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Architects ’R’ us : a personal inquiry into the use of the concepts of architecture in the secondary.. 2004

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ARCHITECTS XR' US A personal inquiry into the use of the concepts of architecture in the secondary artroom, leading to the creation of a *Primer' for interested teachers based on the x3 Rs': Receive, Respond, and Responsibility. • by .'• ' '- Jane W.N.Kinégal B.Ed.(Secondary) 1970, UBC B.Arch. 1987,• UBC M.A.S.A.. 1989, UBC ' " " A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE' DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN EDUCATION • • • . i n ' THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Ce n t r e f o r C r o s s - F a c u l t y I n q u i r y • We ac c e p t t h i s t h e s i s , a s c o n f o r m i n g t o the r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 2004 @ Jane W.N. K i n e g a l , 2004 Library Authorization In presenting this thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Name of Author (please print) Date (dd/mm/yyyy) Title of Thesis: N^\A 1 T H ^ V R > ' Uf? y /V feR^UÂsL (NÙgOifr^T (NTZ? " T U F - DSF. T H f L ^ K c - t i P T b / k ^ S H l T g - ^ T U g F (K Degree: M . A Y e a r : QjDQ^k - Department of /^MTK£ cZ^O^-fr^CVlXj I N ^ U e r The University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC Canada Abstract The processes involved i n making places are not the .exclusive province of experts, but a set of natural actions that belong to a l l people. Creating places for ourselves i s a natural, organic, and in t e g r a l part of our work as a society. The term 'place' •connotes p a r t i c u l a r i s e d , human settings, located at a s p e c i f i c s i t e and r e f l e c t i n g the geographic and c u l t u r a l context. Many people view the architect as a p r a c t i t i o n e r of an esoteric profession that i s understood only by the formally trained. Architecture, which I define as the planning, designing and c r a f t i n g of our b u i l t environment, i s a subject for us a l l . No one needs to believe that they know nothing about architecture. We each have at least a latent awareness of our surroundings, which can be sharpened and made conscious. Given some s k i l l and confidence, people can move from reticence regarding the shaping of our places to a more active r o l e . The goal of t h i s work i s to i n v i t e , encourage, and provide some tools for teachers to promote awareness of our settings, and active, responsive and responsible p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the shaping of our places. In no way do I mean to subvert the practice of architecture, or to encourage i l l - a d v i s e d , headstrong attempts to b u i l d or rebu i l d our environment. I hope to encourage thoughtful discourse about how our world might be, and more exchange between the experts and the others. F i t t i n g out our settings can be an action not only FOR people, but BY the people as well. The research question, based upon these goals and premises, i s : What i s the nature and scope of an a r c h i t e c t u r a l 'Primer', designed to a s s i s t educators to encourage a c i t i z e n r y that i s aware of our settings, w i l l i n g to be involved and capable of responsible p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the shaping of our c o l l e c t i v e and private places? To carry the 'Primer' idea a b i t further, t h i s approach to place making i s organised into learning experiences founded on what I have come to view as the basics of b u i l t environmental education: 'the 3 R ' s ' of architecture. The program encourages teachers and t h e i r students to: 1. RECEIVE - the messages of our environment, to thoughtfully look, see, and consider what i s 2 . RESPOND - envision and shape what could be - with growing confidence and c a p a b i l i t y 3 .take RESPONSIBILITY - at the personal and c o l l e c t i v e scale to affect needed and appropriate change. These 3R's are as important to an educated person as are the t r a d i t i o n a l 3R's. We need to be able to operate capably with a l l the R's to maximise ourselves and our settings, rather than abstaining from t h i s decision making. This document provides some supporting material and ideas for teachers who want to encourage responsive awareness and involvement in the shaping of our environment, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the secondary art classroom. If architecture involves the human a c t i v i t i e s associated with the making our places, and i f we are accepting the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y thus implied, then Architects * R ' Us! T A B L E OF CONTENTS Abstract i i Table of Contents i v L i s t of Figures ( I l l u s t r a t i o n s ) v i i i Acknowledgement xiv Preface /Dedication xv CHAPTER 1 Statement of the Search 1 1.1 Introduction - the searcher Other searchers Moving towards Architecture Towards (and back to) education Architects do have a place i n the order of things An architecture process/product story My professional stance 1.2 Methods of investigation and exploration: the a n a l y t i c a l framework/generating process A story i l l u s t r a t i n g the methods of action research Narrative - " F i r s t day back" Analysis, Observations, Reflections, Musings... Theory Action Research: how does th i s approach impact practice? Just what i s action research? Relation to the existing' l i t e r a t u r e Towards a personal theory of practice A new research context - towards a new , research question So what am I curious about? - formulation of the new research question 1.3 Rationale for the research question: why i s this important? So how w i l l I move towards answering t h i s question? Concluding real questions CHAPTER 2 Educational Scaffolding 42 2. 1 Is there educative value i n using the ideas of architecture i n the classroom? 2. 2 In t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y connections 2. 3 Approaches to learning 2. 4 And what about Cr e a t i v i t y ? 2. 5 Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences 2. 6 Right brain, Left brain 2. 7 Transmit Transact Transform 2. 8, Concluding observations CHAPTER 3 Connection to broader themes of art and architecture 7 0 3.1 Drawing to art, drawing to architecture, drawing to action "I can't draw!" "Yes, you can..." So how can we teach drawing? The f i r s t day Loosening up Each student needs his/her own sketchbook How do others draw? Can't I just turn on the computer? So do i t 3.2 The design process A story of how I erred and strayed A r t i c u l a t i n g the Design Process Bardach's 'eightfold path' 3.3 Phenomenology Definitions and a c l a r i f y i n g example How might someone put t h i s into practice? The phenomenological approach to research The basis of phenomenology The phenomenology papers 3.4 S u s t a i n a b i l i t y Is t h i s an issue for the schools? In the . artroom? So do we r e a l l y have a problem? Students are beginning to show interest How can students understand and what can we do to learn and practice t h i s approach? F i r s t , the story And f i n a l l y , the advice 3.5 Community Action, Responsibility Some people don't have a place So what does t h i s have to do with the artroom? So what can we DO? Global i n i t i a t i v e s Understand our l o c a l r e a l i t y Poverty -• a d e f i n i t e culture The poor are an aspect of our culture Endnotes for the themes of architecture CHAPTER 4 Architecture in the Secondary School Artroom...l7 0 What i s available? AIBC architecture for kids guide The B r i t i s h art educator, Eileen Adams Ginny Graves CHAPTER 5 The Primer 194 A series of lessons/learning experiences A note regarding a d a p t a b i l i t y of t h i s Primer A Cautionary Note Re: knives, guns and po t e n t i a l l y intense outcomes 1. mapping 2. home, imagined and revealed 3. redesign (frankly facadism) A. doorways - a method of drawing i n t e r i o r s 5. sanctuary - within and without 6. family retreat 7. unpave - community process 8. community u p l i f t - providing a r e f i t 9. product design 10. t r a v e l to make art 11. the culture of poverty 12. the world trade center CHAPTER 6 Outcomes and Conclusions 336 6.1 What the People Said 6.2 Self evaluation of the process and the product of t h i s work 6.3 Conclusions; p o s s i b i l i t i e s - Reference L i s t 37 6 L I S T OF F I G U R E S Figure Page 1. Hand tools i n the shop : 22 2. The cycles of action research 24 3. The components of action research 26 4. How we understand structure with our bodies 57 5. A complex, rhythmic building, student drawing 59 6. Drawing by a young man whose chief in t e r e s t i s Interpersonal 60 7. Drawings and explorations by students 61 8. Pages from student sketchbooks 64 9. The transmission p o s i t i o n 65 10. The transaction p o s i t i o n 66 11. The transformation position 66 12. Architecture i n the classroom 69 13. Collage of opening day sample drawings 78 14. Building sketches 82 15. T r o l l e y - l i n e drawing 82 16. Plan/section/elevation views 83 17. Drawings of the Royal Art Lodge 84 18. Façade of the Hotel del Coronado 99 • 19. The Royal Crescent at Bath, 1996 100 20. A e r i a l view of Bath 100 •21. Dynamiting an unworkable urban project 101 22. The yellow House at Aries 109 23. Some v i s u a l place s t o r i e s 112 24. A 'crude but evocative' study model 114 25. Perspective 'how to' drawings (Ching) 115 26. Caryatids - body as support ! 116 27. Student model - twin phenomena 117 28. Examples of the poetry 117 29. Concept sketch for Central Philadelphia 119 30. Prototype concepts developed by Alvar Aalto 119 .31. Conceptual sketch Hong Kong, student sketch .'119 32. From image to r e a l i t y - collage of sketches 120 33. F u l l scale plans 121 34. Axonometric and plan sketches 122 35. Axonometric 'exploded' ~. 123 36. Poetic images of Leonardo da V i n c i 123 37. An evocative camp shelter :....125 38 . C o l l e c t i v e notice board 129 39. David Rousseau's p r a c t i c a l guide 136 40. C.K.Choi Building 138 41. CMHC pamphlets - r e a d i l y available 140 42. Seabird Sustainable Community, the Roundhouse...155 43. Cuban public art 156 44. Photographs from the Downtown Eastside 158 45. Excerpt from Taxi, a l o c a l newspaper 159 46. Feature a r t i c l e - designers for the homeless 160 47. Collage of Pattern Language excerpt and homeless person sleeping.. 161 48. Collage of cover and pages of the AIBC Resource Guide 17 7 49. The b u i l t environment education books by Graeme Chalmers. : ; 17 8 50. Collage of pages, books of Graeme Chalmers 179 51. School Portraits (Adams) 185 52. Photomontage showing po s i t i v e change (Adams) 187 53. CUBE home page 191 54. Students using Exacto knives 198 55. What i s wrong with these pictures? 201 56. Part of the scrap c o l l e c t i o n 201 57. Student using a glue gun 202 58. The photo s t r i p 207 59. A composite of snapshots one would see 207 60. The work of another g i f t e d student 208 61. Example - pushed off from the obvious format 208 62. A grade 8 boy . 209 63. An unusual s c i - f i interpretation of the assignment 209 64. A student from Afghanistan 210 65. A highly motivated student's model 210 66. One of the senior students caused a s t i r 211 67. Low r e l i e f and 3-D responses 212 68. Danica Phelps - mapping 214 69. Michael Landy - mapping 214 70. Alex Morrison - mapping 215 71. Inuit a r t i s t s - mapping 216 72. Plan, section and elevation views .....218 73. Two sketches of a student's home 221 74. Two sketches of a student's home - apartment 222 75. A b e a u t i f u l l y sketched house 223 76. Some developments of the home image .22 4 77. Reworked elevations of a 'Vancouver Special' 226 78. Renovated home 227 79. Collage of facades 227 80. Low r e l i e f facades 228 81. Mobile 229 82. Student at the schoolhouse door 230 83. Study of'the school entry 231 84. Reworked entry doors for the school 232 85. Elevation of the school as i s , and as i t might be 233 86. View into a locker 235 87. The view through a classroom door, and through the entry door 236 88. A simple view through a classroom doorway 237 89. View into a closet (etching) 238 90. Views of a room 239 91. View of a kitchen 240 92. Through a doorway 241 93. Interior drawings 242 94. Two mandalas (25% of o r i g i n a l size) 244 95. Sample pages from A Pattern Language .24 5 96. George Bernard Shaw's sanctuary (Tiny Houses ) ...24 6 97. Student worksheet prepared for t h i s project 247 98. Simple conventions for drawing plans 249 99. Sample preliminary sketches 250 100. A working model 251 101. Model made with love and care 252 102. Human scale examples 252 103. Plans and a p a r t i a l model 253 104. A rendering of a sanctuary 254 105. Examples of models 255 106. Sanctuary for a soccer player 256 107. A theatre/sanctuary 256 108. Pool tables and giant screens figure prominently 2 56 109. Ideal bedrooms 257 110. At the beach 258 111. Anonometric drawing 258 112. Examples of bubble diagrams 2 62 .113. 3-D bubble diagrams : 2 63 114. Simple presentation models 264 115. Presentation model 265 116. Model views 266 117. Model views 267 118. Excerpt from an a r t i c l e 270 119. A simple preliminary sketch 271 120. Student at work on the paved area 272 121. Drawings and f u l l scale plans on pavement 273 122. Students working together 274 123. The sanctuary garden i n Skidegate 276 124. The design sheet 279 125. Lockers 280 126. Locker painters at work and some samples 281 127. Embellished lockers 282 128. Sample mural approval drawing... 283 129. Sample mural proposals and a painted mural 284 130. The completed' scrapbook 285 131. Public art 288 132. Art students painting sets 289 133. Chair design '.. ..291 134. Designed chairs 292 135. Inquiring into chair design 293 136. 'Annotated diagrams' 294 137. P r o f i l e of an intended r e c i p i e n t 296 138. Simple axonometric drawing 297 139. Chairs 298 140. Collage of chairs : 299 141. Chair exhibition ..300 142. More chairs 301 143. Collage - design to exhibition..... 302 144. Toys and g i f t s 303 145. Cars that are kind to the planet 304 146. ...and some evidence of research 305 147. Snazzy eco-cars 306 148. A new form of transportation 307 149. Green b i c y c l e and fantasy car 308 150. Pennsylvania birdhouses and 'barkitecture' 309 151. Big raven painting 310 152. Outside the caravan 311 153. Brochure material re: Emily Carr 312 154. Sketch of Emily Carr's caravan - plan view 313 155. Sketches of a student caravan 313 156. C o l l e c t i o n of student models: Caravans.. 314 157. Emily Carr landscapes used as motivator 314 158. Windows onto selected landscape 316 159. Strips t e l l i n g the day i n a l i f e 319 160. Drawing of beds in a shelter 320 161. Reduced examples of plan .....321 162. Plans and model for a shelter ..322 163. Designs for shelter beds: drawings, models 323 164. Designs for street dwellers 324 165. Worksheets and models of ideas 325 166. Students at work i n Calimete :. 327 167. Vancouver School of Theology 'Perspectives' 328 168. Reprint of news: Daily Telegraph 32 9 169. Program sheet • 330 170. Diagram of skyscraper p r o f i l e s 331 171. The WTC s i t e 332 172. Collage of responses to the question 333 173. Liebskind proposal 334 174. News a r t i c l e , The Vancouver Sun ....335 175. Envisioning places 375 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT I am most grateful to my students - we grow together and they keep me curious. Thank you to: My Committee - Dr.Graeme Chalmers, Professor Joel Shack, School of Architecture UBC, and Dr.Freda Pagani, UBC - a l l busy people who gave me the g i f t of t h e i r time and expertise. My research friends, colleagues and associates who agreed to read t h i s document with a c r i t i c a l eye and make suggestions : Dianne Coulter - school administrator and fellow student, who inspired me with her courageous thesis, written at the same time as t h i s one, and her generous comments, Susan Viccars - art teacher/colleague - and co-adventurer i n a r t i s t i c and educational pursuits, who gave me s o l i d and p r a c t i c a l advice and encouragement, Marian Schellenberg - graphic designer, teacher and a r t i s t , whose suggestions and commentary were u n f a i l i n g l y astute, Marnie Tamaki - colleague i n both a r c h i t e c t u r a l and educational practice - energetic and i n s p i r i n g co- par t i c i p a n t i n many ventures, including t h i s one, Mary Ann Green - designer and builder extraordinaire, whose insights keep me honest and a l e r t to the p r a c t i c a l r e a l i t i e s of l i f e . PRE F A C E / D E D I CAT I ON This work i s dedicated to the memory of my father, Richard Thorne Nesbitt, who l i v e d in our family home on River Road, Sunbury, for more than f i f t y years. My father was an architect i n what I have come to understand i s a true sense of the word. Not formally trained i n architecture, though the recipient of a high school 'training' i n art and i n d u s t r i a l or manual arts t y p i c a l of the 19 t h century i d e a l , he thoughtfully designed and then b u i l t with care and great self-taught s k i l l , a house for his family-to-be. It i s a small, modest house - quite unique i n i t s simple elegance and stout construction, and i t turned out to be very well t a i l o r e d to the needs of his family. Other families thought i t would be well- suited to t h e i r needs as well. I can remember a l l through the years I l i v e d i n that house, people came to the door to ask i f i t was for sale, or might possibly be available i n the future. I rent i t out now that my parents are both passed on, and the minute the 'For Rent' sign goes up on the tree, I am flooded with c a l l s . The 'For Sale' sign w i l l l i k e l y not go on the tree i n my l i f e t i m e . My father had been born i n an architect-designed house six miles away from his home on River Road. He once described his f i r s t home to me i n minute d e t a i l , • while I drew i t i n plan from his words. (Perhaps I had inherited some of my father's innate capacity to v i s u a l i s e - t h i s i s an a b i l i t y that can be developed with practise and awareness even without the inheritance.) I had seen the house once, from the front porch, just before i t was demolished to make way for Douglas College, but I went inside only i n my imagination. It was a lovely house, also b e a u t i f u l l y f i t t e d to the needs of the family; i t seemed that the architect l i s t e n e d well, and my grandparents seem to have been confident and a r t i c u l a t e c l i e n t s , who understood t h e i r needs and t h e i r context with some surety. But somehow I am very grateful that my father took matters into his own hands. (It occurs to me only as I write t h i s , the house was b u i l t i n the l a s t two years of the 'great' depression - my parents moved i n only days a f t e r war was declared in 1939. That perhaps explains why an ar c h i t e c t was not consulted, but c e r t a i n l y does not diminish the simple beauty of the house or the accomplishment i n any way.) For whatever reasons, my father was c l e a r l y not w i l l i n g to be paralysed by a lack of c e r t i f i e d professional expertise; he made his plans and got on with the job of construction. Perhaps his example i s one of the reasons why I value the idea so highly that we are a l l capable of pa r t i c i p a t i n g , at least to some degree, i n the design of our places and settings. This idea formed a c r i t i c a l foundation for my own practice as a registered a r c h i t e c t . I considered my c l i e n t s , to the degree that they were w i l l i n g , to be key participants i n the a r c h i t e c t u r a l process. As a student, a professional, an interested c i t i z e n , and as part of a c l i e n t group i n two large and dear-to-my-heart projects, I have unfortunately seen that c l i e n t s are not always viewed as a l l i e s i n the arc h i t e c t u r a l process. I believe from my gut and heart and head, f u e l l e d by r e a l experiences both p o s i t i v e and negative, that the making of our places, i s not the province of registered professionals alone. I am always optimistic about the p o t e n t i a l of the expert to enrich, and where appropriate, guide the process. But I posit that, however much experts have to contribute, i n the best of a l l possible worlds the non-experts, the people who w i l l inhabit the places, such as my courageous and determined father, and a l l people who receive the messages of our environment and are moved to respond i n a responsible way, w i l l enrich the process a great deal as well. • In that sense, ARCHITECTS 'R' US! CHAPTER 1 S t a t e m e n t o f t h e S e a r c h 1.1 Introduction - the 'searcher' I grew up beside the Fraser River, near the mouth of i t , so the tide came i n and the tide went out the way tides do on seas but not usually on r i v e r s . This was important to me as a c h i l d because when the tide was out, I had a lovely beach, almost f l a t , a l l to myself, where I could draw creations that would l a s t u n t i l the tide came back i n . My favourite project was to draw house plans, f u l l size, and then dwell i n the house u n t i l some event - lunchtime, or the incoming tide, caused me to move on. These f i f t y years l a t e r , I s t i l l r e c a l l some of the homes I drew. And most p a r t i c u l a r l y , I r e c a l l the joy I f e l t i n creating these elaborate and highly a r t i c u l a t e d fantasies. I f e l t fortunate, as a c h i l d , to have a father who knew how to make a t i p i out of poles t i e d together with stout rope, and covered with the 'indian blanket' from our -car - t y p i c a l of the f o r t i e s - a generous sturdy thick f l a n n e l rug stamped with zigzags and other r e p e t i t i v e patterns and done up i n earthy 'primitive' colours. The t i p i was the envy of my friends, and a l i v e l y addition to the architecture in our community when i t appeared on our front yard i n the summertime. I was not overly t h r i l l e d to learn that my father had designed and b u i l t the home I grew up i n . My assumption was that the fathers did that sort of thing. The mothers seemed to get to continue the business of homemaking thereafter - r e f i n i n g , adding grace notes, and maintaining the house so i t was indeed a home. Although I see these actions as natural but very enterprising a r c h i t e c t u r a l action now, as a youngster, I was able to take t h i s a c t i v i t y completely for granted. My father formed the intention and then completed the action of building a house. Yes, of course. My mother made the house bea u t i f u l , and the lawn and gardens a l l around i t lovely as well. But naturally. Nobody was hired to make a place for my family; Richard and Sally, t y p i c a l of a l l moms and dads, I assumed, made our home, and then we l i v e d i n i t . And I was i n v i t e d to par t i c i p a t e i n the process of place making, i n the ful l n e s s of time. When my father set to f i n i s h i n g the upstairs room to make a bedroom for me, I was able to pa r t i c i p a t e i n the c r i t i c a l decision making processes. The question I remember with most pleasure: what shape would the valence over my new closet door take? I designed a t r i c k y l i n e indeed. Fortunately my dad had gone through the art t r a i n i n g of the twenties and was as a result, very capable i n geometric drawing. My godfather, a boatbuilder, helped by cutting the f i v e foot valence out on his handsaw. I got to choose what colour everything would be painted and agreed with my dad's idea that two shades of rose (with darker rose where shadows would naturally f a l l i n the nooks around the chimney that ran through my room).would be lovely. He asked me i f I would agree to that! Moreover, my father l e t me choose the t i l e s for the f l o o r of my ti n y bathroom - and I chose a quirky combination of maybe f i v e • di f f e r e n t patterns of t i l e that delights me, and some others, to this day. That pattern i s s t i l l on the f l o o r these f i f t y years l a t e r . After a s p i r i t e d debate with my mother, who wasn't quite as lib e r a t e d about children's rights as my father was perhaps, I got to choose the curtain material as well - a strange evocative geometric creation that gave me hours of meditative pleasure over the years. Although the lim i t e d scope of the design process involved in f i t t i n g up a young g i r l ' s bedroom may not generally recognised as 'architecture', I would argue that i t i s architecture i n the simplest sense. I trust the good Gage Canadian Dictionary, and believe that i n our use of language, c u l t u r a l l y agreed upon d e f i n i t i o n s must underpin our communications. Gage t e l l s me that architecture i s : 1. the science or art of building; (I would say science and a r t ) , the planning and designing of. buildings, ( a l l the work that takes place before construction begins) 2. a style or special manner of building - eg. Greek architecture, 3. construction, (the cr a f t i n g of a building) and 4. a building or structure (the result of the process). In my personal lexicon and for t h i s document, the word architecture i s interchangeable with place making, or, as product of the process., as the place that results from the act of .place making. I see this i n the same s p i r i t as Gage's d e f i n i t i o n . The word 'place' connotes a p a r t i c u l a r i s e d setting for human a c t i v i t y , conceived and r e a l i s e d as a response to environmental and c u l t u r a l requirements and context. I recognise that d i f f e r e n t shades and depths of meaning may be assigned to these words by others - for example, an architect whose l i f e has been devoted to the more esoteric pursuits, of his or her f i e l d , or someone who i s frightened of f by the esoteric connotations of the word 'architecture'.. (The same could be said for the standard d e f i n i t i o n of 'teaching' as opposed to a p r a c t i s i n g teacher's r i c h l y emotive response to the word.) Although a young g i r l ' s private space/bedroom/sanctuary i s not serious Architecture by any stretch of the imagination, i t serves as an example of place and place making from which important p r i n c i p l e s can be derived. And I can vouch that for me, and for my family and associated others, i t was both an important process of planning and design and c r a f t i n g , as well as a place of delight. If the making and dwelling i n such a simple but meaningful setting i s not to be construed as important enough to be termed architecture, then I would question the word, not the process or the • product i n t h i s instance. As a person fortunate enough to have been i n v i t e d to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the making of my own place i n my family home, I was amazed to discover that some people f e e l unequipped or unentitled to make even the simplest e f f o r t s towards i n d i v i d u a l i s a t i o n of t h e i r space. Such concepts as 'paint i t beige for resale value' and the 'speculative housing market' and even 'colour codes i n the subdivision' and the 'turnkey development' caused me to f e e l sorry and sad when I discovered t h e i r existence. Sure not everyone has the time or the i n c l i n a t i o n to b u i l d a house, or even a cake for that matter, from scratch, but I fin d the notion that bland = beautiful, purely for the sake of conformity or to maximise resale value, to be a frightening indictment of our society. Other searchers Hurray, for Gertie, who painted her kitchen c e i l i n g Chinese Red i n 1951 - even though my mother declared that she stole the daring colour scheme from her. My mom had been considering the idea, had mentioned i t , and discarded the scheme with some r e l i e f when she saw Gertie's place. Hats off to Lewis and Anders, who b u i l t themselves t i n y shacks at the edge of the Fraser - t o t a l l y t a i l o r e d to t h e i r needs: small, easy to care for and,located p r e c i s e l y where they wanted to be. And kudos to the developers of the f i r s t subdivisions that sprang up i n our r u r a l area. There were six or seven house patterns used; some plans were fli p p e d to increase variety a l l the more, and the purchasers had input into the fi n i s h i n g s , producing a quite natural looking, varied neighbourhood. Moving towards Architecture I didn't consider architecture as a career when I fi n i s h e d high school. It occurs to me now that I was only dimly aware that trained architects were operating in the world. Wasn't designing what the dads did? Once at university I met a t a b l e f u l of architecture students. A l l male. The whole school, except for one teacher, was male at that time. Pretty wild bunch too. It never even crossed my mind to study architecture. Because of my gender I wasn't even allowed to take Drafting in high school. Even with my encouraging background at home, i t never occurred to me to go to architecture school. I became a teacher, s p e c i a l i s i n g in art and language arts, and started my practice as a teacher when I was s t i l l a teenager. Time to compress the t a l e : After six years of teaching, and several more of studying education, I r e a l i s e d a need to investigate what else one might undertake i n September besides entering some i n s t i t u t i o n of learning. I went to the north, and by happenstance, acquired a small l o t . I dreamed numerous house plans for nights and days afte r the land purchase, and on about the tenth night dreamed a plan that might be simple enough for me to b u i l d . (I had decided to t r y to b u i l d myself a home, reasoning that because I was s k i l l e d at sewing, the same general p r i n c i p l e s should apply i n the manipulation of wood and metal as in cloth fabric.) So I did start building, and so a tiny, e s s e n t i a l l y w e l l - t a i l o r e d home eventually emerged, and so grew i n me the desire to study architecture, and carry on with t h i s very s a t i s f y i n g process. Perhaps because of my early background, I considered architecture to be a natural operation: the planning and designing of places for people. In study and practice, I learned that 'architecture' has a r i c h meaning d e f i n i t i o n s t i l l works for me. indeed, but the simple Architecture i s i n t r i g u i n g to me, e s p e c i a l l y in i t s broad s o c i a l and a r t i s t i c implications; the technical and economic aspects of contemporary a r c h i t e c t u r a l practice fascinate me somewhat less. After more than ten years of q u i e t l y successful but not earth-shaking practice, I began to notice that I was f e e l i n g jealous of the teachers i n the schools I had spent so many years as an architect working to replan and reprogram, renovate, design or add onto. I r e a l i s e d that the f i n a l years of my working l i f e could very happily be spent i n the public school system as a teacher, and I took the necessary steps to return to the classroom, with my expertise as an architect very much a part of my educator's t o o l k i t . I recount these personal stories as an example of how I came, over time, to recognise i n myself the c a p a b i l i t y of impacting my surroundings. Buoyed by l i t t l e triumphs, and a growing awareness of the environment i n which I moved, I was increasingly able to give myself the permission to declare my interest i n and willingness to make a mark on my surroundings. There are many ways to come to recognise oneself as an aware and responsive and responsible dweller in our own context. One might also recognise that t r a v e l and study of other places helps to sharpen our a b i l i t y to see and understand our own as well as other settings. Involvement i n projects at the micro or macro scale gives a sense of what might be possible and how those p o s s i b i l i t i e s might be realised. Viewed from t h i s perspective, r e f l e c t i o n upon personal experiences may well y i e l d the recognition that we do have something to contribute, and indeed, have l i k e l y contributed i n some re a l ways already i n the shaping of our places. Towards(and back to) education In order to become fa m i l i a r with current thinking and practices,. I enrolled in a program designed to Help Educators Access a Return, to Teaching, the H.E.A.R.T. program at Simon Fraser University. This excellent course of studies enabled me to return confidently to the classroom, and enabled me to consider the nature of my contribution. I owe a great deal to the art teacher with whom I worked i n the lengthy, practicum at Ki l l a r n e y Secondary School i n Vancouver. N e i l Prinsen i s a treasure house of ideas and expertise, and he shared generously with me as he has with a generation of student teachers i n his classroom. He inadvertently caused a ' c l i c k ' i n my head that has helped focus my intentions for t h i s study. One day, during one of our many stimulating and r i c h conversations, t h i s sophisticated and highly s k i l l e d art educator made a statement that resonates with me; yet. Neil said: "I don't know anything about architecture." He wasn't tryi n g to be cute. (Donna Sheh, another art educator who served as an.outstanding Faculty Advisor for a recent student teacher i n my artroom, said exactly the same sentence to me i n March, 2003.) So what did these educators mean by th i s statement? I know that they both know much more than they claim about architecture. Perhaps the term 'architecture' has a mystique that makes even the most sophisticated among us shy away from recognising our own understanding and e f f i c a c y . Perhaps the concept 'architecture' needs to be de-mystified, i f indeed we tend to think of architecture as an eso t e r i c profession, reserved for the experts alone. The non-experts (and maybe some of the experts as well) need to gain access.to what i t ' i s we a l l know, our t a c i t understanding of our environment and our requirements, so that we can operate together e f f e c t i v e l y in the process of place making and inhabiting our places. We can move towards a sharpened awareness of our surroundings, learn to respond to what we see and what we need and what we might change, and we can f i n d and grow i n ourselves the confidence and s k i l l s to a c t i v e l y and responsibly p a r t i c i p a t e i n the shaping of our designed environment. Architects do have a place in the order of things I recognise that the insights gathered and developed i n the course of my a r c h i t e c t u r a l education, internship, and practice as a registered architect put me i n a somewhat p r i v i l e g e d p o s i t i o n to operate as a place designer and place maker. I would never minimise the effect of a wonderful set of growing and learning experiences, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the M.A.S.A. graduate l e v e l (Master of Advanced Studies i n Architecture) of my formal education at the university. And the internship program and d a i l y practice as a professional enabled me to experience a wide range of challenges, which increased my expertise well beyond the scope of an average layperson's a r c h i t e c t u r a l experience. I had the opportunity as well to investigate ways to involve c l i e n t s (building users) i n the design process. P a r t i c u l a r l y i n projects involving schools, I was able to work closely with school communities i n the conceptual and design stages of t h e i r project. It was es p e c i a l l y g r a t i f y i n g to see how students, as well as teachers and administrators, were able to contribute thoughtful and reasoned commentary regarding the exis t i n g s i t u a t i o n , and imaginative speculation regarding what might be possible. They seemed to enjoy being asked for t h i s input, and perhaps discovered, i n the a r t i c u l a t i o n of t h e i r ideas, that they knew a great deal about architecture. Unfortunately, budgetary considerations did not allow for much post-occupancy evaluation, but I hope that where input was ac t u a l l y manifested i n the building, the school community recognised t h e i r input. I acknowledge that c l i e n t s and t h e i r projects can often benefit greatly from the inclu s i o n of professionals who have a rigorous background and a wide range of experience. But I also know that a r c h i t e c t u r a l decision making can be shared amongst the trained architects and the other natural repositories of ar c h i t e c t u r a l understanding - the ordinary people who spend most of t h e i r l i v e s i n and around the d e s i g n e d environment. I think in some instances, architects f i n d the sharing of decision making to be a messy approach, complicating an already very complex p r o c e s s . It seems that architects are perhaps not always trained to draw out the t a c i t understandings and the visionary potential that resides i n us a l l to some degree. I think that often people conclude they 'know nothing about architecture' and therefore shy away from p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the processes of place making. And I recognise that people who do not choose architecture as t h e i r profession can s t i l l contribute a great deal to the process of place making, i f they are given some basic guidance. The goal of -this document i s to suggest to teachers, themselves l i k e l y to be untrained in the architectural lore of our culture, how they can help themselves and their students to become more aware inhabitants of the designed environment, and more confident and responsible participants in the process of place making. The Primer consists of teaching/learning experiences that are based upon what I have come to think of as the three basics of architectural necessity. We need to receive and be aware of what exists in our surroundings. We need to feel entitled and inclined to respond to that increasing awareness, and to act with prudence and care and responsibility - in the understanding that our actions can have a profound effect, for good or i l l , on our environment. The program outlined in the Primer encourages teachers and students to be clear about these components, focused upon singly or a l l at once. I have come to c a l l these elements the 3 Rs of architecture : 1. RECEIVE : to look thoughtfully and to consider our surroundings with attentiveness and wonder. This i s in marked contrast to taking our settings for granted which, I think, i s a common stance. 2. RESPOND: to envision and shape what might be - with confidence and capability, based on the clear awareness of what exists. 3. take RESPONSIBILITY at the micro and the macro scale to affect needed and appropriate change. This change w i l l be based upon values that evolve in the course of our lives, and which can be developed and c l a r i f i e d as a result of a thoughtful educational process. These three Rs are as important to an educated citizenry as are the traditional three Rs. We a l l need to be able to operate capably with a l l the Rs to maximise ourselves and our individual and shared potential. And when ordinary inhabitants and experts can work together to create settings that reflect our needs and optimise our lives, then we can say with some confidence that architecture i s not the esoteric constituency of the trained few, but that i Architects 'R' Us. An architecture process/product story A couple with whom I was only very informally acquainted i n v i t e d me some years ago to t h e i r home on Haida Gwaii to discuss the prospect of designing a home for them. They were preparing to r e t i r e , and wanted a home to grow old i n . When I stated my operating mode i n the i n i t i a l stages of our work, I f e l t some strong resistance from the woman of the house. (It was she who had i n i t i a l l y suggested to her partner that I be consulted.) As an architect, I believe my job i s to pa r t i c i p a t e i n the design process with those who asked for my help, but not to provide the design singlehandedly; We had a number of lengthy conversations about the dream home that was forming i t s e l f i n our minds, spending hours discussing what might take place i n t h e i r new home, and what special requirements would need to be provided for. Only after many hours of easy discussion, during which I would make v i s u a l notes to share with them what form t h e i r ideas might ac t u a l l y take, did the woman of the household explain her resistance to the notion of p a r t i c i p a t i n g f u l l y in the design process. It seems that many years before, i n a sim i l a r manner to many of us i n Haida Gwaii who had t r i e d to b u i l d a home, the woman and her then-partner had b u i l t an immensely disappointing structure. She f e l t the e f f o r t had been a dismal f a i l u r e , with respect to both space planning and st r u c t u r a l i n t e g r i t y , and a waste of th e i r precious resources. She had decided, t h i s time, to engage an architect and to thereby insulate herself from another pote n t i a l disaster. Of course, when I r e a l i s e d the reasons for her e a r l i e r reticence, I was able to reassure her that together we could f i n d a w e l l - t a i l o r e d and sturdy setting for herself and her current l i f e partner. And I recognised that my tr a i n i n g and experience both i n academia and i n the r u r a l setting and i n a r c h i t e c t u r a l practice had f i t t e d me well for t h i s task. I had l i v e d i n Haida Gwaii for many years, eyes wide open much of the time, and I love those islands. I claim some understanding of the genius l o c i , as C h r i s t i a n Norburg-Schulz c a l l s the s p i r i t of the place. The resu l t of our c o l l e c t i v e e f f o r t was a lovely house i n T l e l l , Haida Gwaii, reminiscent of the simple and primitive forms b u i l t by cannery owners along the coast, lovingly b u i l t , and now lov i n g l y maintained. Several years a f t e r the house was completed, the owner wrote to me to say how happy she and her husband have been i n the house. She added that the money they spent to involve me i n the design process - but, as i t turned out, not to hand over the process to me - was the best money she reckoned she had ever spent. Obviously, there i s a place for thoughtful a r c h i t e c t u r a l expertise i n place making. But just as obviously, there i s a place for us a l l i n the process. We a l l need to make our imprint on our settings and the insights we a l l bring to the design process can add to the value of our made places. I don't think that the joys of place making should be reserved for the 'experts'. Perhaps an e s s e n t i a l s k i l l of the experts i s to f i n d ways to enable a l l relevant participants i n the place making process to contribute to the v i s i o n and i t s manifestation - to bring a l i v e and active the latent knowledge we a l l must c o l l e c t i n the course of dwelling i n place. Christopher Alexander, architect and builder, professor and researcher, and author, with his colleagues, of The Timeless Way -of Building and A Pattern Language, sees architecture as a natural part of human action as well. He states the b e l i e f that bringing a building or even a part of a town to l i f e i s a fundamental human instinct... the desire to make a part of nature, to complete a world which i s already- made of mountains, streams, snowdrops, and stones, with something made by us, as much a part of nature, and a part of our immediate surroundings. Timeless Way of Building, 9 . Although Christopher Alexander and his colleagues acknowledge that trained architects have 'the desire to make places at the very center of t h e i r l i v e s ' (ibid) they think that everyone shares that desire to at least some degree. They hold the b e l i e f , furthermore, that people should design for themselves t h e i r own houses, streets, communities - based upon the observation that most of the wonderful places of the world were not made by architects, but by the people. A Pattern Language describes t h i s attitude toward architecture or place making, and provides, unsurprisingly, patterns - often of an archetypal nature - to guide t h i s action. The patterns are predicated on an understanding of successful places and i n f e r the transference of that understanding to guide place making. While I would agree that these insights are profound and valuable, and would also add that I referred to the patterns a great deal i n the course of my ar c h i t e c t u r a l education and practice, i t must also be said that many architects view these patterns as overly p r e s c r i p t i v e and even somewhat overwhelming. I would suggest that i f the people learn to be b r i g h t l y aware of t h e i r surroundings, the r e a l i s a t i o n of.what exists and what is•s u c c e s s f u l l o g i c a l l y informs the response or act of place making i n a natural but perhaps more i n d i v i d u a l i s e d way. Further, I suggest that people can be taught t h i s awareness, and confidence i n the act of place making, so that they are freed to p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h i s natural and very s a t i s f y i n g action. My professional stance My background as an architect has relevance to my goals as an educator. It i s not easy to summarise the goals of a person who has been moving about with some energy for as many years as I have..But r e f l e c t i n g on my e c l e c t i c and pr i v i l e g e d l i f e as a teacher and architect, I might a r t i c u l a t e my personal stance some help from Walt Whitman. Somewhere (source long lost) I found t h i s statement and copied i t c a r e f u l l y as i t resonated very deeply with me. He said: " A l l architecture i s what you do to i t when you look upon i t . " This touches squarely on the 3R's I have named and has helped to guide my practice as both an architect and a teacher. I want to continue learning how to look upon the world, and keep considering what to do about our places i n the broadest sense. And I want to enable others to look upon our designed environment with interest, energy, and delight, r e c e p t i v i t y and active c r e a t i v i t y , and a confident sense of personal r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . This includes the planet too, come to think about i t . But t h i s educational stance points me in the d i r e c t i o n I envision. We should not just s i t by and wait for enlightened others to shape our settings. Architects 'R' Us! 1 .2 M e t h o d s o f i n v e s t i g a t i o n a n d e x p l o r a t i o n : t h e a n a l y t i c a l f r a m e w o r k / g e n e r a t i n g p r o c e s s The method of investigation and documentation that I have used in this exploration of a r c h i t e c t u r a l concepts i n the secondary artroom i s 'action research'. Narrative accounts of t h i s type of educational research comprise a growing body of pedagogical l i t e r a t u r e . This document i s my attempt to share insights gleaned i n the course of my practice, using the action research methodologies. I include, as explanatory background to my experiences i n the artroom, a narrative report of my f i r s t work with t h i s research process to i l l u s t r a t e and explain the methodology. The following Teacher-on-Call narrative report sheds l i g h t on the action research process, and shows how t h e o r e t i c a l understanding can be derived from the cycles of action research. In t h i s example, as a Teacher-on-Call I constructed and tested a working theory regarding the elements of meaning, engagement and connection i n the range of educational settings I encountered. I have been able, from that experience, to generalise some working p r i n c i p l e s to a l l teaching s i t u a t i o n s . A story i l l u s t r a t i n g the methods of action research The following story serves to demonstrate the action research investigation method. The story i s b u i l t from excerpts from a working journal I kept i n 1998 as a Teacher-on-Call, which was f i l l e d with r e f l e c t i o n s , i n various forms, on my practice. The incl u s i o n of the narrative i s based on the b e l i e f , fundamental to my understanding of the process of action research, that the personal i s universal; that from our shared stories, we take what we can use and grow toward the light, together. The story, which i s s p e c i f i c a l l y about a rather unusual and somewhat unanticipated design class, also serves to reinforce my notion that design - and s p e c i f i c a l l y the process of designing, (which we do a l l the time in the course of our l i v e s i n one way or another), i s interesting, meaningful and engaging to students. The 'Primer' - chapter 5 of th i s document, i s intended to share, i n reduced narrative form, the insights I have derived from a series of i t e r a t i v e attempts to bring the themes and concepts of architecture into the secondary school artroom. The Primer was b u i l t from the same type of research a c t i v i t y as i s t h i s report of my f i r s t attempts at action research, as teacher-on-call. Narrative - " F i r s t day back" After a very prolonged absence from a classroom of 'my own', I returned to the public school system as a T.O.C. - Teacher- on-Call - i n January, 1999. I had c a r e f u l l y planned my return to teaching - had completed the•re-entry program for teachers at SFU and begun graduate work i n education at UBC the previous year, and f e l t ready and w i l l i n g to take on any classroom s i t u a t i o n . The f i r s t assignment offered to me was to replace the Woodwork teacher at a secondary school. I recognised i t would be inauspicious to refuse my f i r s t position, so at 6am I agreed to do t h i s - and managed to sound, I thought, reasonably self-assured about the prospect, even though I don't think I had ever even been inside a high school Woodwork shop. When I was in high school, I asked the Industrial Arts teacher i f I could take drafting. "No" was a l l he said. It would have been rid i c u l o u s i n that context to have attempted to e n r o l l i n Woodworking., as much as I wanted to. Now'I was going to substitute for a Woodwork teacher. This was quite a l o t t a process before 6:J3.Qam, the f i r s t morning after a lengthy hiatus from the schoolhouse. After sign-in and key pick-up at the school o f f i c e , I headed of f to the technical wing. After a few wrong turns, where I t r i e d to look 'interested' rather than 'lost or 'confused' i n the maze of thi s large school, I found the correct general area. I chanced upon a man, s t i l l i n his overcoat, struggling with the lock on a classroom door. He wanted to know who I was, so I introduced myself and said I was substituting for the Woodwork teacher for the day. His face f e l l . In the jumble of his words, I caught: "you can't turn on the power - we'll have to have a study period - we don't do announcements u n t i l B block, so the class for f i r s t period A block won't come prepared for study!" (Oh dear. I hadn't thought about power tools - I think there was somewhat more emphasis on hand tools l a s t time I looked into the woodworking shop. Furthermore, I had read i n the T.O.C. manual that i f you are i n a specialty area l i k e gym - don't try to supervise tumbling without proper t r a i n i n g , d i t t o for the shops etc.) When he did pause b r i e f l y , I explained that although I am not a q u a l i f i e d Tech. Ed. teacher, I do have an extensive technical background as an architect, which was what prompted the callboard to think of me t h i s morning. "This i s Woodwork! - With POWER tools! - i t ' s going to be a t o t a l mess.- l i k e l a s t time the teacher didn't show up!" He suggested I send, behaviour problems straight to the o f f i c e and they would deal with the mess there. I asked who he was, and he rep l i e d , "The P r i n c i p a l " and stalked o f f . I found the Woodwork room and met two other Tech Ed.teachers who seemed dubious about my chances for having a nice day. They warned me e s p e c i a l l y about the grade 11/12 boys of block A. They thought, i f I were lucky, that most of the class would skip out when they saw a 'sub' was there. The b e l l rang. The grade 11/12 boys arrived. Perhaps powered by New Year's resolutions, they were quite p o l i t e about the s i t u a t i o n . I hadn't been waiting t h i s long to get back to the classroom to l e t t h i s opportunity f i z z l e , so I decided to see what sort of in t e r a c t i o n we could generate. I introduced myself, explained why I was there (technical expertise, but not the necessary paper to turn on the power) and t o l d them a b i t about myself. I acknowledged that the s i t u a t i o n was far from perfect. We talked about a r c h i t e c t u r a l design and t h e i r projects a l i t t l e . I t o l d them they could go to get study materials i f they wished. Inasmuch as i t was t h e i r f i r s t day back a f t e r the holiday, there wasn't a l l that much to study, so they declined to take a t r i p to t h e i r lockers. I had been expecting that they would be glad for the excuse to take a walk, but they a l l elected to stay i n the classroom. I said ok - l e t ' s do a design project - I probably won't be here tomorrow so l e t ' s t r y a quick design exercise or 'charrette'. Some of the boys had found something else to do i n the shop, but more than h a l f of the class looked quite interested. We started t a l k i n g about chairs. We discussed designing a chair for a s p e c i f i c character. We speculated about Homer Simpson as a character and about how a design response could best be t a i l o r e d to Homer's needs and wants. They got the idea and came up with suggestions both h i l a r i o u s and, I thought, quite appropriate for Homer. The Clinton/Lewinsky a f f a i r was freshly unfolding, and some of t h e i r ideas for other c l i e n t s seemed to take a somewhat sexual cast. I drew the l i n e at allowing the 'rape chair' idea to be developed, but recognised that the ' a f f a i r ' was indeed an issue of inter e s t and concern. They seemed to f e e l almost obliged to consider t h i s hot news item. When they saw that I wasn't going to shy away from discussion of the p r e s i d e n t i a l behaviour, they moved past sex to other considerations quickly. I acknowledged t h e i r i n t e r e s t ( l i k e the rest of the informed world's interest) i n the s e x u a l / p o l i t i c a l news and discussed i t with them as matter-of-factly as possible. Each student selected a ' c l i e n t ' , wrote a short b r i e f including a l i s t of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the c l i e n t and imagined requirements, and made preliminary sketches. Throughout the class, the students maintained s p i r i t e d conversations regarding t h e i r collaborative and i n d i v i d u a l e f f o r t s . The seventy-five minutes passed reasonably quickly. 'Art' was not made that day, but some good ideas were generated, the students were meaningfully engaged, and nobody needed to be sent away for d i s c i p l i n i n g . Analysis, Observations, Reflections, Musings...Theory The day went better than the p r i n c i p a l and the other teachers had anticipated, a c t u a l l y quite d i f f e r e n t from the gloomy scenario that they had predicted. This was attributed by one of the teachers to my 'calmness'. I think there i s more to i t than that. I think that the process of design has a universal appeal and comes quite n a t u r a l l y to many people. I r e a l i s e that the design project could have been more successful i f I had been more resolute at the outset. I saw that the students were interested, but I could have motivated the chair design project even more strongly. I was actually a b i t surprised to f i n d them so receptive. (And I was tryin g to process quite a l o t of new circumstance here, a l l at once.) I think that young people r e a l l y want to be meaningfully engaged at school, and they immediately understood that designing a simple piece of furniture could be meaningful. I needed to be ready for situations l i k e t h i s - no plans or guidance from the regular teacher, and very constrained circumstances - use of power tools forbidden. But there are always many options. I have subsequently explored the use of hand tools, introduced other design problems> motivated research problems with l i b r a r y references, assigned technical exercises i n the texts. This school was undergoing a renovation and was r i c h with a r c h i t e c t u r a l p o s s i b i l i t y ; studying drawings, c r i t i q u i n g the ideas, post-occupancy evaluation of the sections already i n use. I do not think that 'bring materials for study' i s ever necessary, and F i g u r e 1 . H a n d t o o l s i n t h e s h o p . Action Research: how does this approach impact practice? Very fortunately, I began a graduate course based on the concept of Action Research the same week that I started work as a Teacher-on-Call. I immediately began a journal, in which I recorded notes from readings, narrative b i t s , insights derived from experience, new processes, issues, musings, ideas, r e f l e c t i o n s , promptings, metaphors. This journal keeping became an ingrained habit almost immediately. I cannot now imagine how I could operate i n t e l l i g e n t l y without the journal habit - my system of keeping track of and deriving and making meaning from my teaching experiences. Reflecting upon the months where studying and teaching-on- c a l l overlapped, I r e a l i s e that without the journal, my .experience would have been an i n d i s t i n c t blur, and the lessons embedded in those experiences would l a r g e l y have been lo s t to me. I was able to convert raw experience into s t o r i e s which helped me to glean some new insights from the fast-paced, varied, and densely packed set of circumstances I was experiencing. Just what i s Action Research? Eileen Adams, B r i t i s h art educator, su c c i n c t l y defines action research as: " e s s e n t i a l l y a p r a c t i c a l , problem-solving approach which encourages p r a c t i t i o n e r s to r e f l e c t on t h e i r practice and to seek ways of improving i t . (Adams 2001, 38) Adams further notes that the focus of enquiry of action research i s on p r a c t i c a l issues, as d i s t i n c t from t h e o r e t i c a l issues, and she c a l l s the p r i n c i p a l thrust the study of change. Moreover, Adams summarises that the study of cases of practice i s preferred i n t h i s research concept to the study of experimental samples. The researcher as the main focus of the research; and others are involved as co- researchers, 'educated' witnesses from the context served by the research. (Adams 2001) I consider other teachers (and my students) to be my research partners i n t h i s research I have undertaken. Teaching can be a somewhat i s o l a t i n g occupation, which i s i r o n i c , considering that a secondary school teacher can e a s i l y have over 200 students i n the course of a year, not including a l l extra- c u r r i c u l a r contacts. But when i s there time for a sa t i s f a c t o r y conversation, es p e c i a l l y with another harried teacher, when we teachers are so absorbed with the goings-on with students i n and out of the classroom? I am fortunate to be part of a teaching s t a f f that makes time for teacher discourse. Each teacher needs to f i n d a few ' c r i t i c a l friends' or, as Eileen Adams says, 'educated witnesses', to consider issues with and to share concerns. I c a l l these people my 'research friends'. As well, I routinely ask for feedback from students, informally and formally, regarding s p e c i f i c projects, aspects of projects, and the general progress of the courses I teach. Each piece of feedback i s a g i f t , and both my colleagues and students know t h i s . The proffered opinions are very useful i n guiding change i n my practi c e . From Dr. Rita Irwin at UBC, I came to see action research most c l e a r l y i n terms of the following simple diagram: r e f l e c t i o n action observation F i g u r e 2. T h e c y c l e s o f a c t i o n r e s e a r c h . This form of re-searching can be seen as i t e r a t i v e action, wherein careful attention i n the course of leads to thoughtful inquiry and the p o s s i b i l i t y of in the subsequent i t e r a t i o n ( s ) . The investigation can be entered at any point i n the cycle. As an example, when I began my career as a Teacher-on-Call that f i r s t memorable day, I would say, notwithstanding a l l my plans and preparations, I entered squarely i n the action phase of a cycle. The narrative demonstrates how observation, r e f l e c t i o n , and right-back-to-the-drawing-board planning led to p r a c t i c a l insights and refined action that could be applied i n the next s i t u a t i o n . The cycle also led to my i n i t i a l l y tentative, but l a t e r , more confident a r t i c u l a t i o n of personal theory that served as a guide i n my career as a T.O.C, and continues•to guide my planning and action a§ a regular classroom teacher. The simple but clear structure for my thinking-in-action gave me the opportunity to .convert my response to a quite challenging set of circumstances into better pedagogical action. The change and improvement i n my teaching stance was based on a formalised and therefore strong grasp of the 'baseline si t u a t i o n ' , which was the d i r e c t r e s u l t of careful and deliberate observation and r e f l e c t i o n . It became clear to me, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the changeable l i f e I l i v e d as a T.O.C, that even i f the same situ a t i o n , topic, lesson i s never encountered again, the opportunity to grow i s presented. I could f i n d ways to improve generalisable . understanding, or to make some progress with respect to simple maturity and depth of thought, with the attentive observation and creative theorising t y p i c a l of the action research process. And i f the opportunity to meet a si m i l a r circumstance i s there, as i n presenting the same topic to loops of action refinement another class the same day or even in a subsequent year, this, action research process leads to change and fine-tuning which improves the qual i t y of the educational experience. This has been my experience i n the years I have been teaching art and conducting ongoing action research i n the public school system and i n a va r i e t y of extra-curricular settings. As well, I learned in Rita Irwin's action research class that once new insights or improved pedagogy has been obtained and achieved, sharing the res u l t s i n some way that the pedagogy of others might be .similarly enriched i s an implied option. Relation to the existing literature Another simple diagram serves to locate the process of action research i n terms of what I consider to be the p r i n c i p a l components of growth. The existing body of pedagogical thought i s extensive and r i c h , and i s not to be overlooked i n the personal problem solving process of action research. theory » practice _ . >• research Figure 3 . The components of action research. A very r i c h diet of readings suggested by Rita Irwin gave me the opportunity to c l a r i f y the concepts of the action research approach. In the process, I was able to connect my experience, from which I was beginning to draw out some insights and p r i n c i p l e s , with broader educational thought. I had to make an i n i t i a l leap of f a i t h when writer Jean McNiff and her collaborators, and my professor, Rita Irwin, declared that action research can improve the q u a l i t y of l i f e , even though I was unable to c l e a r l y envision the implications at the outset. I mulled over the relationships between theory and practice, and wondered how "praxis can become more aware of i t s e l f by means of theory." (Van Manen 1990, 154). I learned from McNiff et a l , that praxis i s "informed,, committed action that gives r i s e to knowledge, rather than just successful action." (McNiff 1996,8) I discovered that action research includes description, explanation, int e r p r e t a t i o n of ordinary events i n the d a i l y unfolding of l i f e . I was very attracted by the notion that t h i s research i s "driven by your own values about what i s good." (McNiff 1996, 13) I t r i e d to a r t i c u l a t e the values which I would want to guide my professional action. Equality surfaced f i r s t . I n c l u s i v i t y and respect, cousins of equality, followed. (Especially in a d i s t r i c t where so many of the students are recent immigrants, I need to be aware of the needs of students whose English s k i l l s are tentative. I also recognised the need to go beyond the somewhat eurocentric focus I had t r a d i t i o n a l l y maintained.) Cooperation i s important to me. (I f e e l that years of practice as an architect have enabled me to understand and practise collaboration - I believe i t i s a basic a t t i t u d e / s k i l l for the learning setting.) Encouraging a s o l i d b e l i e f i n oneself and nurturing personal i n i t i a t i v e and independence are key values, related intimately to the others. Students a l l have special a b i l i t i e s and needs which may not be apparent to T.O.C.s (read 'passers-through') but that, awareness at least increases s e n s i t i v i t y to what might be. Depth of response, - founded on a capacity for c r i t i c a l thought, r e f l e c t i o n and creative adaptation, which I i n i t i a l l y l i s t e d as goals for the learning setting, became very basic personal goals as . well.- Measured against what I saw as a baseline of very low and'pessimistic expectations, I could see that a change would be required i f I were going to be able to r e a l i s e my professional values to any meaningful extent as a T.O.C. McNiff suggests that we motivate our action from the tension r e s u l t i n g from the i n a b i l i t y to live'out our values i n pra c t i c e . The t r i c k i s to imagine a better way, based on what we value, then work towards that v i s i o n . Keeping close track of tensions as well as observations and r e f l e c t i o n s regarding the quotidian, and even converting those notes into a form that can be shared, enables a c l a r i t y and depth of insight that enriches practice. From the above experiences, and many others which f i l l e d my l i f e i n the i n t e n s i t y of that f i r s t round of action research, I was able to derive certain hypotheses. Although my experiences as a T.O.C. are c e r t a i n l y relevant to my teaching practice i n general, many of these new insights thus derived f a l l somewhat outside the scope of t h i s document. Suffice to say, the action research process was an important path for me to follow i n developing a personal theory of practice from hypotheses that I was able to a r t i c u l a t e from this important phase of my career. A b r i e f summary of how observation became hypothesis became research question serves to elucidate the process. Towards a personal theory of practice At f i r s t I hypothesised that content was the key to successful substitute teaching - possibly because my f i r s t three weeks as a Teacher-on-Call were spent i n situations where no daybook was supplied and where, ordinary a c t i v i t y could not take place - Woodwork shops - the power stays o f f . I approached the s i t u a t i o n by devising content - a series of lessons based on s t o r i e s about people i n non-traditional, technical roles - Kate Braid, carpenter/poet, and her hero Emily Carr, adventurer/painter/writer. I introduced relevant design projects based upon collaboration and c r i t i c a l analysis. I brought the wonderful ideas of Gu Xiong, and p a r t i c u l a r l y his notion of honouring ordinary simple objects, into the learning s i t u a t i o n wherever possible. I was attempting to make the time spent i n the absence of the regular teacher meaningful to students - but I r e a l i s e d that the f i r s t cycle of my action research was simply refinement of content - not hugely d i f f e r e n t from the ordinary a c t i v i t y of a conscientious teacher. However, some of t h i s lesson content, devised for s u r v i v a l i n the intense s i t u a t i o n of substitute teaching, has evolved into lessons that appear i n the Primer. It should be noted as well that af t e r the f i r s t three .weeks as a T.O.C., the circumstances changed quite dramatically. A daybook and clear instructions were provided, more often than not. This was new to me, to have actual lessons already planned. My job was then to ensure that students were engaged i n the work - i n e f f e c t , to contribute my classroom management s k i l l s to the s i t u a t i o n . This c l e a r l y has relevance i n any classroom, and to the learning situations described' i n the Primer. I noticed, as a T.O.C., that i f I made a re a l e f f o r t to connect with students, our time together seemed to unfold more smoothly. I refined simple t a c t i c s such as c a r e f u l l y c a l l i n g the r o l l - making eye contact with each student as they answered. I t o l d s t o r i e s as I introduced myself and encouraged students to share t h e i r stories as well in order to b uild trust and goodwill i n the class. I'noticed that kids are interested, generally, in what i s going on at school. They were often w i l l i n g to share information about themselves and t h e i r school, and w i l l i n g to adapt to the r e a l i t i e s of a new but temporary learning s i t u a t i o n . This c l e a r l y can be applied in any learning s i t u a t i o n , and i s an important dynamic i n a l l the experiences described i n the Primer as well. I became increasingly committed to the notion that something of value should take place i n every class even i f the regular teacher could not be there. I a r t i c u l a t e d a personal statement: students are e n t i t l e d to move forward with t h e i r education every day at school - whether or not t h e i r regular teacher i s available. My i n i t i a l research question as an action researcher began to take shape: How can I provide for a quality learning experience as a substitute teacher - (and simply as a teacher)? I t r i e d to i d e n t i f y at least three components of a good "subbing" s i t u a t i o n and I speculated that personal connection, educational meaning (content), and engagement (process/management), are the primary elements. Each s i t u a t i o n requires attention to these fundamental elements; each s i t u a t i o n must be read to determine i n what proportion these elements are required. The narrative of my career as a teacher-on-call, beginning with à memorable f i r s t day, serves as a vehicle for sharing with others the insights I was able to a r t i c u l a t e . This i s a natural part of the action research investigative process. The insights and p r i n c i p l e s thus derived have formed an important part of my teaching stance i n the time I have been conducting the action research that has led to the Primer. The action research process, a r t i c u l a t i n g a commitment to improvement and understanding of practice (and the p r a c t i t i o n e r ) , driven by personal values, and manifested i n factual and subjective research accounts - narratives of d a i l y unfolding action - has also become for me a fundamental approach to ongoing prac t i c e . I grow clearer now about the foundations of my professional knowledge. Some t a c i t truths have been made more e x p l i c i t . The values I have a r t i c u l a t e d and have moved closer to are best shown as narratives put together from notes i n my journal. This narrative, and subsequent others, are supported by excerpts from the writings of theoreticians and new heroes of mine that have become part of my operating i n s i g h t s . I have been re- searching i n the sense expressed by Burnaford et a l : "Research . . . ( i s ) the search for p r a c t i c a l p o s s i b i l i t i e s - teachers and students searching themselves, t h e i r classrooms, and t h e i r worlds for educative meaning. • Such meanings are contextual and often s o c i a l l y constructed." (Burnaford et a l 1996, x i i ) In the journal notes and narratives, I have made some progress i n being able to ground the action of teaching in who I am - and to r e l a t e the professional to the personal. I have, over time, come to agree with Burnaford et a l that " f a i t h f u l description helps one to see more", and I have learned that r e f l e c t i o n i s a "standing back, a pausing to reread, to mull things over and search for connections, associations, significances and possible meanings not noticed before". (Burnaford et a l 1996, 13) I am guided by Eudora Welty's insight, which i s underscored i n one of our action research seminar readings: "The events i n our l i v e s happen i n a sequence of time, but i n t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n c e to ourselves they f i n d t h e i r own order ... i t i s a continuous thread of revelation." (Sumara and Luce-Kapler, 394) Writing narratives of, and r e f l e c t i o n s upon practice, the process of which culminates i n the story of my return to teaching, i s a key part of my e f f o r t to make and share meaning as a teacher. This process has enabled my growth as a r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i t i o n e r . A new research context - towards.a new research question Most of the ideas in the Primer have evolved over the years through the process of action research, which I c a r r i e d into practice as a regular teacher. After only a few months of Teaching-on-Call, I was offered a continuing contract with the Richmond School D i s t r i c t , teaching Art, as well as other subjects. My art assignment has usually involved teaching Art 9, 10, 11, and 12 i n a class together, occasionally with the odd grade 8 student thrown i n to the mix to keep matters even more exciting. I n i t i a l l y , I taught Visual Arts 3-D to t h i s broad range of students, with drawing and other 2-D techniques included as supporting s k i l l s . In order to simplify the timetabling i n our department, I was asked a year ago to teach Visual Arts 9-12, both 2-D and 3-D together. Over the l a s t several years, I have occasionally, (maybe twice) been given an art class comprised of one grade, or perhaps two grades only. It turns out that the mix of grade leve l s and experience and ages mostly works to our advantage i n the artroom. Students seldom have the advantage i n the graded school system to mix with others of d i f f e r e n t grade lev e l s , and the general atmosphere of the classroom i s collaborative rather than competitive. It i s from t h i s l i v e l y context that the Primer has emerged. So what am I curious about? - formulation of the new research question I have noted before that I was delighted, though somewhat bemused, when the two teachers for whom I have the highest regard both said exactly the same sentence to me: "I don't know anything about architecture". These statements were made more than four years apart, perhaps when I personally needed to hear them the most. The f i r s t time a teacher said t h i s to me was during the course of my preparations to return to teaching. The second time was short weeks before I began writing the actual text of t h i s document. I have been keeping notes i n preparation for t h i s writing for a long time, and my journals and f i l e s are stuffed with words, diagrams, photographs, samples and quotations. Each course outline has been covered with notes about refinements to project ideas and new ideas that spring from ones already presented. My daybooks are spotted with immediate, scribbled r e f l e c t i o n s which are c o l l e c t e d into a journal, when the i n t e n s i t y of teaching changes to the quiet of after school hours. I keep track of feedback from colleagues and students. The years f l y by and insights accrue. How f i t t i n g that my notes have t h i s propitious statement, spoken by highly regarded colleagues: "I don't know anything about architecture" - at both the beginning of my return to the classroom and again, so recently. 1 .3 R a t i o n a l e f o r t h e r e s e a r c h q u e s t i o n : why i s t h i s i m p o r t a n t ? "I don't know anything about architecture". That's what I am curious about. I f we use 'place making' as a s t a r t i n g point, then how might sophisticated, well-educated people l i k e my two statement-makers think they know nothing about this? They know a great deal and they spend t h e i r l i v e s sharing with fortunate others. And they have both l i v e d i n and around architecture i n the broadest sense a l l t h e i r l i v e s . So I am curious as to why they would say t h i s . Have pr a c t i t i o n e r s of architecture and/or our culture i n general somehow caused 'architecture' to seem too arcane for formally u n i n i t i a t e d people to f e e l part of t h i s process, to claim knowledge of i t , to f e e l 'qualified' to p a r t i c i pate? . If t h i s i s the case, then the concepts of architecture c l e a r l y need to be examined. In our culture, i t i s estimated that roughly ten per cent of building projects involve a professional a r c h i t e c t . Clearly, there i s scope for the actions of non-architects i n our place making a c t i v i t y . Place making and being-in-places i s a natural a c t i v i t y of humans - the people should be able to approach th i s natural a c t i v i t y with confidence rather than the often a r t i c u l a t e d i n s e c u r i t y . C l e a r l y there i s some mystery associated with 'architecture'. It i s viewed by many as a respected profession, a g u i l d composed of the selected few who pass through the rigorous r i t e s of passage to emerge as experts i n the art and science of place making. And yes, a formal education f i t t i n g one to deal with the countless issues involved, e s p e c i a l l y i n the making of a complex place, i s an important foundation for the place making process i n many instances. I do not denigrate or deny the need for experts. My c r i t i c a l point i s that the input of formally trained and practiced experts i s but a part of the requirement for sensitive and thoughtful place making. An aware and confident populace, w i l l i n g and able to p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h i s c r i t i c a l process, i s a key part of the process as well. I would venture to guess that someone who declares "I don't know anything about architecture" does not f e e l t h i s confidence and i s u n l i k e l y to agree to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the act of place making. The people should not simply accept our places from formally trained others, imagining perhaps that t h i s i s some prescribed way decreed by the arbiters of art, science, economics and safety, and then adapt our places over time to s u i t ourselves rather than the expert decision maker. Rather, a l l people who dwell i n places might f e e l welcome to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the creation and ongoing revision of our settings: both the b u i l t environment and the s i t e s upon which we b u i l d . Although i t i s an i n t r i g u i n g question, I think i t i s beyond the scope of t h i s work to investigate why people f e e l they don't know about architecture. I am much more curious about inve s t i g a t i n g what to do about t h i s . I want to explore the t e a c h a b i l i t y of architecture, with the goal of finding ways to ensure that students and t h e i r teachers w i l l never f e e l moved to say "I don't know anything about architecture". In our society we are learning to take part i n a reasoned and informed way with respect to the medical care of our own bodies: researching options, experimenting with al t e r n a t i v e medicines and methodologies, questioning the t o t a l authority we have t r a d i t i o n a l l y given to doctors. I envision, i n the same manner that we have begun to participate more f u l l y i n the processes regarding the care and maintenance of our own bodies, that we should be able to s i m i l a r l y p a r t i c i p a t e in matters regarding our settings. We can act with reasoned awareness and assurance, knowledge, and with respect for the varying complexity of our projects. So my research question f a l l s naturally out of t h i s goal: What i s the nature and scope of an architectural primer designed to assist educators to encourage a citizenry that i s aware, responsive, willing to become involved and capable of responsible participation in the shaping of our collective and private places? This approach to place making and being i n the world could be organised into three integrated areas, the three Rs of architecture. The program would guide and encourage students to : - realise - thoughtfully look, see, consider what i s - respond - envision and consider what could be - and accept responsibility at the micro and macro scale to af f e c t needed and appropriate change. I see each AR'. as part of an integrated concept that begins by encouraging alertness to the environment and one's own powers, and leads to the development or discovery of a sense of personal e f f i c a c y of each inhabitant of a place, I think that these three environmental 'R's' are as important to an educated person as are the t r a d i t i o n a l x3 R's'. We need to be able to operate capably with a l l the R's to maximise ourselves and our i n d i v i d u a l and shared settings. So how w i l l I move towards answering this question? My methodology i s meant to be q u a l i t a t i v e i n nature. This i s an action research project which i s based upon i t e r a t i v e explorations of possible approaches to the question. I w i l l present ideas for lessons or learning sequences that were developed to bui l d upon the following goals: - to strengthen awareness of the environment, - to encourage r i c h and thoughtful responses to s i t u a t i o n s and circumstances i n our settings, - and to nurture a sense of personal r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and e f f i c a c y in the matters of personal and c o l l e c t i v e place making. As a part of the study, I w i l l take a look at some ex i s t i n g programs which have presented a r c h i t e c t u r a l ideas i n the schools, e s p e c i a l l y the work of the A r c h i t e c t u r a l I n s t i t u t e of B r i t i s h Columbia Committee c a l l e d Architects i n Schools, and such educators as Ginny Graves of the USA, and Eileen Adams of B r i t a i n . Buoyed by models and guided by personal b e l i e f s , I w i l l recount s t o r i e s of a series of educational experiences which I have presented and refined as a teacher and as an Architect-in-Schools over the l a s t two decades. I have had the opportunity to work with these ideas i n my classes i n the public school system, at the Shadbolt Centre i n Burnaby, at classes for highly motivated students i n several school d i s t r i c t s , and as a Teacher-on-Call at several schools. These reports w i l l be presented i n a narrative s t y l e , again r e f l e c t i n g my b e l i e f (and agreement with Carl Rogers) that the personal i s most universal - teachers can adapt my s t o r i e s of practice to meet t h e i r own unique requirements. My role i n t h i s work has been participant-as-observer and observer-as-participant i n the learning settings. I have practised r e f l e c t i o n - i n - a c t i o n and reflection-on-action. My journals have been c r i t i c a l to t h i s process. As David Hobson writes: (Burnaford et a l 1996, 10) The journal i s a place where much of that very important research process can be described, drawn, r e f l e c t e d on, analyzed, and put back to use in the classroom. Each teacher's journal can become the textbook of emergent practice, ongoing research, and as such may be the most important book a teacher can f u l l y write and read. But the process of action research does not end with the journal. A text introducing the methods of action research states i t c l e a r l y : The f i n a l stage of action research i s when the process and outcomes are made public. ( A l t r i c h t e r et a l 1993,176) These authors consider i t important to make teachers' knowledge public, and back th i s assertion with several strong reasons. They urge against what they term 'teacher privatism' and believe that t h i s t r a d i t i o n a l reticence to share i s "detrimental to the development of insights on professional p r a c t i c e . " ( i b i d ) . Moreover, they believe that reporting saves knowledge and insights from being forgotten i n two senses of the word: by reporting and communicating your own experience you root i t more deeply within your own memory, as well as making i t available to other teachers and the professional community as a whole, (ibid, 177) I was able to generate and maintain the i t e r a t i v e loops of learning i n the various artrooms and with the wide range of students I was fortunate enough to have access to. I was able to c o l l e c t a r i c h supply of student samples to use as visual data i n my research. I have snapshots, wordshots, my own observations and the comments of interested others. I have questions, theories, answers sometimes too. The results of my e f f o r t s have been edited and s i f t e d to glean the useful material that can be passed on to other teachers i n the form of a document which I have chosen to c a l l the 'Primer'. This . Primer, Chapter 5 of t h i s document, i s composed of a series of narratives, informally and w r i t e r l y styled reports of the lessons t r i e d i n t h i s research. I agree that The realm of meaning i s structured according to l i n g u i s t i c forms, and one of the most important forms for creating meaning i n human existence i s the narrative. (Polkinghorne 1988, 183) I am spurred on by the words of Susan Jungck who writes: The personal construction of narrative or story, i s the process through which individuals integrate a multidimensional way of knowing. The dynamic nature of narrative i s p a r t i c u l a r l y important i n research; i f we int e r p r e t our experiences through narrative, then we can and often do reinterpret those experiences as well... s t o r i e s of experience and understanding r e f l e c t s t o r i e s of change as well. This represents not only the power of narrative as a way to grow, but the p o t e n t i a l of t h i s form of research as well to promote growth and change...the methods of personal accounts research...with t h e i r e s s e n t i a l reliance on the f i r s t person " I " are intended to r e f l e c t the legitimate and necessary presence of a researcher. Narrative accounts of experience and research r e f l e c t the processes through which current understandings are derived as well as t h e i r temporality; they are not d e f i n i t i v e or s t a t i c findings. (Burnaford et a l 1996, 177-178) And I am inspired by the work of Sylvia Ashton Warner, whose wonderful narrative, Teacher, f i r s t published i n 1963, became a beacon of l i g h t leading me towards r i c h e r and more humane practice when I f i r s t read i t i n the summer of 1967, before I returned to my t h i r d year of teaching. Subsequent readings have served to reaffirm my b e l i e f i n the power of narrative to bring s t o r i e s of practice a l i v e i n such a way that others can benefit from the t a l e . Although she was describing her days as a teacher i n the infant room of a p r o v i n c i a l New Zealand school, far from my experience i n a secondary school artroom, no pedagogical textbooks have enriched my development as a r e f l e c t i v e p r a c t i t i o n e r to the degree that Sylvia Ashton-Warner's simple but evocative book has done. I envision the Primer as being of use to teachers who perhaps worry that they don't know anything about architecture. I t i t l e i t 'Primer' to suggest that i t contains simple accessible ideas, not mysterious arcane suggestions that require years of special t r a i n i n g to become expert i n Matters A r c h i t e c t u r a l . My guiding metaphor for the work i s that the lessons described might be used by teachers not just as seeds, but more as bedding plants, to move forward to'the goal of integrating the concepts of architecture into the r i c h garden of curriculum that exists today i n our schools. Concluding Real Questions M I s teacher research re a l research? Where? With whom? When teachers as researchers are affirmed; when teacher knowledge i s respected; when teacher language i s legitimate; when theory, practice and r e f l e c t i o n are united; when teacher-researchers are experts, change agents, producers, and consumers of meaningful knowledge; when teachers pioneer new methods of knowing; who r e a l l y benefits?" (Susan Jungck, i n Burnaford et a l 1996, 178) I understand that I have been mostly affirmed, respected, encouraged, supported, understood i n the. course of my preparation and practice as both architect and teacher. I recognise that I have had access to guidance by educators and pra c t i t i o n e r s of profound knowledge and generosity. I take for granted that the r i c h wealth of ideas of others has always been readily available to me, and I understand that I have something that may be of value to others to share. I see how I benefit from p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the communities of learning where I have been welcomed. But the real reason that t h i s i s important i s my students, the ones who r e a l l y benefit i f they have access to meaningful and engaging programs. I don't ever want students or teachers to fe e l the need to draw back from architecture. My goal i s to enable young people and the i r teachers to f e e l securely grounded i n what I have, for purposes of c l a r i t y , termed the three R's of architecture. I hope they can receive t h e i r surroundings and form an awareness of t h e i r what i s and what might be, f e e l enabled and moved to par t i c i p a t e i n an active response to our settings, and operate with r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and s e n s i t i v i t y on t h i s planet we a l l share. CHAPTER 2 E d u c a t i o n a l s c a f f o l d i n g 2.1 Is there educative value in using the ideas of architecture in the classroom? We know more about architecture than we might think we do - i t i s a l l around us, providing at least part of the setting for our l i v e s . Architecture study can therefore be a very s a t i s f y i n g pursuit, because we can recognise and c r y s t a l l i s e insights - we have plenty of p r i o r knowledge that comes clear with some r e f l e c t i o n . Learning about places and place making i s i n t e r e s t i n g and engaging, for myself and for students. I have noted that students tend, in general, to be interested i n , and highly motivated to consider a r c h i t e c t u r a l concepts. Moreover, our relationship with our surroundings i s important, and should be c a r e f u l l y attended to. This i s one way i n which the curriculum that unfolds i n an artroom can become a relevant part of our way of moving through the world. Authors June McFee and Rogena Degge, i n t h e i r encyclopedic handbook for art teachers t i t l e d Art, Culture and Environment, assert that we a l l influence the quality of the shared environment i n one way or another. They state: The quality of the environment depends on people's a b i l i t y to use t h e i r design s e n s i t i v i t y , t h e i r s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , and t h e i r ecological concerns together to solve environmental problems. When this i s done, art i s not an appendage, but an integral part of decision-making. (McFee and Degge 1977, 10) These same a u t h o r s f u r t h e r observe t h a t e n v i r o n m e n t a l p s y c h o l o g i s t s ( c i t i n g I t t e l s o n e t a l , 1974) s t a t e t h a t t h e b u i l t environment has a tremendous impact on our l i v e s : t he impact o f the b u i l t environment on p e o p l e ' s sense of who and what t h e y a r e i s c r i t i c a l t o s o c i a l and i n d i v i d u a l w e l l b e i n g . (McFee and Degge 1977, 111) T h i s s u p p o r t s the 3R's c l a i m t h a t a c u r r i c u l u m which promotes awareness of the d e s i g n e d environment - 'Receive', o f f e r s , an i n v i t a t i o n t o p a r t i c i p a t e and t h e promotion of some s k i l l s and c o n f i d e n c e i n d e s i g n i n g t h e s e t t i n g s we i n h a b i t - 'Respond', and g u i d e s some sense o f r e s p o n s i b l e approaches t o t h e s e e f f o r t s - ' R e s p o n s i b i l i t y ' i s a n e c e s s a r y p a r t o f everyone's e d u c a t i o n . A q u o t a t i o n from a handbook f o r s t u d e n t s from the Beaumont A r t Museum o f So u t h e a s t Texas, p r i n t e d i n 1979 (no f u r t h e r s o u r c e i n f o r m a t i o n a v a i l a b l e ) g i v e s a f u r t h e r r a t i o n a l e f o r t e a c h i n g about p l a c e s and p l a c e making i n t h e s c h o o l s : A l t h o u g h one o f i t s g o a l s i s t o p r e p a r e f u t u r e c i t i z e n s t o make e n v i r o n m e n t a l d e c i s i o n s , b u i l t e n v i r o n m e n t a l e d u c a t i o n i s not an end i n i t s e l f . I t i s not a new s u b j e c t a r e a t o be added t o t h e s c h o o l c u r r i c u l u m , but r a t h e r an approach t o and a framework f o r l e a r n i n g i n a l l a r e a s . I t i s r a r e t h a t one can become i n v o l v e d i n something t h a t makes sense, i n some way, t o almost everyone i t touches - young and o l d a l i k e . B u i l t environment e d u c a t i o n has t h a t q u a l i t y . The s k i l l s and a t t i t u d e s a c q u i r e d t h r o u g h o b s e r v a t i o n • and p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n b u i l t environment a c t i v i t i e s can be a p p l i e d t o the l e a r n i n g o f a l l s u b j e c t m a t t e r . T h i s statement embodies a broad view of the p o s s i b i l i t i e s o f b u i l t environment e d u c a t i o n , which p r o v i d e s t h e c o n t e x t f o r a r i c h a r r a y o f l e a r n i n g g o a l s - f o r connected, relevant, and engaging i n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y learning. Through such a.study we can begin to knit a meaningful worldview together with and for our students/co-learners. 2.2 Interdisciplinary connections A r c h i t e c t u r a l concepts are useful i n teaching i n a range of d i s c i p l i n e s . Early on i n my studies I saw ways to translate what I was learning as an architecture student into learning opportunities. In my daughter's daycare and elementary school classrooms, for example, we t r i e d some measuring/mapping projects. Later, i n more structured e x t r a - c u r r i c u l a r programs for highly motivated students, and as a teacher-on-call and a regular classroom teacher i n the public school system, I began to adapt and use ideas from my studies i n artrooms and technical s k i l l s classrooms, s o c i a l studies and even English classes. As a founding member of the Architects i n Schools program of the Arc h i t e c t u r a l I n s t i t u t e of B.C., I have had the opportunity to see the enthusiasm and p r a c t i c a l and . creative expertise of both teachers and architects i n the classroom grow over time. We a l l became more aware of the potent i a l of architecture as a r i c h topic on i t s own, and as a way to f a c i l i t a t e the integration of existing subjects i n the curriculum. Interesting and f r u i t f u l connections can be explored between architecture and a l l the s o c i a l studies, language arts, fine arts, sciences, mathematics, home economics, technical studies, career and personal planning. The lesson suggestions presented i n the Primer reinforce the content of other subjects and d i s c i p l i n e s as well as developing s k i l l s that can be used i n many ways other than the e x p l i c i t art projects they are embedded i n . Some examples: The mapping exercise, in i t s various forms, encourages learners to look, with some increased awareness and analysis, at the journeys they make i n the course of th e i r d a i l y l i v e s . What i s important i n the journey, and how does the expression of the journey r e f l e c t the personal attributes and values of each person? These are i n t e r e s t i n g questions for teens, and i t i s p a r t i c u l a r l y illuminating for students to see t h e i r choice of focus, for the mapping of the expedition from bed to schoolhouse door, i n the context of the other students' selections. The perceptual s k i l l s required i n attempting to draw one's home from the imagination and the increased awareness from actually looking at the home and drawing i t again can be transferred to any operation requiring the a b i l i t y to a c t u a l l y see rather than just use a portion of our environment. Students often express t h e i r amazement at how l i t t l e they knew about such an important place as t h e i r own home before they r e a l l y took a close look at i t i n order to draw i t with some accuracy. McFee and Degge suggest that students who look at things "only to know what they are, need more time and help to see the pattern of design". (144) Once students recognise that they are not r e a l l y aware of even such an important place as t h e i r own homes, they are receptive to learning to see more adequately, to look for and acknowledge the patterns - the order and variety and the v i s u a l language of houses and other b u i l t forms. j In the course of designing simple or complex places, whether singly or i n small groups, students are required to develop, and refine, many attrib u t e s . These attributes include: f l e x i b i l i t y , a n a l y t i c a l problem solving s k i l l s , cooperative s k i l l s , the increased a b i l i t y to v i s u a l i s e , the application of mathematical and s c i e n t i f i c a b i l i t i e s , the application of insights gleaned from s o c i a l studies, and increased awareness of personal as well as group choices. Students are given the opportunity to consider how t h e i r own p a r t i c u l a r energies can be harnessed to improve the qual i t y of surroundings shared by the larger group. Such experiences as the actual planning and embellishing of t h e i r school, or the th e o r e t i c a l r e f i t t i n g of a shared community space i n the 'unpaving' project exercise t h i s a b i l i t y to contribute s o c i a l l y . Moreover, i n the consideration of events outside the da i l y l i f e of students such as the '911' redesign of a large urban area, or the i n i t i a t i v e s to collaborate i n action with people of another culture, students begin to see ways i n which th e i r socio- c u l t u r a l values can help to make a difference. Opportunities are there for a wide range of learning p o s s i b i l i t i e s -including the a c q u i s i t i o n of int e r e s t i n g and useful information and s k i l l s . A favourite project with students i s the 'travel to make art' project, motivated by a close look at Emily Carr and her travels about the province in her caravan. This combines a close biographical look at an important h i s t o r i c a l hero of our heritage, an opportunity to practise the process of design i n a simple manner, and a chance to c l o s e l y investigate a se l f - s e l e c t e d geographic area. To summarise : I see the principal educational meaning in the approach presented in this document to reside in the basic goals of the program. The 3R's represent in shorthand what I have come to consider the educative foundation that b u i l t environment education can promote : the deepening of appreciation and awareness of our surroundings (which I c a l l 'Receive' - the f i r s t of the 3Rs), the enjoyment and sharpening of creative problem solving attitudes and techniques (which I c a l l Respond - the second R), and the development of social values and collaborative a b i l i t i e s (Responsibility - the third R.) This i s the theoretical basis of the lesson sequences in the Primer. Each of the learning experiences focuses upon at least one of the 'Rs' , but most projects involve the three Rs: Receive, Respond and Responsibility. Latent awareness, teachable expertise, and c i v i c concern based on some consideration of values and influences, a l l incubated i n the designed environment that most of us inhabit much of the time, can be nurtured to produce an aware c i t i z e n r y , w i l l i n g and able to respond and pa r t i c i p a t e i n the shaping of the environment. This t a l l order can be f i l l e d by the active integration of a l l d i s c i p l i n e s i n the study of the b u i l t environment by a l l students, not just those who wish to s p e c i a l i s e i n the b u i l t environment as a career. While I would never deny the need for architects as expert contributors i n matters to do with the b u i l t environment, I believe that education must involve a f i t t i n g out of a general populace which i s prepared to p a r t i c i p a t e in aware, responsive, and responsible dwelling i n our places. 2.3 Approaches to learning - what do the psychologists have to say to art teachers? Individuals perceive and process information i n very d i f f e r e n t ways. Instead of teachers and students themselves asking i f a student i s smart, the germane question i s 'how i s th i s person smart?' Theories of learning styles are based on research demonstrating that heredity, environment and current demands enable individuals to deal with information i n d i f f e r e n t ways. These ways are generally c l a s s i f i e d as to modes of perception and modes of processing. Concrete perceivers are generally thought to be those who absorb information through d i r e c t experience, by doing, acting, sensing and f e e l i n g . Abstract perceivers take i n information through analysis, observation, and thinking. Active processors make sense of an experience by using the new information quickly. Reflective processors make sense of an . experience by r e f l e c t i n g upon i t . and thinking about i t u n t i l readiness to act occurs. As educators, we need to r e f l e c t upon the modes we favour. Are the concrete perceivers and active processors adequately provided for i n a system that seems to expect abstract perceiving and r e f l e c t i v e processing? The important matter i s to ensure that experiences must be appropriate as well to students' readiness to learn, and to enable the development of the range of learning modes in each learner. McFee and Degge, whose handbook for art teachers includes a section on what art teachers can derive from psychology, i s unequivocal about t h i s point. They state: As teachers, we have to help children use the learning aptitudes they have already developed, but we can also help conceptual children become more perceptual and perceptual children become more conceptual. (McFee and Degge 1977, 336) Learning experiences i n the Primer include opportunities for the development of perceptualising i n the range of drawing and awareness exercises suggested; conceptualising as a prelude to any design process - v e r b a l i s i n g (written and where necessary, spoken) and image making comprise preliminary work to be done. Some students need to be encouraged to t r y to perceive and process i n the mode which they may not have developed - I see i t as the task of teaching to determine who requires what kind of encouragement and guidance. MccFee and Degge comment that a student whose success i n art has always been through impulsive expression may not have learned to be very r e f l e c t i v e in his/her approach. Teacher intervention to help such a c h i l d to r e f l e c t could indeed help him or her to develop the habit of r e f l e c t i o n . Some students engaged i n simple design projects i n my classroom are surprised at my insistence that they write actual design b r i e f s and provide several alternate p o s s i b i l i t i e s to consider before selecting a design idea to develop. It has not occurred to some that verbal processing can be a part of activités i n the artroom. (The converse happens in my English and Philosophy classes when I ask students to draw what they are thinking, to r e t e l l an essay they have just written .using visuals only, or to translate a descriptive passage they are reading or writing into v i s u a l s . It doesn't usually take long for them to f i n d a way to do this.) McFee and Degge point out that 'impulsive expression i n art education has sometimes been stressed at the expense of analytic expression'. They note that: Since the time of the strong reaction to c l a s s i c realism and d i s c i p l i n e d drawing and the emergence of the child-centred curriculum, teachers have focused on self-expression at the expense of much r e f l e c t i v e problem-solving.' ( i b i d 341) The exercises i n the Primer, and perhaps i n any b u i l t environment curriculum generally, provide a wide range of complexity which can engage r e f l e c t i v e behaviour and vis u a l analysis as well as the opportunity for more i n t u i t i v e and impulsive or freer response. 2 .4 And what about Creativity? McFee and Degge ref e r to psychological research which helps us to understand which t r a i t s lead to c r e a t i v i t y i n perception, i n content of ideas i n art outputs, and i n problem solving. They write: The capacities to be independent, f l e x i b l e , fluent, p l a y f u l , to be open to new experience a l l provide children and adults with the attributes needed to be creative, but do not necessarily ensure i t unless avenues to explore, invent, manipulate, and solve problems are available-, ( i b i d 353) A clear case can be made that the learning sequences of the Primer provide for such experiences. Students who have attempted the design projects of the primer (toys, vehicles, chairs, and some simple building projects) and speculated about the creative p o s s i b i l i t i e s of design for a s p e c i f i c c l i e n t rather than the speculative market, understand t h i s design as an intimate, at least t h e o r e t i c a l l y doable, ecological a c t i v i t y which a f f e c t s t h e i r l i f e very d i f f e r e n t l y from a shopping expedition. McFee and Degge ask: "Are you including a c t i v i t i e s that encourage constructive, a e s t h e t i c a l l y honest reuse of materials?" ( i b i d 354) While I see that the Primer a c t i v i t i e s do engage creative use of ideas and materials, I concede that t h i s work done thus far i s a beginning, a step along the way towards a higher order of well-integrated problem solving which would involve a more sophisticated understanding of recycling and the properties of materials,, and a deeper grasp of aesthetic p o s s i b i l i t i e s . McFee and Degge also suggest that inasmuch as creative t r a i t s are pa r t l y learned, we can encourage the development of creative behaviour by asking students to f i n d "many workable answers to problems rather than single, most right ones" . The design process suggested i n the Primer,, where students are required to fi n d and consider several alternate solutions before developing one i n d e t a i l , confounds some students i n i t i a l l y , but most have l i t t l e trouble integrating the idea. I have, however, found that i t does make sense to the few 'holdouts', and i t does y i e l d s a t i s f y i n g results i f I model the process for them and demonstrate a commitment to this aspect of the process. In general, the p o s s i b i l i t i e s for creative a c t i v i t y using the concepts and processes of b u i l t environment education seem to me to be l i m i t e d only by our confidence or imagination. If we own that we do know rather a l o t about architecture rather than shying away from t h i s knowledge, we can integrate t h i s topic into the a c t i v i t i e s of the artroom to provide a r i c h source of creative learning experiences. 2.5 Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences - how the processes of architecture can connect with a l l the identified intelligences In his work Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, Howard Gardner suggests that there are at least seven ways for people to perceive and understand the world. He has i d e n t i f i e d the l i s t of i n t e l l i g e n c e s to include : V e r b a l - l i n g u i s t i c - using words and language - 'word' smart Logical-mathematical - inductive and deductive thinking as well as the use of numbers and the recognition of abstract patterns V i s u a l - s p a t i a l - the a b i l i t y to v i s u a l i s e objects and s p a t i a l dimensions and create i n t e r n a l images and pictures strong graphic sense - 'picture' smart Body-kinesthetic - using the t a c i t understanding of the body, physical motion - 'body' smart Musical-rhythmic - using the a b i l i t y to recognise tonal patterns and sounds as well as s e n s i t i v i t y to rhythm Interpersonal - person-to-person communications and relationships - 'people' smart Intrapersonal - inner states of being, r e f l e c t i o n and awareness. Natural - a l e r t to the laws of the natural world - 'nature' smart In an interview with Ronnie Durie, co director of Project Zero at Harvard, Gardner cautioned that this system of attending to the differences among students should not be used to label them. He claims that the i n t e l l i g e n c e s are categories that help us to discover difference i n forms of mental representation; they are not good characterisations of what people are (or are not) l i k e . We should therefore use t h i s r e f l e c t i v e system to seek and discover what i s special about our students, and to personalise i n s t r u c t i o n , where possible. In short, Gardner asserts that everything can be taught i n several ways. If we r e f l e c t on the various i n t e l l i g e n c e s we are trying to reach, we w i l l be able to f i n d ways to match i n s t r u c t i o n to p a r t i c u l a r types of r e c e p t i v i t y . I have discovered that most students love to consider t h e i r own ways of being i n t e l l i g e n t , and I begin each course, each year, with a short discussion of Gardner's theory, which I ask them to apply to themselves. I ask them to make an eight petalled flower (or a hubcap, or a tree - whatever symbol personally s u i t s ) , and to discuss t h e i r r e l a t i v e strengths and yet-to-be-developed strengths i n each area of i n t e l l i g e n c e i d e n t i f i e d by Gardner. Without belabouring the point, I posit that the p o s s i b i l i t i e s inherent i n designed environment education appeal to each of the range of Intelligences here l i s t e d and provide ways to engage and to strengthen each way of being smart. Some areas may be more obvious than others, so perhaps a b i t of discussion i s he l p f u l . L i n g u i s t i c - Students who are 'stuck' while try i n g to develop an idea v i s u a l l y for a design often discover that t r y i n g to describe what i s needed in words helps to get the ideas r o l l i n g . Even the making of a simple l i s t df p o s s i b i l i t i e s often serves to mitigate the intimidating whiteness of a fresh page i n the sketch book. In design projects, I ask students to annotate t h e i r drawings - some students become quite chatty - and often the l e v e l of verbal d e t a i l helps to encourage a similar l e v e l of v i s u a l d e t a i l i n the drawings. Logical - Mathematically minded students l i k e to use the a r c h i t e c t u r a l tools that I make available. Graph paper, ru l e r s , scales, protractors and compasses, even templates of geometric shapes seem to comfort and encourage the mathematically i n c l i n e d i n t h e i r design quest. I have observed that t h i s does not seem to hamstring c r e a t i v i t y . The results might be quite innovative and sometimes s t a r t l i n g , but the process might lean more to the s c i e n t i f i c and mechanical with students who have developed confidence i n t h e i r mathematical a b i l i t y . V i s u a l / S p a t i a l - I believe, and share t h i s b e l i e f with students, that the a b i l i t y to v i s u a l i s e and create i n t e r n a l images i s quite easy to develop, though of course i t develops d i f f e r e n t l y in each person. As a beginning architecture student, I(along with many of my peers) was troubled enough when required to draw an existing building. We were very surprised to discover how d i f f i c u l t i t was, at f i r s t , to draw a building that didn't yet exist. Being a bookish, v e r b a l - l i n g u i s t i c type, I raced to the l i b r a r y to do some research on the subject of v i s u a l i s a t i o n . I no longer have the sources available to quote, but I made some discoveries that helped me a great deal. It was i n the l i b r a r y that I discovered the theory that v i s u a l i s a t i o n i s •a s k i l l that can be developed with practice. Certain simple v i s u a l i s a t i o n exercises, such as envisioning and manipulating simple geometric shapes, were prescribed and earnestly attempted. Confidence and a b i l i t y grew. Learning to see with inte r e s t and awareness, and using drawing to help sharpen the a b i l i t y to see, fed my a b i l i t y to see more imaginatively, to v i s u a l i s e what couldn't yet be seen. I share these suggestions and simple exercises with my secondary school students whenever I hear the same lament, so often heard i n the introductory studio at the School of Architecture: 'how can I draw i t i f i t doesn't yet exist?' Young' students respond i n much the same way as architecture students to the simple exercises, though sometimes i t seems with l e s s ' c r y s t a l l i s e d fears and b a r r i e r s to overcome. Of course the act of c l o s e l y observing and drawing actual objects i n the world, and of applying design strategies and creative i n t e r p r e t a t i o n to what i s focused upon also helps to sharpen the v i s u a l and s p a t i a l f a c i l i t y . Kinesthetic - A good way to integrate the body-kinesthetic i n t e l l i g e n c e into the study of places and placemaking i s something I found in the AIBC Architecture for Kids program.(9) This exercise could be used to foster an awareness of the structure of a building and the s t r u c t u r a l forces and reactions involved. When students are considering a building, and t r y i n g to determine the p r i n c i p a l structural elements, i t helps to try to understand by 'acting out' the elements and forces involved. The diagram, borrowed from the AIBC program, shows how students singly and i n groups might be able to demonstrate how a post and beam system operates, how a dome or a barrel vault works, and what a cantilever or a truss or a buttress i s , including a sense of how the forces involved might operate. F i g u r e 4. How we c a n u n d e r s t a n d s t r u c t u r e w i t h o u r b o d i e s . The body-kinesthetic i n t e l l i g e n c e i s engaged as well when students are asked to consider how a structure that they design might respond to the physical requirements of the user, and how questions of comfort and convenience might be addressed. Students are required to r e f l e c t upon and document how a space might be used, which a c t i v i t i e s might be supported in that setting, how an actual person l i v i n g in an actual body might experience the place that they have designed. Moreover, students can chalk f u l l - s i z e d plans onto expanses of, say, pavement, and imaginatively inhabit • those plans, adjusting them at f u l l scale as better arrangements and configurations are imagined. Musical - Again r e f e r r i n g to AIBC materials, I have seen a wonderful learning sequence which relates b u i l t form to the musical-rhythmic i n t e l l i g e n c e . I was once present when Clyde Mitchell, the assistant conductor of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, met with a group of young students at a workshop at the Simon Fraser downtown campus to consider the musical or rhythmic aspect of buildings. The expressed purpose of the exercise was to 'read' a façade's rhythms, and set them to music. Which instrument can best express the rhythm of a row of b e a u t i f u l windows, or a delicate wrought iron fence, or an ornate dome? With a l i t t l e guidance, students were able to set the building façades to music, to play t h e i r song. Students with a sophisticated musical sense seem to have l i t t l e ' t r o u b l e making the connection between the cadence of a building and musical rhythm. Those with special strength i n the mathematical/logical i n t e l l i g e n c e seem to r e a l l y enjoy t h i s sort of a c t i v i t y as well. F i g u r e 5. A c o m p l e x , r h y t h m i c b u i l d i n g - s t u d e n t d r a w i n g . Interpersonal and intrapersonal - Many opportunities exist, even i n the course of one project, for students to experience interpersonal i n t e r a c t i o n as well as intrapersonal, more inward looking action. We need to dare to dream, i n d i v i d u a l l y and c o l l e c t i v e l y . Placemaking a c t i v i t i e s o f f e r a lovely chance to collaborate, to see how a small group can grow ideas perhaps well beyond the capacity of any one person to develop and resolve. This collaboration also provides an arena for prac t i s i n g the deli c a t e arts of group dynamics, which are not always simple to achieve. The growth of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , both in d i v i d u a l and c o l l e c t i v e , can be nurtured in projects which benefit ourselves and others. What better way to acquire a taste for a n t i c i p a t i n g and meeting society's needs than to explore ways to make d e l i g h t f u l places for us a l l to share. F i g u r e 6. D r a w i n g b y a y o u n g m a n w h o s e c h i e f i n t e r e s t i s i n t e r p e r s o n a l . T h i s i s h i s i m p r e s s i o n o f h i s h i g h s c h o o l . Naturalist - Many students'prefer the stimulation of t h e i r indoor pursuits to the joys of getting out i n the natural world. Often t h i s i s because they have not r e a l l y been encouraged to encounter nature i n a personal way - or because paradise has been paved with some f i n a l i t y i n t h e i r immediate surrounds. Certainly i f students are going to be encouraged to make places, they need as well to be encouraged to understand the setting i n which those human made places w i l l be created. To the degree that i t i s possible and appropriate to the program, students need to learn how th e i r (and a l l our) interventions on the natural landscape affect the natural ecology. F i g u r e 7 . D r a w i n g s a n d e x p l o r a t i o n s b y s t u d e n t s w h o s e a p p r e c i a t i o n o f n a t u r e i s h i g h l y d e v e l o p e d . Howard Gardner does not see the consideration of Multiple Intelligences as an educational end in i t s e l f , but as a powerful too for educating. Having an awareness of the strengths our students possess, enables teachers to plan programs that w i l l enable learners to maximise t h e i r achievement. The p o s s i b i l i t i e s of a r i c h subject such as architecture seem almost endless with respect to appeal to the various i n t e l l i g e n c e s that Gardner has i d e n t i f i e d , and that we have probably always i n s t i n c t i v e l y understood as ways of learning. 2.6 Right brain, Left brain The theories regarding the structure and functions o f f the mind suggest that the two sides of the brain control two di f f e r e n t 'modes' of thinking. It i s further suggested that each i n d i v i d u a l prefers, or at least has a stronger a f f i n i t y for, one side or mode over the other. Experimentation has shown that the two sides, or hemispheres of the brain are responsible for d i f f e r e n t ways of thinking. The l e f t side of the brain has been found to be the seat of l o g i c a l , r a t i o n a l , sequential, a n a l y t i c a l , and objective and detailed thinking. The right brain has been found to be the side used for random, i n t u i t i v e , h o l i s t i c and subjective styles of thought. Schools are generally thought to favour l e f t - b r a i n modes of thinking, although the appreciation of aesthetics, a f f e c t and c r e a t i v i t y i s more valued, perhaps, i n education now than previously. Clearly, learners would benefit from a curriculum that would nurture and expand the powers of the whole brain. Thus i f we value and attend to matters involving the imagination and acts of synthesis, we are engaging the whole brain rather than simply the l e f t , l o g i c a l side. Betty Edwards, author of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, shares some simple techniques to help art students engage the right side of the brain to help us see i n a fresh and a l e r t manner. Some of her exercises include drawing a complicated object of figure upside down, rather than r i g h t side up - i n the way we are accustomed to seeing i t , to force us to look with fresh eyes. This helps the seer/drawer to r e a l l y look, rather than use stored information that i s known about the object or figure instead of looking to see what i s . This, as Edwards describes i t , "forces the cognitive s h i f t from the dominant left—hemisphere mode to the subdominant right-hemisphere mode". (Edwards 1979, 53) I have often used t h i s technique as a sketchbook exercise to introduce students to the concept of a fresh look. Students are often very surprised at the accuracy they are able to achieve i n a drawing i f they look at the object model i n a way that i s not t y p i c a l . They are also amazed at how they can copy a quite complex drawing- that they would not normally f e e l confident to' tackle, i f they draw i t upside down. (I ask them to enlarge the image s l i g h t l y , to avoid the temptation to trace.) Edwards discusses the technique of contour drawing, introduced by Kimon Nicolaides and well known to many teachers. She suggests that this method, of following with the eye and drawing edges to simultaneously engage sight and touch, i s d i s l i k e d by the l e f t brain "which rejects the slow, meticulous complex perceptions of s p a t i a l , r e l a t i o n a l information, thus allowing access to R-mode (right brain) processing", (ibid 82-83) This technique can be used for drawing any subject, but i t becomes espe c i a l l y i n t e r e s t i n g in t h i s context when applied to drawings of b u i l t form. Combined with the simple technique of 'sighting' or what I term 'eyeballing' i n drawing b u i l t form, th i s has r e a l value i n enabling break-throughs i n confidence, e s p e c i a l l y when confronted by challenging complexity. She suggests that instead of using complicated systems of perspective drawing, sighting i s " v i s u a l perspective, with the o p t i c a l information perceived d i r e c t l y by the eye and drawn by the a r t i s t without re v i s i o n . " - using the right brain to observe angles and l i n e d i r e c t i o n s . (Edwards 1979, 119) The edges of the paper represent the true v e r t i c a l and horizontal. The pen c i l , held p a r a l l e l or perpendicular, allows the a r t i s t to gauge the angles being observed with respect to the pe n c i l and then the angles or l i n e directions are drawn on the paper i n r e l a t i o n to the horizontal and v e r t i c a l edges. This simple device, engaging the right-brain, enables the drawing of complicated angles and t r i c k y corners with accuracy and frees students to draw what they see simply and e f f e c t i v e l y . 2.7 Transmit Transact Transform Curriculum building would not be complete without at least a b r i e f discussion of the three major orientations to curriculum a r t i c u l a t e d by M i l l e r and S e l l e r i n t h e i r book Curriculum - Perspectives and Practice. The authors describe the three major positions or metaorientations i n c u r r i c u l a r programs: the transmission, transaction and transformation positions. Following i s a b r i e f statement of each of the three positions as outlined. In the transmission position, the function of education i s to transmit facts, s k i l l s , and values to students.(Miller and S e l l e r 1990, 5) This position involves a 'one-way movement' - from curriculum, through the teacher to the student - to convey the content involved. M i l l e r and S e l l e r a l i g n t h i s orientation with an "atomistic view of nature i n which r e a l i t y i s seen i n terms of separate, i s o l a t e d building blocks." (ibid 6) Figure 9 . The transmission position. In the transaction position, the i n d i v i d u a l learner i s viewed as 'rational and capable of i n t e l l i g e n t problem solving, ( i b i d 6) The connection between student and teacher i s seen as dialogue between the student and the curriculum, and the emphasis i s upon curriculum strategies that involve problem solving and the application of problem solving s k i l l s i n s o c i a l contexts and development of cognitive s k i l l s i n academic pursuit. M i l l e r and S e l l e r consider the paradigm for t h i s position to be the s c i e n t i f i c method, and the general b e l i e f underpinning t h i s p o sition i s that " r a t i o n a l i n t e l l i g e n c e can be used to improve the s o c i a l environment", (i b i d 8) Figure 1 0 . The transaction position. The transformation metaorientation, according to M i l l e r and Se l l e r , focuses on personal and s o c i a l change. They write of three s p e c i f i c orientations of th i s position: (1) teaching students s k i l l s that promote personal and s o c i a l transformation (humanistic and s o c i a l change orientations) (2) a v i s i o n of s o c i a l change as movement toward harmony with the environment rather than as an e f f o r t to exert control over i t , and (3) the a t t r i b u t i o n of a s p i r i t u a l dimension to the environment i n which the ecological system i s viewed with respect and reverence, ( i b i d 8) In the transformation position, the curriculum and the student are seen to interpenetrate each other i n a h o l i s t i c manner. Figure 1 1 . The transformation position. The learning sequences i n the primer consist of a mix of a l l the abovementioned c u r r i c u l a r positions. There are simple s k i l l s to transmit i n the program - as i n mastery learning, as appropriate to the needs and inte r e s t s of the students. For example, each student who sees a green pepper cut to demonstrate plan, section and elevation drawings i s able, to some degree, to recognise and to draw using these a r c h i t e c t u r a l conventions. A r c h i t e c t u r a l as well as standard artroom tools are handled and used c o r r e c t l y , again to the degree that the student i s capable. Some textbook information i s transmitted i n the course of the Primer, usually based upon a judgement regarding the depth to which the student wants to pursue any aspect of the program. Often that i s a surprising depth. But the course i s not s t r i c t l y b u i l t around the textbook, as i t might be i n the transmission model. The 'texts' (a wide range of relevant resources) are available, not considered core material but enrichment. M i l l e r and S e l l e r create a "transaction scenario" for the future ( i b i d 341) wherein teachers focus on problem solving s k i l l s and on making students aware of t h e i r own thinking processes. The work regarding the analysis of a design problem, the design processes practiced i n the Primer, could be considered i n thi s l i g h t . M i l l e r and S e l l e r note as well that the "transaction scenario i s characterized by some degree of emphasis on applying problem-solving s k i l l s to s o c i a l dilemmas." (ibid 341) While t h i s occurs i n the Primer sequences p a r t i c u l a r l y connected with s u s t a i n a b i l i t y , such as 'Unpave", and with respect to issues of s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y such as the poverty unit, i t d i f f e r s from t h e i r description of the transaction model i n that the a f f e c t i v e domain i s emphasised and i n t e g r a l to the work. According to M i l l e r and S e l l e r , i n the transformational scenario, there i s a move toward decentralisation and human-scale rather than larger corporate decision making, and "people w i l l tend to be more sensitive to global concerns and more l i k e l y to p a r t i c i p a t e i n l o c a l politics... and p a r t i c i p a t i v e decision making", (ibid 341) Such i n d i v i d u a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n underpins the Primer. Through involvement i n i n d i v i d u a l and c o l l e c t i v e projects to shape the b u i l t environment, i t i s hoped that students w i l l recognise and b u i l d t h e i r c a p a b i l i t y for cooperative s o c i a l action. The authors predict that projects i n the transformational scenario " w i l l involve various e f f o r t s to improve the quality of l i f e i n the community", (i b i d 342) That i s a key thrust of the lesson sequences suggested i n the Primer. Inasmuch as the thrust of t h i s document i s action research, wherein I have completed my c u r r i c u l a r explorations following the plan - action - observe - r e f l e c t pattern, I have not used the implementation monitoring models described by M i l l e r and S e l l e r . I have, however, been informed by the descriptions of the three c u r r i c u l a r positions, and have recognised that the three models of c u r r i c u l a r r e a l i t y are a l l at work in the development of the Primer exercises. Concluding observations As a mature s t u d e n t i n the S c h o o l of A r c h i t e c t u r e - I was w e l l i n t o my t h i r t i e s when I began - I o f t e n r e v e l l e d i n the knowledge t h a t p r e t t y much e v e r y t h i n g I had ever l e a r n e d i n my l i f e was u s e f u l i n t h i s d i s c i p l i n e . Young s t u d e n t s can f e e l t h a t j o y t o o , as t h e i r g e n e r a l knowledge and a c q u i r e d s k i l l s and i n s i g h t s are drawn o u t , r e f l e c t e d upon, and put t o new and c o n t r i b u t o r y use i n t h e i r l i v e s . S i m p l e p r a c t i c a l d e s i g n problems, and t h e o r e t i c a l e f f o r t s o f g r a n d e r s c a l e , engage l e a r n e r s and f o c u s t h e i r knowledge, i n s i g h t and a b i l i t i e s i n a s a t i s f y i n g , l i f e a f f i r m i n g way. C r e a t i v i t y i s sharpened, and b o t h s i d e s of th e b r a i n and a l l t h e r e s i d e n t i n t e l l i g e n c e s a r e m a r s h a l l e d . P o s s i b i l i t i e s i n our b u i l t environment can be shaped i n t o l e s s o n s t h a t s a t i s f y a wide range of c u r r i c u l a r r e q u i r e m e n t s . The e d u c a t i v e p o t e n t i a l o f a r c h i t e c t u r e i n the a r t r o o m and o t h e r c l a s s r o o m s i s r i c h and p l e n t i f u l . Figure 1 2 . Architecture in the classroom. CHAPTER 3 C o n n e c t i o n t o b r o a d e r t h e m e s o f a r t a n d a r c h i t e c t u r e a n d s o c i e t y The discussion i n thi s chapter gives background rationale for some of the learning sequences in the Primer. It enables some basic connections to be made with some of the broader themes of architecture. The Primer, chapter 5 of th i s document, which can e a s i l y be used as a discrete unit - contains narratives of practice which are grounded i n these themes. Of the many themes of architecture and art, I have selected f i v e major ones to focus upon here. They represent my personal choices regarding some important considerations for students, teachers, and an active c i t i z e n r y to explore. These themes are by no means an a l l - i n c l u s i v e l i s t of what could be presented in b u i l t environmental education, but taken together they support a cohesive approach for a series of learning experiences that are focused upon the b u i l t environment. The f i r s t theme I explore here i s Drawing, because some form of v i s u a l communication, drawing being the most obvious, i s c l e a r l y fundamental to any kind of planning, or design. 'Drawing' can here be expanded to include diagramming, mapping, various forms and combinations of visual/verbal communication, but some f a c i l i t y i n th i s area c e r t a i n l y frees one to move forward with design. The expressive art program can well be supplemented and enhanced by the strengthening of drawing a b i l i t y and confidence. The drawing s k i l l s that are developed through consideration of and inte r a c t i o n with the b u i l t environment integrate the l o g i c a l processes of the l e f t brain and the i n t u i t i v e and h o l i s t i c styles of thought of the right brain. The design process i s explored i n order to d i r e c t enthusiastic energy insofar as thi s d i r e c t i o n i s needed. If the design process i s powered by the notion that solutions to any problem do indeed exist, then an exploration of the processes by which one analyses a problem, explores options or alternatives, evaluates findings, and moves forward i n an i t e r a t i v e way towards a goal i s applicable i n many areas, not just i n the artroom. I see. something very natural about the design process. We 'design' i n our d a i l y l i v e s i n many creative ways, often unaware that we are indeed 'designing'. I think i t helps to consider t h i s process i n an e x p l i c i t way. Although I leave myself open to the charge that a problem solving approach i s more of an engineering point of view than an ar c h i t e c t u r a l stance, I have chosen to focus upon the imaginative approach to creating something new, rather than the consideration of established precedents. Clearly, seeing ex i s t i n g styles and typologies i s part of environmental awareness, and context i s always an important aspect of our design deliberations. I have plenty of stimulating and informative material about e x i s t i n g architecture available, but I do not e x p l i c i t l y teach the a r c h i t e c t u r a l styles or structures i n t h i s program, except when i t i s s p e c i f i c a l l y requested by a student. Phenomenology i s introduced as a theme for consideration as i t i s a key approach i n the making of humane and p a r t i c u l a r i s e d architecture. This thoughtful, r e f l e c t i v e p o s i t i o n suggests for us new ways of seeing and thinking about our world. We learn to look with attentiveness and wonder at what exists i n order to imagine and manifest what could be. The phenomenological approach helps us to search out and understand the unique character of a locale, to respect and act in concert with the s p i r i t of the place. S u s t a i n a b i l i t y i s another e t h i c a l stance I have recognised as c r i t i c a l in the putting together of t h i s program. Although I do not e x p l i c i t l y teach the p r i n c i p l e s of sustainable development i n my artroom, I believe that there are many ways that considerations regarding s u s t a i n a b i l i t y can be woven in to a l l education programs. I have gathered some reference materials, which some students have used i n the course of t h e i r project e f f o r t s , and some of the learning experiences have e x p l i c i t considerations of s u s t a i n a b i l i t y . Tied very c l o s e l y to the previous two themes i s the theme of s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , which underpins any environmental education in my mind. Architecture and the b u i l t environment are never just about form, but complex interactions between people and t h e i r settings. I think too, that many of the small interventions which we make to a f f i r m and improve our surroundings are sometimes not recognised as s o c i a l l y responsible contributions. Part of my goal i s to acknowledge the actions we already perform, as a way of encouraging further generosity of t h i s sort. Moreover, some of the learning experiences overtly address the questions that challenge us today: what can we do about poverty, threats of violence, environmental degradation? How can the next generation be f i t t e d with some of the awareness and tools they w i l l need in the future? My objective in writing t h i s document i s to share some experiences, both t h e o r e t i c a l and p r a c t i c a l , much of which i s embodied i n these f i v e themes, i n the hope that i t w i l l i n s p i r e and help others to confidently tackle some of the substantial and fascinating issues of place making i n actual classrooms. It i s , by d e f i n i t i o n , a work in progress - action research i s always i t e r a t i v e - and I welcome dialogue on any aspects of t h i s work. Themes 3.1 Drawing to art, drawing to architecture, drawing to action It i s i n t e r e s t i n g to consider how much and what types and qua l i t y of architecture would have been produced i n the world without the range of drawing tools we have discovered for the purpose of communicating ideas. The tool might vary - for example, s t i c k drawing on the sand, or scratches upon a sheet of ice may have provided a sketchplan; a l l manner of intere s t i n g methodologies have without a doubt been employed i n planning for building, since building f i r s t began. Moreover, each mode of drawing s h i f t s the perceptions of what we are experiencing. But without some way of c r y s t a l l i s i n g the i n i t i a l vision,, and a way of sharing that image with others, the making of architecture would have been severely hamstrung. Drawing i s a key part of the process. Based on thi s recognition of the importance of drawing to . any sort of design or a r c h i t e c t u r a l project, I propose that a sequence of drawing exercises might be u s e f u l l y followed before any attempts are made to create designs of any scale. 'I can't draw!' It i s safe to say that many students, e s p e c i a l l y at the secondary l e v e l , approach the artroom. with some trepidation. Some are quick to confide that they are i n the art class as a result of some force or mishap well beyond t h e i r personal control. I generally read t h i s sort of statement as a subtle request for help. When they trust me a l i t t l e more, the same student might convey the message "I can't draw" i n some form or another. I generally read t h i s as- an incomplete statement: "I can't draw... but I want to - i s thi s class going to change that?" 'Yes, you can...' I define the job of an art teacher as the a b i l i t y to reply "yes" to such questions/requests. Students need to be put at t h e i r ease - i t i s pretty d i f f i c u l t to produce anything when seized by fear of f a i l u r e , public shaming, miserable moments passed waiting only for the b e l l to ring. I w i l l t r y to set.the fears aside, but a l l the words i n the world aren't going to r e a l l y solve t h i s problem. Action i s required. Results w i l l be needed; drawing i s , aft e r a l l , an a l l y of words, but a quite d i f f e r e n t action. Eileen Adams quotes Sue Grason Ford, the director- of the annual Campaign for Drawing i n the U.K., who offers the following encouraging remarks: We believe that, given the right encouragement, everyone - not just a r t i s t s - can draw. And not a l l ' drawings have to be works of art. They can be used to explain our ideas or to understand how something works, to record impressions or to jog memories, to express what we f e e l or to entertain others.. We can . draw with anything from a pencil to a vapour t r a i l , and on anything... (Adams 2001, 34) I often t e l l students, and I note that they want to believe me, that i f they can write - and some of them cannot, so I need to be very careful here - then they can draw. Moreover, I think that i f they spent the same amount of time drawing as most of them do handwriting or pri n t i n g , t h e i r drawings would show character as the i r handwriting or pr i n t i n g does. Sometimes, however, a student's drawing i s much more developed than t h e i r writing a b i l i t y . So blanket statements are inappropriate here. For students who have well-formed handwriting, t h i s serves as a confidence booster. Whatever the s k i l l s i t u a t i o n of the student a r r i v i n g i n class at the beginning of the course, I see the growth of some drawing s k i l l as important. Visual l i t e r a c y , including the development of confidence to make purposeful meaningful marks i s , to my mind, as important as verbal l i t e r a c y . And p a r t i c u l a r l y with respect to the communication of design ideas, the two l i t e r a c i e s can be made to work together to express ideas. Architects commonly use words and images to develop and express and c l a r i f y ideas, and i n the c r i t i c a l process of communication with others. Daina Augaitis, curator of the 'hipsters' part of the wonderful 'Drawing the World - Masters to Hipsters' exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery, 2003 wrote: Drawing seems as basic and i n t r i n s i c to human communication as writing - we scribb l e an image to cut to the. core of a complicated idea, we doodle i d l y i n a flow of consciousness, or we jot a diagram to explain connections. Its immediacy i s as v i t a l i n the everyday world as i t i s i n the art world. (11) And Bob Steele, beloved p r o s e l y t i s e r for drawing adds: The c h i l d has three languages for common use i n the curriculum: words alone, drawings alone, and words and drawings i n a single expression. (Steele 1999, 4) So how can we teach drawing? Where might we begin - to put students at ease and to of f e r them some insights on s k i l l i n g , so that t h i s v i t a l a b i l i t y comes to l i f e ? I do not believe i n simply teaching Drawing S k i l l s as i n 'How To'. I worry that this could f e t t e r students' adventurous s p i r i t - which i n some ways, at the high school l e v e l , i s already compromised enough by the wish to conform. I therefore propose a series of exercises to loosen up, get resu l t s , b u i l d confidence - and I admit to a bias towards non-conforming, fresh, free and f l e x i b l e process and product. I do recognise however, that some students want to act l i k e a camera. While I am quick to praise the fresh and unfettered, I also respect each student's right to follow his or her own v i s i o n regarding what constitutes a good drawing. The f i r s t day I st a r t each course by giving each student a sheet of coloured paper, less intimidating than the regular- 8-1/2 x II white. I ask students some questions which are open- ended and designed to allow them to t e l l me what they want me to know about themselves: t h e i r family and heritage, t h e i r l i k e s and d i s l i k e s regarding art, t h e i r art background, t h e i r accumulated s k i l l s , confidence lev e l s , and .fears. From t h i s I can derive an idea of t h e i r suppositions regarding t h e i r l i k e l i h o o d of survival i n the artroom. The res u l t s I receive are often amazingly honest, and I then have a way of understanding the (hugely varied) backgrounds, leve l s of interest, previous exposure, s k i l l s and insights brought to the class. We might deal with families, o r i g i n s , a l l i n any st y l e of verbal or vi s u a l response - even s t i c k figures welcomed. (A surprising number o f s t u d e n t s i n secondary s c h o o l do not draw beyond the s t i c k f i g u r e s t a g e , o r use v e r y s i m p l e schema o r p e r s o n a l symbols, c l e a r l y l e a r n e d i n e a r l y c h i l d h o o d . ) S t u d e n t s a re asked t o r e f l e c t on t h e i r f a v o u r i t e p i e c e s ' o f a r t t h a t t h e y have ever c r e a t e d , and t o d e s c r i b e , p r e f e r a b l y w i t h an a n n o t a t e d diagram, one o f t h e i r b e s t c r e a t i o n s . I have asked hundreds o f s t u d e n t s t o do t h i s on t h e f i r s t day o f c l a s s , and have seldom r e c e i v e d a n u l l r e p l y , e x cept f o r t h o s e s t u d e n t s who have n e v e r had t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o make a r t b e f o r e . There i s alm o s t always some l i t t l e c r e a t i v e j e w e l c r a f t e d i n t h e i r background, w a n t i n g t o be s h a r e d a g a i n . (I have had s t u d e n t s i n the secondary s c h o o l who have never made a r t b e f o r e , never had an a r t c l a s s . Then I might get t o watch them move s w i f t l y t h r o u g h the s t a g e s o f drawing development, o f t e n g e n e r a t i n g I think, and I c l e a r l y state to students, that there are no wrong answers/responses to art projects i f the exploration i s approached with i n t e g r i t y i . e . care and thought and e f f o r t and honesty and whatever else students might determine i s important i n t h e i r own hearts. I would explain t h i s to new students i n as few words as possible, but with s u f f i c i e n t emphasis that they understand an important concept regarding approach i s being delivered, well before the f i r s t 'exploration' a.k.a. assignment-for- marks i s assigned. Loosening up Bob Steele, Betty Edwards, and many other drawing resources have a number"of drawing games/loosening up suggestions that are invaluable i n ' s e t t i n g the tone in an artroom, and keeping drawing tools moving throughout the course. One might sta r t with 'quickdraws': quick gesture drawings of people i n various poses and of in t e r e s t i n g objects for 3 0 seconds, 6 0 seconds, and up to several minutes with a varie t y of tools; t h i s sort of warm up i s not new to many art teachers. Drawing with the l e f t hand, b l i n d contours, freeze contours - stop the drawing whenever you look at'the page - these a l l serve to convince the student whose confidence i s yet to be found that he too, she too can make marks, some of which might be at least fun to look at and share. And for a surprising number of students in the secondary classroom, t h i s i s not yet a discovered fact. Many students have never drawn freely, have never f e l t successful when trying to engage i n this simple form of v i s u a l communication, of what Bob S t e e l e c a l l s "drawing-as- language". ( i b i d 8) He suggests s t r a t e g i e s to reduce the " I can't draw" syndrome which might i n c l u d e v i s u a l i z a t i o n , guided imagery, p r e s e n t i n g drawing as a game, r e l y i n g on repeated p r a c t i c e , c r e a t i n g a c l a s s ambience f a v o u r a b l e to drawing... ( i b i d 9) Students seem to l i k e to be t o l d "you are not a camera!" They a l s o enjoy the d i s c u s s i o n of r e a l i t y i n a r t and why b e i n g a person with a drawing t o o l i n hand i s so much more adventurous and fun than being a camera i n p u r s u i t of f a i t h f u l , r e a l i s t i c r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s of r e a l i t y . I f a l l students are given the o p p o r t u n i t y to loosen up, t r y some 'low-stakes', ' c a n ' t - f a i l ' drawing e x e r c i s e s , to get p e n c i l s and other t o o l s moving, the c o n f i d e n c e thus b u i l t can be the s t a r t of some e x c i t i n g and s a t i s f y i n g journeys. Each student needs his/her own sketchbook/journal Regular use of sketchbook/journals i n the secondary a r t c l a s s p r o v i d e s a p l a c e f o r 'safe' experimentation. Teachers seem t o need to prime the pump - to get the use of the student's own book an i n g r a i n e d h a b i t , but students o f t e n take over r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r continued independent work. I have n o t i c e d t h a t i f students are i n v i t e d to use the sketchbook as a sketch/journal/scrapbook, the a c t i v i t y becomes more v i b r a n t . Zany, fun assignments, at l e a s t i n i t i a l l y , are needed to l e t students know that the s k e t c h b o o k / j o u r n a l i s not a p l a c e f o r p r e c i o u s , p u b l i s h a b l e work, (maybe t h a t t o o ) , but mainly a p l a c e to t r y out ideas and to experiment and above a l l to get on with the process of making art. There are some sketchbook/journal ideas that went over well with students over the l a s t few years. Everyone seemed to l i k e copying a lovely l i n e drawing I found somewhere of a Japanese geisha - upside down and s l i g h t l y enlarged to prevent tracing. (This i s one of Betty Edwards' ideas, s l i g h t l y altered. Students seem l i k e to make autobiographical memory drawings, es p e c i a l l y when they are i n v i t e d to be as symbolic as they choose. Stick figures soon turn into f l e s h i e r folk. Drawing simple objects of personal significance, (see the work of Gu Xiong), and inventing new objects i n schematic form are often non- threatening assignments. The simple technique of 'sighting' outlined by Betty Edwards - using a hor i z o n t a l l y held pencil to determine angles i n the corner of a room frees many students who aren't sure where to begin to draw i n t e r i o r s . . I show simple perspective examples and shading to students, and they sort themselves into 'I'm ready to explore t h i s ' or 'maybe l a t e r ' . But I have found that encouraging students to look at b u i l t form and draw simple a r c h i t e c t u r a l d e t a i l s and facades often brings a pleasant surprise - i t ' s easy to make a good likeness of a building. Furthermore, i t i s fun to experiment with alternate forms of building 'likenesses' one of which i s demonstrated by Alex Morrison i n his 31 part drawing series t i t l e d "Every House I've Ever L i v e d i n Drawn from Memory", (2002) and an o t h e r i n a s k e t c h of a s t u d e n t ' s c u r r e n t home. Figure 14. B u i l d i n g sketches. Moreover, a x o n o m e t r i c drawings and x - r a y t y p e drawings of the g u t s of c a r s o r machines a r e easy t o do t o o - maybe j u s t s t a r t w i t h a s i m p l e l i n e drawing t o copy t o get t h e I have noted as w e l l t h a t s t u d e n t s are o f t e n i n t r i g u e d w i t h a r c h i t e c t u r a l p l a n s , s e c t i o n s , e l e v a t i o n s - they want t o know how t o r e a d them, and when th e y have been g i v e n a few s i m p l e c o n v e n t i o n s (door swings, w a l l s , windows) t h e y a re a b l e t o u n d e r s t a n d and ready t o use t h i s v o c a b u l a r y t o d e s i g n some remarkable c o n c o c t i o n s . The use o f v e r b a l s and visuals together in drawings, or i n any attempt to communicate graphically, gives some options where drawing s k i l l s might be a b i t shaky. In practice, architects often adapt the drawing conventions to meet the needs of c l i e n t s who might not r e a d i l y understand plan/section/elevation. Students, too, can experiment with thèse techniques - i t i s not necessary to be hamstrung by conventions. Simple sketches, diagrams and clear coding devices' can be used to communicate many l e v e l s of ideas. Students are generally fascinated with a r c h i t e c t u r a l construction drawings and renderings. These can quite e a s i l y be obtained from a r c h i t e c t u r a l firms, and are helpful for students t r y i n g to understand the connection between drawings on paper and actual, three-dimensional buildings. As well, architects can often be persuaded to donate copies of the process drawings - conceptual diagrams, r e l a t i o n s h i p diagrams and other design development drawings for a project, which are lovely for demonstrating how the art and science of architecture work together i n the evolution of a building design. Moreover, i t naturally follows that when a student i s able to read the drawings and envision what i s , or i s going to be, he or she i s much more l i k e l y to be able to eventually p a r t i c i p a t e i n a meaningful way i n a r c h i t e c t u r a l processes. Figure 16. .P l a n / s e c t i o n / e l e v a t i o n views How do others draw? It i s help f u l for students whose view of drawing i s very conventional and narrow, to view drawings from other cultures and to see that the standard, camera l i k e representational drawing i s by no means the only possible goal. I wish a l l art students i n the world could have attended the drawing exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery, 2003, t i t l e d 'Drawing the World: masters to hipsters'. The huge range of styles included i n that show, and the honouring of simple, honest drawings by children and teenagers of the Inkameep Day School, and some very young members of the Royal Art Lodge as well, make thi s an exhibition that offers some serious i n s p i r a t i o n for a l l receptive viewers. Figure 17. La n g l o i s . Drawings of the Royal A r t Lodge l e f t : N e i l Farber, r i g h t : M i l e s I think that copying the work of others as a way to acquire both s k i l l s and confidence i s a d e l i g h t f u l way to progress as an a r t i s t . The 80 or so teachers who had the opportunity to copy works from the masters to hipsters exhibition c e r t a i n l y seemed happy, and I heard many expressions of delight and surprise when a copying e f f o r t was attempted successfully. Perhaps we have overreacted to the copybook days by avoiding t h i s a c t i v i t y as a way of enjoying mark making, not to mention sharpened perception of the copied work, and perhaps a lovely communion at some l e v e l with the o r i g i n a l a r t i s t . Can't I j u s t t u r n on the computer? With respect to the p o s s i b i l i t y that drawing may be becoming an outmoded form of vis u a l communication with the advent of the computer image, I o f f e r a statement by one of the a r t i s t s of the Drawing the World exhibition - Jason McLean, who wrote: I f i n d that drawing, and a more hand-made approach i n general, has become a major element i n graphic design. Many young artist-designers have been combining t h e i r commercial practice with t h e i r art practice, with l i t t l e or no discernment between the two. There has also been a r a d i c a l s h i f t i n the art world i n reassessing the importance of drawing within contemporary practices. I think these two s h i f t s represent an interest i n a more personalised approach to v i s u a l communication. (quoted i n Augaitis 2003,15) So do i t . I l i k e what another of the 'hipsters', Ben Reeves, has to say about drawing. This comment begins to point at the richness of p o s s i b i l i t y i n the simple act of drawing = making marks with meaning. He said: Drawing i s both a verb and a noun. It i s at once an act of research and a report of i t s findings. It i s a t r a i l and an exploration, (quote in Augaitis 2003, 14) If students and t h e i r teachers look at drawing in thi s way, rather than as a precious, product-oriented operation, sketchbooks w i l l soon f i l l up with l i v e l y and exc i t i n g p o s s i b i l i t i e s , and s k i l l s and confidence w i l l very l i k e l y r apidly increase. Drawings of the b u i l t environment, and the processes involved in design and development of ideas which originate i n each student's head, can form a yeasty and promising part of the drawing curriculum. Certainly, those drawing s k i l l s w i l l enable students to take some wonderful imaginative journeys i n the exploration of architecture i n the artroom. Once students have discovered that they indeed can express themselves through drawing, including the conventions and evocative p o s s i b i l i t i e s of b u i l t environment and contextual drawings i s neither farfetched nor frightening. And I have seldom encountered a student who was i n d i f f e r e n t or unmotivated to explore the a r c h i t e c t u r a l aspects of the secondary school art curriculum when given the opportunity. 3.2 The design process A story of how I erred and strayed I was once p a i n f u l l y , but fortunately only b r i e f l y , ostracised by a beloved professor at architecture school because I t r i e d to get him to talk about the process of design. I accused him of dropping 'metaphysical cigar ashes' a l l over peoples' drawings, and said that I wanted some tangible, p r a c t i c a l advice about how to go about the action of design. He actually l i k e d my ash imagery guite a b i t , but he r e a l l y didn't want to t a l k about how to design and so our hard heads c o l l i d e d . I w i l l always have a huge respect for that professor, and when he forgave me for being so tiresome, and when I forgave him for his unwillingness to discuss what I considered to be a v a l i d and fundamental question, I learned.some very beautiful lessons from him. His insights enriched my work and he showed me a grace and r e c e p t i v i t y that I would probably never have received from anyone else. But I had to learn how to tal k about and think about design from others. Despite t h i s moving evidence to the contrary, I held the b e l i e f that-one could analyse the process of design, and perhaps even discuss i t i n t e l l i g e n t l y with other designers. Some other professors took a rather more practical,•and perhaps i t needs to be said, a r t i c u l a t e approach to design, and I was able to piece together some sort of working approach that helped me figure out what I needed to do at my studio desk. Articulating The Design Process It happens that one of my professors at architecture school, i n that harrowing f i r s t year when I was desperate to t a l k process, has l a t e l y written a doctoral d i s s e r t a t i o n in which she discusses the design process. In her thesis, Dr.Freda Pagani explores the design processes necessary to achieve adaptive buildings that w i l l f i t t h e i r economic, s o c i a l and ecological environment. She "describes and c r i t i q u e s the contemporary building project design process and i t s resultant product in Western culture." (Pagani 1991,1) Here the focus i s upon the steps of the design process that can be communicated, at least for discussion and consideration, to students at the secondary school l e v e l and even students who are preparing to become architects at a professional school. Dr.Pagani asserts that the design process i s a s k i l l that can be learned, (i b i d 136) This i n i t s e l f i s a very reasuring b i t of news for anyone who i s i n i t i a l l y mystified about how to begin. While her work i s concerned with complex adaptive systems, which are well beyond the scope of our interest here, the thesis includes some insights useable i n the secondary artroom. It i s assumed that the designer(s) w i l l draw on previous experience, what I have cal l e d latent knowledge, and more conscious understanding of the world, to make a design. The most basic and universally agreed upon description of design - that i n "involves analysis/synthesis/evaluation as basic processes" ( i b i d 139) i s acknowledged. Dr. Pagani notes that design involves the ' w i l l i n g suspension of d i s b e l i e f and "the a b i l i t y to tolerate the uncertainty of the process". Further, "the processes of design are simple and the results are complex products."(ibid 139) And l a s t l y , her description of the design process notes that "ideas come mostly unbidden and f u l l y formed" ( i b i d 140) before being- submitted to the analysis/synthesis/evaluation process. Knowing that an approach has been a r t i c u l a t e d and that i t i s possible to t a l k about this - i n terms which young designers might be able to grasp - might be very reassuring to teachers unused to the process of design. Dr. Pagani recommended a book c a l l e d A P r a c t i c a l Guide for Policy Analysis - the E i g h t f o l d Path to more Ef f e c t i v e Problem Solving, which she believes c l e a r l y p a r a l l e l s the steps i n the design process. The author, Eugene Bardach, defines the problem-solving process as a process of t r i a l and error and c a l l s i t ' i t e r a t i v e ' , "so that you usually must repeat each of these steps, sometimes more than once". (Bardach 2000, xiv) He suggests that i n any of the steps, e s p e c i a l l y i n the e a r l i e s t phases of the project, one's approach might be very tentative. This might be the most d i f f i c u l t part of the process to communicate to students, who perhaps need to be taught to explore a l i t t l e - to try, r e f l e c t , t r y again, and again. I have noticed that few young people are w i l l i n g to trust that a better idea might be hidden at f i r s t , that the f i r s t f l a s h of insight might not prove to be the f i n e s t possible. Joel Shack asserts a sim i l a r theory, suggesting to me i n an e-mail (25 February, 2004) that the design process... follows a li n e a r orderly sequence which i s an e f f e c t i v e model for teaching to avoid 'a leap to form', without adequately c l a r i f y i n g ' i n t e n t i o n s and reviewing alternatives. Bardach's 'eightfold path' - an articulation of the design process To summarise, the steps i n Bardach's ei g h t f o l d path are as' follows : 1. Define the problem. (p.l) For example, I might ask students to consider a person they know, to write a detailed p r o f i l e of that person, and then to design something for that person s p e c i f i c a l l y t a i l o r e d to t h e i r needs. I consider the d e f i n i t i o n of the problem - the design goal, to be as creative an aspect of the process as any other. 2. Assemble some evidence. (p.7) Bardach c a l l s the a c t i v i t i e s i n t h i s step "thinking", and "hustling data", (p.7) He asserts that "thinking", which I take to mean fresh, creative speculation about what i s possible, i s "by far.the most important". Research (data) connected to ideas can be an in t e r e s t i n g and engaging task for students at the secondary l e v e l i f i t i s presented as a way of enriching ones own deliberations. Some students might warm to the task of delving in to the history of chairs, for example, or other pieces of furniture i n t h e i r quest for the a new design. This i s the point i n the process where latent knowledge of what i s can be assembled to help create what might be. It i s important, though, not to overdo the "data" to the point of overwhelming the designer, e s p e c i a l l y at the secondary school l e v e l . 3. Construct the Alternatives (p.12) Bardach suggests that one might "er r on the side of comprehensiveness" at the beginning of the process and that one should end up much more focused - with a reduced and s i m p l i f i e d number or p o s s i b i l i t i e s - at the end of the analysis. He suggests that constructing a l i s t of a l l alternatives i s useful. I often suggest the same thing to students: a l i s t of ideas i n words and/or a series of small thumbnail sketches, maybe very symbolic, to just get the i d e a s / p o s s i b i l i t i e s into a concrete form, however sketchy they might be. Bardach stresses inventiveness here, and I do too. He notes further that "...design i s a complex process, requiring many i t e r a t i o n s , i n which you both explore d i f f e r e n t ways to accomplish a certain set of objectives and a l t e r the set of objectives i n l i g h t of what you learn about what i s actually practicable." (p.17) Young designers can be encouraged to take t h i s time, can be led to understand that t h i s ambiguity i s a d e l i g h t f u l challenge, but i n my experience, they might not i n s t i n c t i v e l y understand the joy that comes from t h i s kind of an explore. I counsel 'calm' and 'steady' a l o t at t h i s stage, as I have noted that many students l i k e to leap at t h e i r f i r s t good idea in a bolder and less contemplative manner than what Bardach seems to be suggesting. 4. Select the C r i t e r i a (p.19) Bardach suggests there are two interconnected but separable approaches - the analytical' (factual and objective) and the evaluative (value judgements) used in judging the "goodness" of an idea. Students need to understand 'analysis' and 'evaluation' i n many of the knowledge areas they are studying. Thus applying the o b j e c t i v i t y of analysis to the i r designs, and evaluating the alter n a t i v e s as well, i s an i n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y s k i l l both enabling the a r t i s t i c process and enabled by the process. 5. Project the Outcomes (p.27) Bardach believes t h i s i s the hardest step i n the process and gives "the most important advice about t h i s step:... Do i t " . .The p r i n c i p a l challenge in thi s step seems to be to put the energy out to r e a l i s t i c a l l y envision what the outcome of each alternative might be. Bardach suggests models, which i n design might take the form of mock-ups or at least informed speculation of form, materials, techniques; a l l the component parts of the idea. Students are l i k e l y to need some counselling regarding patience here. I don't think many people naturally understand that a good idea might be superseded by another, better idea. A mature patience i s required to assemble r i c h enough alternatives to make a real choice. 6. Confront the Trade-offs (p. 37) Bardach allows that sometimes one alternative i s dominant, but that usually choosing between options i s more complicated. He suggests that thinking i n terms of 'trade- o f f s ' i s useful when considering p o l i c y options. I would suggest that a si m i l a r selection needs to be made in design, and that the choosing mechanisms required for a product become apparent with some consideration at t h i s • stage i n the process. 7 . Decide ! (p.40) Bardach suggests that i f i t i s d i f f i c u l t to make the decision regarding which alt e r n a t i v e to develop, perhaps the choices or trade-offs need to be c l a r i f i e d . This i s where eager young designers again may need some calming guidance. 8. T e l l Your Story (p.41) In the artroom, the p a r a l l e l i s 'Make I t ' . The outcome of the c a r e f u l and possibly sometimes chaotic design process i s l i k e l y to be much ri c h e r for the process. I have found that students who do agree to explore p o s s i b i l i t i e s , rather than simply going with t h e i r f i r s t idea i n a design project, w i l l s t a r t to integrate an approach to problem solving that i s useful i n many areas of art as well as other d i s c i p l i n e s . Although some students r e s i s t t h i s process oriented approach, i t i s an enriching experience even i n an adapted or truncated form. If the design process i s collaborative rather than i n d i v i d u a l , the problems obviously are more complex, but not beyond the realm of p o s s i b i l i t y . In many of the i r courses, students are encouraged to work i n groups on projects. Many cooperative s k i l l s can be discovered and practiced i n the group design process. Cooperative design i n the art studio both enables and employs those cooperative attributes which are c a l l e d upon increasingly i n the educational system as well as the work world beyond. The r e c e p t i v i t y and communication s k i l l s required are sophisticated and learnable. Creating learning situations i n which students singly or in groups are challenged to i t e r a t i v e l y create new connections and alternatives, to consider and r e f l e c t , to analyse, to question assumptions and create new assumptions for consideration, to evaluate, to choose and to develop ideas. This allows students to practice learnable problem solving s k i l l s which are relevant i n a wide range of applications. This way of approaching design - a process of learning to design - of p r a c t i s i n g the design process - i s p a r a l l e l to the process of p o l i c y design suggested by Eugene Bardach. It i s also, perhaps, p a r a l l e l to the process of maturing: to confidently approaching the problems one encounters, and to produce good workable ideas for dwelling harmoniously i n the world. These problem-solving approaches and s k i l l s , p r a c t i s e d i n the safety of an art studio, can be powerful tools for students i n whatever f i e l d of endeavour they may f i n d . 3.3 Phenomenology Definitions and a clarifying example When I went dictionary shopping i n 1983 or '84, I used the word 'phenomenology' as one of my c r i t e r i a for choosing amongst the vast array of d i c t i o n a r i e s available. It was a new word I was struggling with at that time, though i t was not new to several of my professors i n the School of Architecture or to philosophers. I was t r y i n g hard to construct a working d e f i n i t i o n of t h i s word as an architecture student, h a l f - r e a l i s i n g at the time that t h i s concept was fundamental to my whole approach to architecture, which was also under construction at that time. My Gage Canadian Dictionary, copyright 1983, defines phenomenology i n th i s way: n. Philosophy. The purely descriptive study of consciousness and the objects of consciousness (phenomena), without any attempt to explain causes, origins, etc. This i s the only d e f i n i t i o n given at t h i s time. It i s a good st a r t , I r e a l i s e now, but by no means a f u l l working d e f i n i t i o n of t h i s word. No mention i s made of how t h i s word has anything whatsoever to do with architecture. In my quest for c l a r i t y , i t helped to check the d e f i n i t i o n of phenomenon which reads i n part: 1. a fact, event, or circumstance that can be r observed...3. Philosophy, a.) something known through the senses rather than through thought, b.) something as i t i s observed through the senses and understood, as d i s t i n c t from the thing i t s e l f . This becomes more interesting when I consider an assertion made by Prof. Joel Shack of the School of Architecture, UBC, that there are many more than f i v e senses - how else can we learn about the world than through the standard f i v e senses: sight, smell, taste, hearing and feeling? What indeed are these other senses and how can they be engaged i n receiving/perceiving the world? Some other senses suggested by Prof. Shack are the senses that have to do with time - our bodyclock sensors and memory sensors i n which past perceptions combine with current experience. Also, there are what he c a l l s 'mapping perceptions', i n which we put perceived parts into whole patterns. There i s as well the kinaesthetic perceptions such as the senses of balance and orientation. He summarises: "Phenomenology argues for inclusiveness and m u l t i p l i c i t y and simultaneity because i t makes i t s observations and design proposals i n the l i v i n g world." (e-mail, 3 March, 2004) Prof. Shack suggests, in another correspondence to me, "perhaps the only d e f i n i t i o n needed (for the word phenomenology) i s 'seeing, thinking, building, with attentiveness and wonder.'" (e-mail, 26 June, 2002) This clear beacon of d e f i n i t i o n leads us to another source: the work of Charles Moore and Kent Bloomer, whose words predated the common use of the term 'phenomenology' of architecture, but whose work i s i t s e l f a splendid example of the phenomenological approach. When Kent C. Bloomer and Charles W. Moore wrote the landmark book Body, Memory and Architecture i n 1977, the term 'phenomenology' was not r e a d i l y bandied about, but, as ? Prof. Shack wrote, regarding the ideas of Charles Moore and Kent Bloomer: th i s simple d i r e c t way of connecting architecture to human embodiment and introducing the 'haptic' sense I have found to be an e f f e c t i v e way for young students to connect t h e i r own lived-in-the-world experience to phenomenology, (ibid) 'Haptic' i s not included i n my aforementioned dictionary - Gage Canadian 1983, but www.hyperdictionary.com says haptic means : of or r e l a t i n g to or proceeding from the sense of touch; 'haptic data'. The search engine Google led me to the website of the University of Hertfordshire Sensory D i s a b i l t i e s Research Unit which contributes that 'haptic perception' involves both t a c t i l e perception through the skin and kinesthetic perception of the position and movement of the j o i n t s and muscles. For example, i f we hold a cube, we perceive i t through the skin of our fingers and the position of our fingers. Indeed, there are more beyond the basic f i v e we seem to have agreed upon. The art educator, Viktor Lowenfeld, in discussing the in d i v i d u a l differences i n drawing aptitudes i n children, uses the term 'haptic' to describe children who get t h e i r information more from t h e i r 'inner' experience, as d i s t i n c t from children who observe phenomena outside themselves, which he terms 'visual', (quoted i n McFee 1977) Bloomer and Moore have written what they c a l l an 'optimistic' book together and have based t h e i r thesis upon the following hopeful assertions: f i r s t , that the landmarks and order of our bodies . create a basis, comprehensible by everyone, for the extension of human id e n t i t y into our environment; and second, that the world of architecture abounds i n successful and even i n s p i r i n g examples of that extension. (Bloomer and Moore 1977,131) An i n s p i r i n g example ci t e d by Bloomer and Moore i s the Hotel del Coronado i n Southern C a l i f o r n i a , b u i l t i n 1888. If the term 'phenomenological' had been i n common usage at the time of writing or of building t h i s example, the authors might have commented that t h i s building i s based on clear and inspired phenomenological understanding of i t s requirements., Instead, the authors wrote: The l i f e s t y l e of the inhabitants was well understood by a l l : i t included the pleasures of the beach, the elegance of spacious bedrooms cooled by sea breezes, and the more formal splendours of the great ballroom and dining h a l l as well as the opportunity for rendezvous i n smaller but s t i l l sumptuous parlours. The guest rooms were arranged on several f l o o r s around a great outdoor square, whose subtropical planting must have astonished travelers from the East and Mid- west just a r r i v i n g on the new transcontinental r a i l r o a d . Beside the open courtyard, enclosing one side of i t , the soaring v e r t i c a l spaces of the public rooms gave the v i s i t o r the chance to f e e l that he had arri v e d and was, i n his body and a l l his senses, for the time being i n a splendid and personal house, ( i b i d 132-3) From an examination of just one façade of th i s hotel, one can see the b u i l t - i n delight of the place. Figure 18. Facade of the Hotel d el Coronado. Another i n s p i r a t i o n a l example c i t e d of buildings that were made for people e s p e c i a l l y "concerned with being in a special Place" i s the Royal Crescent at Bath which Moore and Bloomer believe: express (es) the intense personal concern of the people who b u i l t them and (those who) continue to care for them. The right to inhabit our landscape and to esta b l i s h our i d e n t i t y i s fundamental and not limited to any group; but with that right goes the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to care. The caring and the energy for i t depend on the s e n s i t i v i t y of the inhabitants, reinforced by professionals devoted to committing a l l t h e i r capacities to the task of understanding the potential of a place and the p o s s i b i l i t y of dwelling in i t , of experiencing i t with a l l the senses, of f e e l i n g i t and remembering i t and making i t the centre of a whole world.(ibid 138)  These t h o u g h t f u l o b s e r v e r s have c o n c l u d e d t h a t l a r g e d e s i g n o f f i c e s which s e r v e huge c o r p o r a t e c l i e n t s and t u r n out u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d urban c e l l s f o r s o c i a l masses, v i e w i n g "problems o f human i n h a b i t a t i o n as problems o f o r g a n i s a t i o n " ( i b i d 131) do not make i n h a b i t a b l e d w e l l i n g s " j u s t by g e t t i n g element o f the v i s u a l codes r i g h t " An example of a p r o j e c t i n t h i s c a t e g o r y would be t h e p r i z e w i n n i n g P r u i t t Igoe h o u s i n g p r o j e c t i n S t . L o u i s . The i n h a b i t a n t s of t h e s e h i g h r i s e apartment b u i l d i n g s were o f t e n moved i n from t r a d i t i o n a l communities t h a t were d i s p e r s e d by urban r e h a b i l i t a t i o n schemes. The accommodation was m i n i m a l , m e c h a n i c a l s e r v i c e s were undependable, t h e r e was no p l a c e p r o v i d e d f o r c h i l d r e n t o p l a y , and t h e r e was l i t t l e impetus f o r r e s i d e n t s t o m i n g l e or t o ta k e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the upkeep o f a m e n i t i e s . V a n d a l i s m and v i o l e n c e were some o f the outcomes. The p r o j e c t p r o v e d t o be so u n s u i t e d t o the problems of human h a b i t a t i o n t h a t i t was dynamited i n 1972. Figure 21. The dynamiting of an unworkable urban housing p r o j e c t . Moore and Bloomer state: To help people inhabit the world, we f e e l the basic act i s not organizing, but caring; the arc h i t e c t ' s c l i e n t i s not undifferentiated society but caring i n d i v i d u a l s , ( i b i d 132) Moreover, they assert: The architects ' proper role... i s an accepting and absorbing one, to encourage others to make the e f f o r t and to develop the physical surrounds that make dwelling possible and attractive... i t i s l i k e a teacher reaching and moving a student, not l i k e a magnet moving (however l i g h t l y ) a cloud of iron f i l i n g s across a s u r f a c e . ( i b i d 132) When thoughtful investigation of the phenomena impacting dwelling in(a)place i s taken into account, thoughtful and i n s p i r i n g a r c h i t e c t u r a l design can be the re s u l t . This approach i s not just for the experts, but for a l l of us to take. We can do t h i s by making the e f f o r t to learn about o f f e r i n g both our settings and the process of place making, the a l e r t and caring attention that a l l of us, as inhabitants, can give. Adults can do t h i s . Students can do t h i s . Architects 'R' Us, and i t does help to have sensitive guidance from those who have made the design and delivery of our places t h e i r l i f e work: the professional architects. But we want architects to operate with what Prof. Shack c a l l s 'this careful way of being i n the world and creating with love (that is) the 'ground' that underlies phenomenology.' So how might someone put this into practice? One of the f i r s t assignments I completed i n graduate school in architecture was a c l e v e r l y designed project given so that we students might understand the attentive observation of phenomenology by p r a c t i s i n g i t , i f I might be excused for saying so, immersing ourselves, i n i t . We were asked to take a 25 minute v i s i t to the UBC swimming pool,'and to make a 50 item l i s t of our minor actions, sensations, feelings and impressions, and our responses to both design impediments and good design while personally and a c t i v e l y involved i n the sequence of experiences at the pool. The professor, Dr. Richard Seaton, noted that he was most interested i n our responses as an organism: our • introspective, i n t u i t i v e observations; and that we were meant to reach within ourselves to f i n d our responses and express our feelings i n words. (I wonder now i f words and pictures might have given a f u l l e r response.) He wanted to know about our f r u s t r a t i o n s , and our g r a t i f i c a t i o n s , the attributes of the phenomenon that emerged from the experience. The focus of our observation was meant to be recorded, not necessarily the degree of our arousal. Following are a few excerpts from my response to t h i s assignment, which I think sheds some l i g h t on the concept of phenomenology. For me, the body memory of th i s exercise kept me clear when I grappled with the notions of phenomenology over the years at graduate school. I was reminded of the process wherein I paid a more-than-usual amount of attention to my setting, and as well, put more energy into generating a more-than-usually observant c r i t i c a l response to the experience I was having. (These notes were o r i g i n a l l y written on 50 separate note cards, as assigned. I must have been quite a sight, swimming along with these cards and my pen i n a p l a s t i c bag clipped on my head!) 3:25pm Sunday, November 8, 1987 Crossing to the building from the parking l o t , I enjoy the sound of tennis b a l l s being thwacked i n the court nearby. I appreciate having something to look at besides a l l these dormant cars. I l i k e the rows of trees that march o f f i n four d i f f e r e n t directions at the edges of t h i s l o t . What's r e a l l y b e a u t i f u l about them i s that each row Is a d i f f e r e n t species and the colours are as a r e s u l t a l l d i f f e r e n t at t h i s time of year. But they a l l blend. Made a 'bandit' run across the woodchip landscaped garden. (Very unpleasant. Yuk). I am glad I have boots on. I pass a t i r e d , sad l i t t l e garden near the exhaust vent - not f l o u r i s h i n g on the chlorine fumes. Up the s t a i r s , through the entry that seems to read 'back door', and into the spectator bridge. I l i k e t h i s bridge very much, can look down both sides, trees on one side, strongly chlorinated water (vs. epidemics?) on the other side. Lots of a c t i v i t y , loud music blaring away in the background, shouts. I've never noticed before how otherworldly people look when they swim past a spotlight i n the side of the pool. Now I'm a paying guest. People waiting i n the lobby look hunched over uncomfortable. The design of the. seats makes no sense. Why would anyone design them l i k e with so l i t t l e attempt at providing comfort? And why would they be purchased for the pool complex? Manipulation? Locker room - 'warning thieves...' sign a l i t t l e disconcerting. Also i t would be very easy to f i n d one's way into the wrong (gender) dressing room. I'd l i k e to see the rooms much better marked. Damn. To get to the locker I had to cross a wet spot. Maybe I should have l e f t my boots on. Or taken my socks o f f . I'd l i k e to see a l i t t l e wooden s l a t platform at t h i s edge. Even with bare feet t h i s f l o o r i s too slippery. I hope that l i t t l e c h i l d doesn't f a l l . There has to be a better way to make a cleanable f l o o r . The shower i s body temperature today. Just r i g h t . But now that I'm wet I r e a l l y have to mince along on these slippery t i l e s . I wonder how many times they have been sued here'. And I wonder why privacy i s so neglected,in the shower room. It doesn't seem necessary. Hot tub. I am experiencing a new tendency to r e a l l y look at the other patrons before I get i n . Getting epidemic conscious, I guess. It's very overcrowded today and the water looks overused. I think.I w i l l just put my feet i n . People.look so bovine when they have been s i t t i n g here for a few minutes. The swimming pool looks much cleaner, but t h i s warmth i s hard to leave. They should never play a radio station over the loud speaker i n here. The t a l k i n g i s very eerie sounding in t h i s expansive space. Music i s great though. The water in the pool i s uncomfortably cold a f t e r the hot tub. Four laps. I'm almost out of time (25 m'ins.) and breath. (I may never smoke another cigarette.) The water temperature seems perfect now. I wonder i f a dolphin would l i k e i t i n here. I l i k e the oversized wall graphics, can enjoy them even without my glasses. Mincing back to the locker room makes me hate t h i s t i l e f l o o r even more. Smart lady just walked by wearing rubber shoes. I wish I had had my towel with me when I got out of the shower. How to do that without paying an extra quarter to lock i t up again? The a i r i n here seems very cool on wet skin. The breeze from the dryers makes i t worse. Into my clothes. Everything i s wrinkled but dry. I think these tiny lockers are r i d i c u l o u s l y small; next time I w i l l pay the extra quarter. Down the back s t a i r s into the fresh a i r - a treat after the chlorine laden a i r inside. I l i k e the action of swimming i n the water, but I am reminded today what an i n e f f i c i e n t , picky-picky operation- i t can be. Since t h i s exercise, I.have always looked more c a r e f u l l y at swimming pools, and I have never taken a dip as completely for granted as I did before completing t h i s i n t e r e s t i n g challenge. Moreover, i f I were to be part of a design team to help create an aquatic centre, notes of t h i s nature would be useful, even c r i t i c a l to the process. This type of exploration contributes to the experiencing of a place, the phenomenological processes of design, and the creation of sensitive and thoughtful places. It i s c l e a r l y not beyond the scope of anyone's a b i l i t y , t h i s process of paying close attention, and making a mental or a c t u a l l y written record of what i s observed. This sharpening of the experience c a l l s to my mind the same phenomenon that I have experienced while journal keeping for action research. The c l a r i t y of impression and pot e n t i a l for conversion of experience into useable knowledge and insight i s immensely increased with t h i s kind of conscious attention and recording. The phenomenological approach to research Rose Montgomery-Whicher, art h i s t o r i a n and art educator, speaks of the phenomenological approach to research i n t h i s way i n an a r t i c l e t i t l e d "Drawing Analogies: Art and Research as Living Practices", As a practice of inquiry - a way of questioning our experience of the world .- a phenomenological approach to research shares three important characteristics, with drawing from observation: one, i t begins i n the everyday world i n which we l i v e : two, i t i s directed towards a renewed contact with the world; and three, learning to do t h i s kind of research, l i k e learning to draw, i s large l y a matter of relearning to see. ( (Montgomery-Whicher, 217) Montgomery-Whicher believes that attentiveness and wonder are the tools with which one must view the world, and the a b i l i t y to see "the everyday as worthy of attention, to see through surface appearances and worn-out c l i c h e s , to attend to what we o r d i n a r i l y overlook, i n short to re-search." Similar to the manner that Ben Reeves sees that drawing " i s at once an act' of research and a report of sL-ts findings" , Montgomery-Whicher sees "the very act of describing and inter p r e t i n g has the capacity to. inform the way we see." (ibi d 219) Moreover, she i s concerned with the qu a l i t y of contact made between researcher and those with whom the re- search is'shared (as i s the concern of the writer of t h i s document), and she offers t h i s c r i t e r i a for success: "A successful phenomenological description e l i c i t s a...response...we think 'ah yes...I know what that's like'...we 'recognise' i t as a possible interpretation of human experience. This, Montgomery-Whicher says, .has been c a l l e d the 'phenomenological nod'." (ibid 221) Careful observation and notation, coupled with the r e f l e c t i v e analysis that needs to follow i n order to make meaning from such attentive observation, demonstrates the process of re-searching that'we have come to c a l l Action Research. The phenomenological approach to a r c h i t e c t u r a l design, and the phenomenological approach of Action Research, here applied to education, are c l e a r l y a l l i e d d i s c i p l i n e s . Prof. Shack noted that he would add to Montgomery Whicher's words: the combined 3 'ings' (of architecture) - seeing, thinking and building - a phenomenological philosophical understanding that integrates perception, analysis and synthesis l i k e language does. (e-mail 8 September, 2003) This convergence of the c a p a b i l i t i e s of v i s u a l and verbal attentiveness and open-minded wonder lead us closer to the place where we can reveal the e s s e n t i a l requirements, what Prof. Shack c a l l s " 'the essences of architecture and b u i l t places'- with words, images and b u i l t places that evoke ...the inherent poetry of everyday l i f e . " (ibid) This indeed can occur i n the process of research as well. In action research we seek to locate for the e s s e n t i a l requirements and the everyday poetry, the p r i n c i p l e s and the d e t a i l that feed our i t e r a t i v e search for refined action. We can look to inspired others for a taste of that everyday poetry. See what Vincent Van Gogh was able to do with a ..simple building that touched him somehow. The Yellow House Aries, September 1888 Oil on canvas, 76 x 94 cm RïîV museum Vincent van Gogh, Ams'erdam "My house here is painted butter yellow on the outside and has solid green window shutters; it is located directly in a square with a green park full of plane- trees, oleanders and acacias. And inside all the walls are painted white and the floor is tiled in red. Yet the most striking thing is the glaring blue sky. Inside the house I can really live and breathe and think and paint." V I N C C N T V A N c o c u F i g u r e 22. The y e l l o w House a t A r i e s : t h e a c t u a l b u i l d i n g r e n o v a t e d , and images p r o d u c e d by V i n c e n t Van Gogh c. 1888. The basis of phenomenology In an e-mail l e t t e r to me refers to Rainer Maria R i l October, 1907) who spoke o things as an act of love - objects, for buildings and Prof. Shack wrote i n part, ...of course, i t ' s not just the physical - the intangible i s made tangible to evoke the intangible, not explain i t , nor sentimentalize i t , nor dramatize i t . So, i t ' s a way of loving that honours the essence - of s i t e for example, and what one makes there. For me, this c a r e f u l way of being i n and creating with love i s the 'ground' that underlies phenomenology. Shall we imagine a world i n which everything: building, object, work of art, simplest to o l , was made with care and love? Sometimes when I slow down and just watch the students i n the artroom, working with such care and love to bring t h e i r visions to l i f e , I understand that we could indeed make a world f u l l of b e a u t i f u l and humane, supportive places, were we to nurture and support that tendency into adulthood. I wonder i f we encourage young people, not to mention design professionals whom we hire, to form the pattern of applying such loving care to our settings. We worry about the economics of care. We f r e t about wasting time.and resources, about a f f e c t i n g resale value i f we i n d i v i d u a l i s e . Perhaps i f we show our young the p o s s i b i l i t i e s , we can nurture a higher s o c i e t a l value for our places and our e f f o r t s at placemaking than the rather expedient approach that seems to me to p r e v a i l at t h i s time. (26 June, 2002), Prof. Shack ke (in Letters on Cezanne (13 f r e a l l y looking, and then making love for the p h y s i c a l i t y of places. In the same l e t t e r , The phenomenology papers In a series of lectures delivered to the School of Architecture, UBC in 1987 and 1988, Prof: Shack presented "A phenomenological approach to the design process" i n terms that students and the interested layperson could receive and use. (If we are a l l going to p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h i s process, some thoughtful e f f o r t to understand the dynamics of design w i l l be required). In Paper 1, t i t l e d "Making an Authentic 'Place-Story'", Prof. Shack offered the suggestion that a designer might imaginatively create what might happen i n a place, i n order to create form that might appropriately enable that-'place- story' . His d e f i n i t i o n of 'place-story i s more than a 'scenario' for d a i l y a c t i v i t i e s on s i t e ; place-story also includes embodiment of c u l t u r a l place r i t u a l s , accumulative experience of a building as one moves through i t and l i v e s in i t over time, [think cinematographer here] memories and association with t r a d i t i o n a l and archetypal ways of being i n and making places. It i s based on a phenomenological p o s i t i o n of actual experience, though at a l l le v e l s of experience (combining subjective, sensory, cognitive, s p i r i t u a l or poetic experience). From a phenomenological point of view, i t evaluates t h e o r e t i c a l i n t e l l e c t u a l ideas against possible experience -• thus the emphasis on 'authentic' place-story. (Shack Paper 1.1987) In my practice, I have observed that many students love to do t h i s story making. In various assignments, p a r t i c u l a r l y the design of a personal sanctuary, students at the secondary l e v e l are often able to discuss with f u l l b e l i e f what might take place in t h e i r proposed design. When i n v i t e d and encouraged, t h e y can say and show, o f t e n i n m i n u t e s t d e t a i l , what t h e i r v i s i o n h o l d s . They can imagine, f o r example, t h e d a i l y r i t u a l s of l i f e - such as a r r i v i n g , waking, e a t i n g , work and p l a y ; and dream of s p e c i a l t imes such as p a r t i e s , i n f o r m a l g a t h e r i n g s , t h a t might t a k e p l a c e t h e r e . They might be v e r y c a p a b l e o f s p e c u l a t i n g how t h e i r d e s i g n e d p l a c e s might, as P r o f . Shack p u t s i t i n the same paper, " g a t h e r meaning t h r o u g h use, e x p e r i e n c e and a s s o c i a t i o n " over t i m e . We need o n l y t o i n v i t e t h i s k i n d of c r e a t i v e s p e c u l a t i o n - young s t u d e n t s seem t o be a b l e t o q u i c k l y p i c k up on what i s r e q u i r e d and p o s s i b l e i n the e n v i s i o n i n g o f a s t o r y . Figure 23. Some v i s u a l place s t o r i e s - drawing i n bed, a home i n Haida Gwaii surrounded by rhododendron bushes. It occurs to me as well, as I write, that i f I attempted to more powerfully connect t h e i r v i s i o n of what might be (the design) to what i s (the s i t e ) , t h i s could be a much enriched assignment. For example, in the design of a personal sanctuary, I asked the students to imagine where the sanctuary might be located, to perhaps draw the context. Much more would l i k e l y come of that c r i t i c a l connection between s i t e and b u i l t form i f I were to emphasise s i t e , not leave i t as a 'perhaps' drawing. I could st a r t at the beginning of the year to ask students to 'adopt' a s i t e with which they f e e l a special kinship." They could draw and study .this s i t e using careful observation over the course of several seasons, recording t h e i r findings as occasional assigned sketch journal projects. When the time came to design a sanctuary for t h e i r adopted s i t e , t h i s gathered knowledge and insight about the s i t e would l i k e l y enrich the place-story of t h e i r personal sanctuary, tying i t to an actual s i t e , well known to them after careful study. To further enrich the visioning, Prof. Shack notes: Within one b u i l t - p l a c e can exist several layers of experience: memories of other buildings i n other places, the dreaming mind of i t s creator, the here and now hand of i t s maker, the urgency of current needs, the visions of a better l i f e , the eternal orders of the s i t e of the earth and of the sky, the eternal images of archetypal places i n our minds and i n our bodies. (Shack Paper 1) Some of this richness can be absorbed and a r t i c u l a t e d by us a l l . ' We can learn to envision - perhaps must learn to e n v i s i o n , i f we a r e t o make our p l a c e s humane, s u p p o r t i v e and b e a u t i f u l . Paper 2 i n the s e r i e s "A Phenomenological Approach t o the Design P r o c e s s " , e x p l o r e s how t o use drawing and model making t o 'see' and ' t h i n k ' d u r i n g the p r o c e s s o f d e s i g n . P r o f . Shack s u g g e s t s t h a t we t h i n k i n terms o f 'open s e e i n g ' , which i s more than v i s u a l , but i n c l u d e s emotions, memory, k i n e t i c s - beyond s i m p l e v i s u a l p e r c e p t i o n . He a l l o w s t h a t a s t r u g g l e i s i n v o l v e d here, " t o g i v e p r e s ence t o d i f f i c u l t - t o - d r a w phenomena" and t h a t r e s u l t s might be "c r u d e but o f t e n e v o c a t i v e " drawings and models. Figure 24. I t i s h i s b e l i e f t h a t p e r s p e c t i v e drawings, which he c a l l s " o n e - e y e - s t i l l - s n a p s h o t s " do more t o d i s t o r t and c o n v e r t a r c h i t e c t u r e i n t o " p i c t o r i a l c o n s t r u c t s t h a t a v o i d ( e d ) the essence o f the p l a c e " . Some of the p e r s p e c t i v e d r awing methods commonly ta u g h t t o s t u d e n t s may be i n c l u d e d i n t h i s c a t e g o r y . Figure 25. Perspective 'how to' drawings. (Ching) Prof. Shack suggests instead that evocations of ideas might give presence to c r i t i c a l phenomena associated with the design, and some of the examples he gives that we can consider are: groundedness - standing upon and set down into the ground: ourselves and our buildings connect with the earth (how a building rests) under the sky: reaching to the l i g h t and covered by the sky dome insidedness/outsidedness : how the within and without of a building merge into one another t w i n phenomena of place... (such as) l i g h t and shadow, one and many, i n t i m a t e and p u b l i c spaces j o u r n e y : r i t u a l r o u t e s , p l a c e s and t h r e s h o l d s : the p r o c e s s i o n i n t o and out of a b u i l d i n g rhythm and resonance of form and space: as we see e a s i l y i n complex r e p e t i t i v e b u i l d i n g s n e s t i n g o f p a r t and whole. embodiment of p l a c e : t r a n s p o s i n g body concepts i n t o a r c h i t e c t u r e Figure 26. Caryatids - body as support, transposing body concepts. Some of t h e s e c o n c e p t s might be a b i t hard t o draw. Yes, but we are l o o k i n g f o r the " i n n e r essence" here, r a t h e r t h a n the s u r f a c e p i c t o r i a l . P r o f . Shack uses d r a w i n g i n the d e s i g n p r o c e s s t o make p r o g r e s s , not s l i c k p r e s e n t a t i o n p e r s p e c t i v e s . He bypasses the ' t o u r i s t i c s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s ' of r e n d e r i n g s , and g i v e s freedom to r e a l i s e the p o e t r y . F i g u r e 27. S t u d e n t model - t w i n phenomena: i n t i m a t e and p u b l i c space. Figure 28. Examples of the poetry: rhythm and resonance above: Gu Xiong beneath: Sydney Opera House. In the design studio, Prof. Shack experimented with large conceptual 3-D models that explored a vague 'image' of a place and large 1" - 1' models to generate the order of a place, but with the assumption that the order of the place would not be clear t i l l the end of the design process. This i s quite d i f f e r e n t from the approach I have used i n my artroom. I have encouraged students to conceive of the design using techniques of listmaking, thumbmnail and other sketchy drawings, simple plan section and elevation sketch diagrams, and then to turn to modelling, to show us a l l what the idea i s - model as culmination. In most instances, except for encouraging some very rough exploratory modelling - perhaps because of a perceived shortage of materials - I have t r i e d to reserve model making card for the f i n a l part of the project. Time to start cutting up more cardboard boxes! Prof. Shack also suggests that the designer might f i n d a poetic image - not a l i t e r a l representation but perhaps a "painting or a photograph as a poetic image or imagining one i n t u i t i v e l y yourself, ...