities.
Sharon understands what makes play work. Directing the interior design process, Sharon envisions and brands meaningful purposeful environments, holistically sensitive to children, clients and project type needs, while infusing them with texture, color, light and an identity of place and purpose. She uniquely melds her roles as educator, designer, author, and parent to bring experience to the educational content, planning, programming, design and implementation of spaces for children of all ages.
It is all about trust and making kids and clients know they count. Sharon’s leadership, creativity, and educational focus inform the participatory process of design that is the hallmark of Architecture Is Fun and its success. Sharon has developed the firm’s core philosophy of educative design™: design is educated through interactions with the child, the client, and the community and in turn, design educates through the articulation of space for interaction, experience, and self-discovery. It is this filter of collaboration and inclusiveness that ultimately creates places of participation, play and learning, which are indispensable for everyone’s growth.