DesignShare - Designing for the Future of Learning MAY 2010 E-NEWSLETTER

Letter from the Editor

Dear DesignSharers,

One of the most inspirational educational “experiments” I’ve ever heard of was Sugata Mitra’s Hole in the Wall project in India. It’s a prime example of kids’ intuition and inherent desire to learn, and we use this example often when presenting our work around the world. With summer nearing and teachers and students getting ready for three school-less months, sharing this project with the DesignShare audience seemed timely indeed. This is an issue that bridges architects and educators... how can we harness this boundless yearning and energy to learn and create the best possible environment to support it?

“There’s a wealth of talent that lies in all of us. All of us, including those who work in schools, must nurture creativity systematically and not kill it unwittingly.” (Sir Ken Robinson)

Clare Friedrich, Editor

> On Tap

Hole in the Wall: Sugata Mitra shows how kids teach themselves
TED Talks | TED Partner Series
In 1999, Sugata Mitra and his colleagues dug a hole in a wall bordering an urban slum in New Delhi, installed an Internet-connected PC, and left it there (with a hidden camera filming the area). What they saw was kids from the slum playing around with the computer and in the process learning how to use it and how to go online, and then teaching each other. In the following years they replicated the experiment in other parts of India, urban and rural, with similar results, challenging some of the key assumptions of formal education. The "Hole in the Wall" project demonstrates that, even in the absence of any direct input from a teacher, an environment that stimulates curiosity can cause learning through self-instruction and peer-shared knowledge. View the TED video here....

Educating the Masses
Minneapolis, Minn.-based firm approaches projects a bit differently than most architectural firms designing for the education sector. “The typical way to begin a design project is to listen very well and to take good notes,” Chairman Randall Fielding says. “Most architects are great listeners. They will take out a yellow pad and take dozens and dozens of pages of detailed notes about what the client wants. We don’t start there. If Henry Ford asked people in 1905 what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse. Even innovative educators are not necessarily visionary when it comes to the integration of space and learning.” Read full article here....

Case Study: The Corporacion Educativa y Social Waldorf
Designed by Arquitectura Justa, Bogota, Colombia
The Corporacion Educativa y Social Waldorf (Waldorf Educational and Social Corporation) is a local NGO that provides educational opportunities to 200 children and youth free of charge. In designing a school to accommodate ever increasing enrollments, the space is unwalled with a central terrace to act as an open-air classroom, and in each room a bench surrounds the classroom to seat overflow. The building itself is infused with natural daylight and constructed from natural materials with a strong focus on sustainable design. View entire case study on Open Architecture Network here....

> Newsflash

The Classroom In 2020
By George Kembel, April 8, 2010,
Our education system is not broken, but it is becoming obsolete. We're still running an educational model developed for the industrial revolution, designed to prepare workers for factory jobs. In 2020 we will see an end to the classroom as we know it. Read full article here...

> DesignShare’s Bookshelf

Book cover
The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything
By Sir Ken Robinson with Lou Aronica
The Element is the point at which natural talent meets personal passion. When people arrive at the Element, they feel most themselves and most inspired and achieve at their highest levels. With a wry sense of humor, Ken Robinson looks at the conditions that enable us to find ourselves in the Element and those that stifle that possibility. Drawing on the stories of a wide range of people, including Paul McCartney, Matt Groening, Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington, and Bart Conner, he shows that age and occupation are no barrier and that this is the essential strategy for transform­ing education, business, and communities in the twenty-first century.

> Event Calendar

Interdisciplinary Seminar Series: School Design Futures - Exploring the Limits (Nottingham, UK)
Designing low carbon and sustainable schools presents a significant interdisciplinary problem for architects and designers. In the series as a whole we look beyond concern only with technological solutions to low carbon school design and consider what we can learn from the field of educational history and philosophy in reducing energy consumption and encouraging pro-environmental behaviours. Four seminars are planned:
SEMINAR ONE: 22 January 2010, School Design Futures: The role of schools in building sustainable communities. National College for School Leadership, Nottingham.
SEMINAR TWO: February 2010, Is Well-Being Key to Sustainable Schools? Exploring the more radical histories of design for health and well-being. To be held at the Planned Environment Therapy Trust Conference Centre in Cheltenham in collaboration with the Institute for the History and Work of Therapeutic Environments.
SEMINAR THREE: May 2010, Education for Sustainability, new educational philosophies and designing sustainable schools – what can we learn? The Meeting Place, Oxford (tbc).
SEMINAR FOUR: September 2010, Exploring the limits of school transformation: Can schools foster notions of consuming less, aspiring differently and changing the social norms which present a barrier to lifestyle change? The Meeting Place, Oxford (tbc).

2010 School Building Expo (Navy Pier, Chicago, IL)
May 10-13, 2010
Click here to submit

2010 Midwest Great Lakes Regional Conference (Grand Rapids, MI)
May 12-13, 2010
Relearning Learning = Relearning2
Steelcase University
Click here to read more

2010 CEFPI Pacific Northwest Regional Conference (Talkeetna, Alaska)
May 18-21, 2010
Alaska...where imaginations run wild
Featured speakers include Stephen Heppell, Frank Locker, Amy Yurko, George Copa, Peter Brown, and Rachel Gutter.
Click here to read more

4th Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities
The OECD Centre for Effective Learning Environments (CELE) is inviting submissions of schools and universities to feature in its publication 4th Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities, to be published mid-2011. Bookmark this page:

> E-Newsletter Sponsors


FNI logo
Fielding Nair International designs school facilities for today and tomorrow with one primary goal in mind — to improve learning. With consultations in 27 countries on 5 continents, dozens of important publications, and numerous industry awards for excellence, FNI is the global leader for innovative school architecture. Underlying all the architectural design, planning and educational change management work they do is a strong belief in diversity, high performance, technology infusion, global connections and personalization. Web:

School Building Expo
The School Building Expo is the industry event for people responsible for the construction and renovation of K-12 and Higher Education school facilities. More info:

> Become a DesignShare Sponsor


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"Partners in Education" Media Kit
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