Out of the Design Loop
Sure, a guy snoozes a little bit. And apparently he loses all street cred with dem pesky school architect types. Sheesh.
Funny how just a single year away from having a front row seat at the center of the school design world has profoundly watered down my in-the-know radar for the latest/greatest projects that have a fighting chance of changing the game of possibilities for how we define a 'school' space.
While I've been enjoying my role on the DesignShare Awards 08 jury this summer -- and debating some really striking projects from around the globe with my colleagues -- I gotta admit that I rarely cross F2F paths with innovative school architecture in my new day-to-day teaching life.
This is why I'm kicking myself a bit for being so late to the game about the Green School down there in Bali.
And don't even get me started about my sudden craving to be some sort of science fiction lab monkey so that I can be split into 2 independent teachers/beings, one that stays at my current school (which I adore) and one that heads to Bali to be part of this magic as well:
Heck, even Thomas Friedman has been down there on campus a couple of times. And what does he know about school design? (wink)
Sometimes Green Really Means Green
Hard to throw a school book these days and not hit yet another use of the word "green" or "sustainable".
Most of it, frankly, is window-dressing both from an architectural and philosophical perspective. Or perhaps just marketing chintz.
Most. But not all...
Discovery is a Good Thing
Green School was planned and constructed within the concept that education consists of more than ‘school’. In addition to the classrooms, athletic facilities, student and faculty housing, and numerous other buildings, an integral feature of our school is the Learning Village. In this specialized setting, our students have the chance to apply lessons to specific disciplines and real business situations, making abstract ideas come to practical life with results they can witness on a daily basis. Students are involved in everything from manufacturing their own chocolate to helping to manage the organic fields, bamboo plantations, and rice paddies that are integral to the campus. By working with dedicated teachers and experienced professionals, students solve problems while developing entrepreneurial skills that will inform and empower them to become the leaders of their generation.
I agree with what you're thinking. It kinda grabbed my attention, too.
A few other of the Green School links worth keeping an eye on:
- Introduction and what appears to be a truly world class team of professionals guiding the program
- Guiding Frames, Philosophy, and Curriculum
- Ways to get involved (including internships, volunteering, careers)
- Facilities and the overall land/campus
- Press coverage of the school and Testimonials
- And my favorite of all: class/grade level blogs. Yes. Really!
The following video highlights the school's mission and hints at a rather brave design premise in terms of the spaces that will support the students' learning process and the larger community's sustainable practices. Definitely only hinting at what they're building. Keep an ear open for the way they describe the physical spaces and its relationship to the programmatic issues.
And definitely grab a few minutes to watch this piece, too:
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Oh-My's
Man, oh man, oh man. If these photos don't rev up your curiosity factor, something is strangely amiss.
And I can't help but wonder why all new school design projects don't find the visual/life 'joy' within their projects rather than concentrating on architecture for the sake of architecture. This photo set might be a model that could teach a few architectural firms a thing or two about visual storytelling in a way that truly inspires.
Constructing 3-bedroom faculty housing:
An air-conditioned learning space:
A hint of what CR 'furniture' means; even better, what 'student' means: