This article illustrates how schooling Innovative Learning Environments (ILE) deploy a future-focused imaginary for a perfectly self-managing society. New building design, coupled with this imaginary, creates possibilities for new ecologies of practices in which there are reframed relationships and pedagogical opportunities. We use the theory of practice architectures to demonstrate how practices in ILE are shaped through discourses, workplace activities, and power relations. We report data from a qualitative case study investigating the implementation of ILE in Aotearoa New Zealand. Interviews were conducted with four principals leading pedagogical transitions in newly built ILE. Data were categorised to explore changes in the cultural-discursive, material-economic, and social-political arrangements of the built spaces in which educators work and students learn. The data paint a vision of a ‘perfectly self-managing society’ where learners and teachers enact subjectivities immersed in pastoral forms of control. There is manufactured uncertainty (where technical solutions are constantly called for to ensure ‘progress’) and this ongoing variation and change destabilise prior practices. This article has relevance to those who work in contexts beyond education–where built spaces and the associated discourses of collaboration, agility and flexibility are elements of transitions to a new imaginary in the workplace.