When I was working on the design of my first K-12 project as a professional (seen here), I was given the advice that the budget did not allow for any upgraded finishes, so creating an environment that was “cheap and cheerful” should be my charge.  This little phrase has stuck with me–through many rounds of value engineering and alternate bids on many other projects.  For this particular project, a major elementary school addition in western Illinois, creating cheerful environments with simple manipulations of form and strategic color is building a visual identity for the school.