(which) transform (s) and gain(s) c l a r i t y through a repeated cycle of i n t u i t i o n and r e f l e c t i o n . " An imagined ordering might be abstracted into a sketch plan i n the manner of some architects p a r t i c u l a r l y respected by Prof. Shack: Kahn with thick charcoal strikes s h i f t i n g volumes i n plan; Corbusier with ink l i n e s subtracting and adding int e r l o c k i n g spaces; Aalto with soft pencil, overdrawing, carving naturalized b u i l t landscapes on • paper... (Shack 1988, 5) / Figure 29. Concept sketch f o r C e n t r a l P h i l a d e l p h i a - Kahn (from Leseau). una fr?x o i / T o f " t h e P o x «7C Figure 30. Prototype concepts developed by A l v a r A a l t o (redrawn by Leseau) .Yeo\\e,v\icc , friendly .... ,,,M Figure 31. Conceptual sketch of Hong Kong - student sketchbook. This i s exc i t i n g . I haven't thought of i t t h i s way for a long time, but these ideas can be translated into a secondary school artroom. I could show students the work of these masters. They could see these designs unfolding from published drawings retained for the archival record. It i s rare to have such clear but deeply evocative idea of the 'unité d'habitation ' Figure 32. From image to r e a l i t y - co l l a g e of conceptual sketches and b u i l d i n g s by Le Corbusier (Benevolo 2) A f t e r moving i n t h i s ( a l b e i t s k e t c h i l y recorded) manner from i n i t i a l p o e t i c image t o i n n e r o r d e r o f the b u i l d i n g , P r o f . Shack s u g g e s t s the d e s i g n e r next moves t o a c t u a l i s a t i o n , " g i v i n g m a t e r i a l and s p a t i a l p r e s e nce t o the project... i n the l i v e d w o r l d - made t o be e x p e r i e n c e d f u l l y " , ( i b i d 6) The d e s i g n e r can mark the a c t u a l ground, u s i n g the e v o c a t i v e image and the diagram o f i n n e r o r d e r . I have t r i e d something l i k e t h i s w i t h s t u d e n t s : we thought about what c o u l d be done w i t h an u n d e r u t i l i s e d p a r k i n g l o t and a c t u a l l y drew l i f e s i z e d p l a n s on the paved a r e a near t o the s c h o o l . T h i s h e l p e d s t u d e n t s t o v i s u a l i s e and t o un d e r s t a n d t h e i r i d e a s more c l e a r l y . T h i s became the f i r s t i t e r a t i o n o f a l e a r n i n g sequence found i n the P r i m e r - Chapter 5 - 'Unpave'. (Perhaps the f i r s t i t e r a t i o n was the p l a n n i n g I d i d upon the beach i n f r o n t o f my f a m i l y home as a c h i l d ! ) Prof. Shack suggests that after laying out i n f u l l size on the actual ground, a new layout can be made - a sort of collage based on one's v i s i o n of the horizontal, geometrical' layout .as perceived at thi s stage - 'close-ups' of what one might experience i n moving through the imagined space. The r e s u l t i n g collage of close-ups can provide a balance between the order of the whole and the uniqueness of the parts as long as the parts are continually re-examined i n increasing d e t a i l and as long as they come into a 'discontinuous - continuity' of memory i n the imagined walks through the building and s i t e . (Shack Paper 2, 7) So the building design comes a l i v e - i n plan, section, elevation, axonometric (simple 3-D sketch at an angle b u i l t up from plan), mini 3-D sketch and model - loose and sketchy at f i r s t , and hardening up as the process unfolds. Figure 34 Axonometric and plan sketches on the p r o v e r b i a l p l a c e m a t . ( S t e g l i t z , from Leseau) A standard story that many architects delight in telling describes how the most basic concept for a mult imil l ion-dollar project was first scribbled on the back of a restaurant napkin. I have wondered why both, the teller and the listener, always seem to derive amusement f rom such a story. Perhaps the story restores confidence in the strength of the individual designer, or maybe it is the incongruity that decisions on such important matters are being made in such a relaxed, casual manner. Viewing this story in the context of graphic thinking, it is not at all surprising that inspired, inventive thinking should take place at a restaurant table. Not only are the eyes, minds, and hands of at least two persons interacting with the images on the napkin, but they are further stimulated by conversation. Besides, these persons are separated f rom their day to day work prob- lems; they are relaxing in a pleasant atmo- sphere and wi th the consumption of, one hopes, good food, their level of anxiety is significantly reduced. They are open, ready, prepared for discovery; indeed, it would only be surprising if the most furtive ideas were not born in this setting. Figure 35. Axonometric 'exploded' - a t o o l f o r understanding and communication. Prof. Shack suggests that on a project which i s a c t u a l l y to be b u i l t , f u l l size models should be made or even experimental construction of elements of the building to "get deeper into the a r c h i t e c t u r a l poetry and a c t u a l i z a t i o n of the poetic image and order - to bring the 'hand' back to architecture." ( i b i d 7) Figure 36. P o e t i c images of Leonardo da V i n c i : Studies of temporary s t r u c t u r e s f o r a f e s t i v a l (Leseau). These evocative steps towards design are so relevant to lessons I have t r i e d in my secondary, artroom. I did attempt, with the parking l o t exercises, "to bring the foot and pace back to architecture" (Shack Paper 3 p.l) Joel Shack suggests. How much ri c h e r would our e f f o r t s to 'Unpave' have been - to design and then work in plan at f u l l scale with chalks to lay out a new v i s i o n on a paved parking l o t - i f I had reminded myself of the contents of the Working Papers that I f i r s t saw in 1988. Having gone through t h i s paper again, which so c l e a r l y sets out poetic p o s s i b i l i t i e s for the design process, I see r i c h implications for another set of it e r a t i o n s in my artroom. These notions, set out by Prof. Shack i n 1987 and 1988, and which perhaps seem a b i t esoteric to anyone unaccustomed to thinking i n terms of the design process, can, with some e f f o r t , be squeezed by teachers into useable form. We design things a l l the time: programs, lessons, our personal costume for the day, lunch, a new classroom layout of furnishings. We do thi s with varying degrees of care and attention - sometimes without much thought, sometimes i n t e n t l y observant of the phenomena of our l i v e s . We might not c a l l t h i s action 'design', but that i s what creative arrangement i n i t s myriad forms i n our l i v e d world i s ca l l e d . The step from designing the ordinary items needed in our d a i l y l i v e s ' t o designing a r c h i t e c t u r a l form - making our places - does not need to be considered so formidable that i t need be reserved for only the 'trained'. To some degree, we can a l l p a r t i c i p a t e i n the design process to make our settings. If we are fortunate, we w i l l f i n d an architect of generous s e n s i b i l i t y who w i l l to share this- journey. Certainly the architecture'students at UBC were fortunate to have t h i s opportunity under the tutelage of this i n s p i r i n g teacher. A l l our c r e a t i v e a c t s , e s p e c i a l l y those a c t s e n t e r e d i n t o w i t h c a r e and awareness, can s e r v e t o t r a i n us t o move i n t o more complex d e s i g n and p l a n n i n g u n d e r t a k i n g s i f we choose. We can r e l y upon our d i r e c t e x p e r i e n c e i n the w o r l d t o guid e us, a v o i d i n g s e t t h e o r y and f i x e d i d e a s about who i s e n t i t l e d , and who i s not, how t h i n g s 'should' be or 'should not' be. I f we l o o k w i t h f r e s h s e n s e , ( a s I began t o c o n s c i o u s l y do i n t h a t t r i p t o the swimming p o o l a t the s t a r t o f my quest t o u n d e r s t a n d phenomenology), we can move p a s t p r e c o n c e p t i o n s t o new and a u t h e n t i c u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f what i s and what needs t o be. Perhaps we can r e a c h t h e p o i n t where we are a b l e , as P r o f . Shack s a y s , t o ' r e v e a l t h e i n h e r e n t p o e t r y o f everyday l i f e ' . ( e - m a i l 8 September, 2003) Perhaps we can move beyond b e i n g r e l u c t a n t o r r e t i c e n t p a r t i c i p a n t s ; we might even blossom i n t o p o e t i c s , i f we c u l t i v a t e a t a s t e and c a p a b i l i t y f o r engaging i n the n a t u r a l human a c t i v i t y o f p l a c e making. Figure 37. An evocative camp s h e l t e r which responds to context - the p r a i r i e s , and elegant c u l t u r a l precedents. ( C l i f f o r d Wiens, i n Bernstein and Cawker) 3.4 Sustainability I f we were not so s i n g l e - m i n d e d about k e e p i n g our l i v e s moving, and f o r once c o u l d do n o t h i n g , perhaps a huge s i l e n c e might i n t e r r u p t t h i s sadness of never u n d e r s t a n d i n g o u r s e l v e s and o f t h r e a t e n i n g o u r s e l v e s w i t h d e a t h . P a b l o Neruda Is this an issue for the schools? - in the artroom? The e l e c t r o n i c p u b l i c a t i o n " C a n a d i a n Responses t o Agenda 21: An Assessment", f i r s t c o m p i l e d and r e l e a s e d i n 1994, p r o v i d e s t h e framework and c o n t e x t f o r s u s t a i n a b l e development a c t i o n i n Canada. A t the E a r t h Summit i n R i o de J a n e r i o , June 1992, governments around t h e w o r l d agreed t o Agenda 21 - a p l a n which names what needs t o be done by a l l o f us t o a c h i e v e s u s t a i n a b l e development i n t h e 2 1 s t c e n t u r y . Many young peopl e were i n s p i r e d a t t h a t Summit by t h e words o f Severn C u l l i s - S u z u k i , then 13 y e a r s o l d , who spoke so e l o q u e n t l y about t h e problems we have c r e a t e d f o r her g e n e r a t i o n t o i n h e r i t and the p r e s s i n g need t o t a k e c a r e o f t h i s p l a n e t of o u r s . C a r l a Doucet, P o l i c y A d v i s o r f o r E d u c a t i o n a t t h e Canadian N a t i o n a l Round T a b l e on t h e Environment and the Economy, d e s c r i b e s t h e n a t u r e o f t h e c h a l l e n g e o f s u s t a i n a b l e development v e r y s u c c i n c t l y . She s t a t e s : " S o c i e t y must f i n d new ways of d e v e l o p i n g and must r e o r i e n t i t s e l f from an u n s u s t a i n a b l e s o c i e t y t o a s u s t a i n a b l e one. In o r d e r f o r s o c i e t y t o r e i n v e n t i t s e l f i t w i l l r e q u i r e e d u c a t i o n , p u b l i c awareness and t r a i n i n g r e l a t e d t o s u s t a i n a b l e development... (which) r e q u i r e s a m u l t i - d i s c i p l i n a r y approach. W h i l e s u s t a i n a b l e development o f f e r s hope as a c o n c e p t , p e o p l e are o f t e n u n c l e a r as t o what p r a c t i c a l a c t i o n t h e y can take... L i n k i n g s u s t a i n a b l e development i s s u e s and p u b l i c e d u c a t i o n w i l l h e l p c e n t r e t h e e t h i c a l d i m e n s i o n o f the i s s u e . " Canadian Response t o Agenda 21 For me, t h e s t u d y and p r a c t i c e of a r c h i t e c t u r e i s a m u l t i - d i s c i p l i n a r y , v e r y fundamental p u r s u i t , which c a l l s upon almost a l l the s c r a p s o f knowledge I have been a b l e t o o b t a i n , o r g a n i s e and put t o work over the c o u r s e of my c o n s c i o u s l i f e . Not v e r y much of our p r a c t i c a l knowledge i s i r r e l e v a n t when we c o n s i d e r the magnitude o f the c h a l l e n g e o f r e v e r s i n g the u n s u s t a i n a b l e c o u r s e o f development i n many ar e a s o f the planet.' The. t h o u g h t f u l o b s e r v a t i o n and c r e a t i v e a l t e r n a t i v e e n v i s i o n i n g i n h e r e n t i n the p r o c e s s e s o f d e s i g n , the dynamics o f c o o p e r a t i v e community a c t i o n , the c o n s t r u c t i v e t h r u s t o f b u i l d i n g o r c h a n g i n g something f o r t h e b e t t e r : t h e s e a r e t h e elements o f a r c h i t e c t u r e t h a t have r e l e v a n c e and v a l u e f o r t h e c l a s s r o o m . I f t h e s e elements or t o o l s a r e s h a r e d and s u s t a i n a b l e p r a c t i c e s are encouraged t h r o u g h m e a n i n g f u l and engaging p r o j e c t s i n an artroom, young p e o p l e can be f i t t e d w i t h t h e n e c e s s a r y c a p a b i l i t i e s and c o n f i d e n c e t o meet t h e v e r y f o r m i d a b l e c h a l l e n g e s t h a t are ours a t t h i s t i m e . So do we really have a problem? "There i s an e x c e p t i o n a l degree of agreement w i t h i n the s c i e n t i f i c community t h a t n a t u r a l systems can no l o n g e r absorb the burden o f c u r r e n t human p r a c t i c e s . The depth and b r e a d t h o f a u t h o r i t a t i v e s u p p o r t f o r the Warning s h o u l d g i v e g r e a t pause t o t h o s e who q u e s t i o n the v a l i d i t y o f t h r e a t s t o our environment." World S c i e n t i s t s ' Warning t o Humanity" 18 November, 1992 For r e s i d e n t s o f t h e p r o v i n c e o f B r i t i s h Columbia, t h e eve n t s o f the summer o f 2003 - t h e f i r e s and th e n t h e f l o o d i n g - became a l o c a l Warning, something t h a t we i n t h e s e b l e s s e d p a r t s had not e x p e r i e n c e d t o a g r e a t l y n o t i c e a b l e degree. Many o f the s t u d e n t s a t the s c h o o l where I- t e a c h have e m i g r a t e d t o Canada from crowded and p o l l u t e d p a r t s o f A s i a . They o f t e n comment on the q u a l i t y o f the a i r and r e v e l i n t h e f a c t t h a t t h e y can d r i n k the u n p o l l u t e d water d i r e c t l y from the t a p i n the Lower M a i n l a n d . U n t i l the d r a m a t i c e v e n t s o f t h e 2003, t h e s e new Canadians, l i k e many l o n g t i m e r e s i d e n t s , have f e l t t h a t we ar e r e l a t i v e l y untouched by t h e problem o f g l o b a l warming. T h i s i s , of c o u r s e , not t o say t h a t we have been untouched by e n v i r o n m e n t a l d e g r a d a t i o n . We a r e b e g i n n i n g t o purch a s e b o t t l e d water, o r a t l e a s t keep s p e c i a l f i l t e r s i n our r e f r i g e r a t o r s . From time t o t i m e , we might see. someone wea r i n g a m e d i c a l mask w h i l e out i n the. smog. Moreover, s t u d e n t s are w e l l aware o f the term ' e x t i n c t ' and 'non- b i o d e g r a d a b l e ' . I have t a k e n s t u d e n t s t o the Vancouver garbage dump, and watched them r e a c t w i t h d i s g u s t and new r e s o l u t i o n s . One c l a s s even got busy w i t h a s t r o n g l y worded p e t i t i o n t a k e n t h r o u g h o u t t h e v i c i n i t y o f the s c h o o l , t o encourage the 'other 3 R's' - reduce, reuse and r e c y c l e . S t u d e n t s , l i k e a d u l t s , want t o be p a r t o f the s o l u t i o n r a t h e r than p a r t of the problem. I am always h e a r t e n e d by e v i d e n c e whenever I i n i t i a t e even the s i m p l e s t o f e c o l o g i c a l r o u t i n e s . Many s t u d e n t s f l a t l y r e f u s e t o put paper i n t o t h e garbage can anymore. That same m o t i v a t i o n makes then r e c e p t i v e t o p r o j e c t s of a s o p h i s t i c a t e d s u s t a i n a b l e n a t u r e as w e l l . They know about s a v i n g the t r e e s and why t h a t i s i m p o r t a n t . They are ready t o l e a r n how t o use r e s o u r c e s e f f i c i e n t l y t o s a t i s f y our d a i l y r e q u i r e m e n t s . F i g u r e 38. C o l l e c t i v e n o t i c e b o a r d . Science and i n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y teachers have been busy. Students have been alerted. And whereas students of an e a r l i e r generation would never have considered using 'soft drugs', for example, but might have smoked tobacco and l i t t e r e d the streets with packaging, some of today's youth might be more open to exploration of mind a l t e r i n g drugs, but heed the a n t i - l i t t e r and anti-tobacco slogans scrupulously. Times have changed. It can perhaps be said that we are making some progress, at least as far as education of our young i s concerned. David Suzuki i s optimistic about our e f f o r t s to teach our children. He notes that: Our giant brain allows us to see patterns by discerning r e p e t i t i o n , s i m i l a r i t y and difference. From t h i s we gain history and we gain.foresight - we can plan. Because we can learn from experience, we can teach our children more than we knew when we were th e i r age. We can change more rapidly than evolution would allow us to, responding to threats by drawing from our experience and deciding to a l t e r the way we l i v e . " David Suzuki, The Sacred Balance Students generally are beginning to show interest in, understand, and discuss the concepts of sustainability. The Brundtland Commission made what has become a widely accepted c a l l to "...meet the needs of the present without compromising the a b i l i t y of future generations to meet t h e i r own needs." (Wackernagel and Rees 1996,33) This i s the core d e f i n i t i o n of sustainable development. My students understand, notwithstanding the r e l a t i v e l y clean B.C. a i r and water, that we have s o i l e d the planet, and that much i s to be done to halt the damage and turn i t around. Indeed, sophisticated students at the high school l e v e l speak of the concept of sustainable.development with some measure of understanding and confidence. They have been paying attention, although t h i s term i s , regrettably, not much discussed in formal learning situations at the secondary school l e v e l . I know that in a l l subject areas we need to engage learners i n discussion about the health of our planetary home. We need to discuss sustainable development as a route to the future health of the planet. A good place to star t the conversation i s provided by Wackernagel and Rees who assert that s u s t a i n a b i l i t y requires that our emphasis s h i f t from "'managing resources' to managing ourselves, that we learn to l i v e as part of nature." (ibid 4) What does t h i s mean? What can we do, personally and c o l l e c t i v e l y , to l i v e i n a sustainable way? Do we not l i v e as part of nature already? What are the implications of Wackernagel and Rees' assertion that "...human enterprise i s inseparable from the natural world. Humankind i s often the dominant species i n v i r t u a l l y every s i g n i f i c a n t ecosystem on the planet. Human beings are embedded in nature."? (ibid 4) Certainly, i f we are going to engage students in the act of designing places, we need to acknowledge that 'the environment' i n which we are locating our visions i s a c r i t i c a l part of the exercise. Do we know that? Do we act on i t ? Some would say that in general, we do not. At least not with s u f f i c i e n t resolve to undo the very considerable environmental damage that has already been done. Do we generally recognise that our expectations are r i s i n g and very d i f f e r e n t from the standards of the previous generation i n Canada? I have noted a s t a t i s t i c which I cannot properly footnote but which begs to be included here which states that while family sizes have dropped p r e c i p i t o u s l y i n North America, the average house size has almost doubled from 1,100 i n 1949 to 2,060 square feet i n 1993. This i s not a healthy development. We need to show our next generation the pattern that i s emerging i n our l i v i n g habits. How else w i l l they understand the implications of our d a i l y choices? We need to teach them that ...as l i v i n g standards r i s e , more and more people l i v e on ecological carrying capacity 'imported' from somewhere else. The obvious follow up question i s : how long w i l l i t be before we run out of 'somewhere else'? (Answer: we already have.) If the so-called 'advanced' countries continue to promote a l i f e s t y l e whose s a t i s f a c t i o n w i l l require the equivalent of several more planets, they' are, i n effect, b l i n d l y planning t h e i r own demise. The greatest contribution the developed world can make to s u s t a i n a b i l i t y i s to reduce i t s resource consumption by a l l means at i t s disposal...there may well be greater ecological, community and personal merit in learning to l i v e more simply so others can l i v e at a l l . " (ibid 155-6) Maurice Strong, i n an undocumented but unforgettable statement quoted in the Guardian, points out that "a c i t i z e n of an advanced i n d u s t r i a l i s e d nation consumes in si x months the energy that has to l a s t the c i t i z e n of a developing country his entire l i f e . " It i s not f a i r of us not to pass t h i s understanding on to the next generation. They need to know thi s and we need to do something about i t together. Dr. Freda Pagani taught a course t i t l e d " S u s t a i n a b i l i t y " at Royal Roads University i n the summer•of 2003. A statement i n her course outline reads: " S u s t a i n a b i l i t y i s both an idea and a way of doing things, a journey rather than a destination." Our c o l l e c t i v e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s to give young learners the benefit of these insights. Although i t i s an issue that overarches a l l d i s c i p l i n e s and affects us a l l , many teachers are reluctant to tackle the question of s u s t a i n a b i l i t y . We might shrink from t h i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y because of a lack of knowledge, understanding, optimism, energy, or opportunity. But we are a l l on the planetary journey together and our destination w i l l be bleak i f we do not explore t h i s idea, and fi n d new ways of doing things in our journey together. So how can students understand this and what can we do to learn and practise this approach? Perhaps I w i l l go into production as a poster maker. I can see my artroom spotted with words as well as the ever- changing supply of student work and examples of the fine works of gl o b a l l y aware master a r t i s t s . I think students are each somewhere on the continuum from somewhat to deeply disturbed by the psychological depth charge of present and future environmental degradation. On behalf of future generations, I am too. (I have long assumed that my generation might make i t r e l a t i v e l y unscathed, es p e c i a l l y i n this- very p r i v i l e g e d part of the globe. After watching f i r e and flood so close to home, I am, l i k e many others, now strongly questioning that airy assumption.) So what can we do i n the artroom? I can't r e a l l y start teaching ecology per se - I think students would rebel i f the class began to take on the shape and tenor of a science class. But based upon the b e l i e f , strongly held, that i t a l l hitches up somewhere, that arts and sciences and humanities a l l interlock at the key places, there are some things I can i n i t i a t e into the artroom. I can i n j e c t e cological thinking into our projects. I can encourage students to seek and discuss relevant information so that i n every classroom, not just the non-existent veco' classroom, we can b u i l d a knowledge base, work out and work on strategies for resolving our planetary problems, and b u i l d a confident, o p t i m i s t i c stance for the future. I sometimes t e l l students that, in the fullness of time, I w i l l be j o i n i n g the group that needs to be cared for. And, only h a l f - j o k i n g l y , I add that I see my job i n the classroom as somewhat s e l f - s e r v i n g : my students are the generation that I w i l l be depending upon to take care of things. So I had better get i t r i g h t ! But I recognise at the same time, that dropping the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y on them without some tools i s heavy and unfair. I do not have a very broad s c i e n t i f i c background, although some s c i e n t i f i c rigour was included in the a r c h i t e c t u r a l t r a i n i n g I am' r i c h l y p r i v i l e g e d to have received. And I confess to an indecently recent sharpened i n t e r e s t i n the good health of our planet. When I was a student of architecture in the 1980's, 'green' was, for many students and many of our teachers as well, just another colour. I was t o l d by a professor i n my f i r s t year design studio that my e f f o r t s to f i t out an apartment bu i l d i n g with solar devices was 'boring' and that what I was meant to learn i n th i s studio was good, strong and e x c i t i n g design. Furthermore, the successful, e f f i c i e n t , experimental solar home, b u i l t by forward looking architecture students near to my campus housing at UBC was summarily demolished one day, as i t was not deemed to be important enough to save, despite the e f f o r t s of some students who were canvassing to have i t preserved. But times, perhaps, are changing. There are some simple measures I was beginning to learn about as a student .architect to conserve resources, choose healthy materials, manifest planetary consciousness. I grabbed a book, vintage 1976, that was being discarded from the Ar c h i t e c t u r a l Reading Room at UBC c a l l e d Low-Cost, Energy E f f i c i e n t Shelter for the owner and builder, edited by Eugene E c c l i , and I have referred to that book from time to time i n designing buildings for friends. I have a k i t produced by CMHC c a l l e d "Your Tools to a Healthy Home". I have long admired and been attentive to the work.of David Rousseau, a friend and former work partner who wrote the very popular and useful book t i t l e d Your Home, Your Health, and Well-Being, which I have also used as a reference and which s i t s on my bookshelf at school.. Some of my students some o f t h e s e mater •r, t h e cour s e of ma i a l s m t h e k i n g t h e i r r o i e c t s I Home, Tour Health, and Well-Being Modes. DESIGNS • SYSTEMS • MATERIALS • RENOVATION • CONSTRUCTION ENVIRONMENTAL iLLNESS - HOME MANAGEMENT - CONTAMINATION TESTS • RESOURCES soldi, and Wéfl-oeinf makes it possible to regain control over the quality of our indoor arning how and where pollutants affect us in our homes (air. water, furnishings, fin- in applying the care full/ explained step-oy-step solutions, we can transform our tful. quiet, clean air. extremely pleasant places "̂here are illustrated, practical, pre tn to every conceivable problem, whether for renovations, new homes, whole r a angle room. A special detailed section gives recommendations for those with vity (aJerjy). DavH] Rousseau -s an Architectural designer, environmental researcher, and professional builder m ISBN SV88I79-0I7-6 f i g u r e 39. Dav i d Rousseau s P r a c t i c a l guide- In the a l b e i t few projects I have given students to consider in the artroom that .have an e x p l i c i t e cological component, I have noticed a degree of interest that cheered me. Based upon the knowledge that the exhaust emissions of vehicles contributes a great deal to the p o l l u t i o n of.our a i r , and to the global warming phenomenon, students have set t h e i r energies to work to investigate and design alternative f u e l l e d vehicles which, in some instances show evidence of inte r e s t i n the s c i e n t i f i c aspects of the problem. (Some students responded with lovingly drafted carriages to be pulled by the family horse; one r e p l i e d with an exquisite drawing of a man on a f l y i n g carpet - i t i s an artroom a f t e r a l l . ) And some students are interested in i n vestigating simple solutions for making buildings e c o l o g i c a l l y sound. • I can't push i t to the point where students are turned o f f and unwilling to investigate these options, but, where there i s interest, I am ready with simple materials, to encourage some s c i e n t i f i c rigour. And some students, with whom I have discussed a project i n which e c o l o g i c a l l y sound housing i s researched and designed, responded very favourably to what they termed the 'challenge'. These projects are elaborated upon i n the Primer. There are some fine examples of handsome and sustainble buildings which can serve as models to ins p i r e and dir e c t eco-motivated energies of students. Following are some views of the C.K.Choi Building at UBC, which opened i n 1996 and features reused and recycled materials, natural rather than energy wasting v e n t i l a t i o n systems, highly e f f i c i e n t l i g h t i n g , and the novel composting t o i l e t s and grey water r e c y c l i n g system. I would t h i n k a f i e l d t r i p t o t h i s i n s p i r i n g b u i l d i n g o r the newer L i u Ce n t r e f o r the Study of G l o b a l I s s u e s , a l s o a t UBC, would be o f g r e a t i n t e r e s t t o s t u d e n t s , f o r a wide range of reasons, i n c l u d i n g the o p p o r t u n i t y t o see f i r s t hand the l e a d i n g edge of sound s u s t a i n a b l e b u i l d i n g p r i n c i p l e s . Green Buildings 3: Swooping for Air C It Choi Institut* 0' Afitn netcwcn vJivveriry o' Bntisn Coiumouj ItEKSHfV M*tiu.»ki Wno.ni Archincts F i g u r e 40. C.K.Choi B u i l d i n g f o r t h e I n s t i t u t e o f A s i a n R e s e a r c h . There i s not a shortage of information about how to l i v e i n a sustainable way, and teachers can e a s i l y locate the necessary materials required to supplement our projects, once chosen. It i s well beyond the scope of t h i s work, and my present expertise, to provide a l i s t of sources. But I do have another story and some advice, passed on from David Suzuki's wonderful book, The Sacred Balance which can be used as i n s p i r a t i o n for students and teachers a l i k e . F i r s t , the story. An architect who David Suzuki c l e a r l y admires, William McDonough, dean of Architecture at the University of V i r g i n i a i n C h a r l o t t e s v i l l e , " l i k e s to c i t e a story related by the ecophilosopher Gregory Bateson: At new College i n Oxford, England,,the huge oak beams of the university's main h a l l are some 12 metres long and 0.5 metre thick. In 1985, dry rot had f i n a l l y weakened them so much that they needed to be replaced. If oak trees of such size could have been found in • England,- they would have cost about US $250,000 per log for a t o t a l replacement cost of about US $50 m i l l i o n . Then the univer s i t y forester informed the administrators that when the main h a l l had been b u i l t 350 years e a r l i e r , the architects had instructed that a grove of oak trees be planted and maintained so that when dry rot set in , about three and a half centuries l a t e r , the beams could be replaced. (Suzuki adds) Now that i s long-term planning, and McDonough believes t h i s has to become standard i n a r c h i t e c t u r a l thinking." (Suzuki 1997, 224-5) We can a l l learn to think t h i s way. And f i n a l l y , the advice. In a section t i t l e d "What can we do?" in Chapter 9 - A New Millenium, David Suzuki, gives a series of simple s u g g e s t i o n s f o r a c t i o n s we can a l l t a k e . I w i l l n o t e here o n l y a few o f the p r a c t i c a l approaches D a v i d S u z u k i s u g g e s t s f o r cha n g i n g the Way we t h i n k and l i v e , p a r t i c u l a r l y t h o s e t h a t may connect most r e a d i l y w i t h d e s i g n work i n an artroom: Think c r i t i c a l l y about the information that floods over us. Consider i t s sources carefully... Trust your common sense, your a b i l i t y to assess information... I am w i l l i n g and a b l e t o assemble s i m p l e and u s e a b l e m a t e r i a l s f o r use by s t u d e n t s i n the art r o o m . I do not t h i n k s t u d e n t s w i l l t o l e r a t e my t u r n i n g t h e a r t r o o m i n t o a s c i e n c e l a b , but t h e y seem a g r e e a b l e enough about the p r o s p e c t o f d o i n g some s i m p l e r e s e a r c h on i s s u e s c o n n e c t e d t o d e s i g n p r o j e c t s . Ones who r e s i s t w i l l not be pushed. F o l l o w i n g are some r e s o u r c e s I keep handy: t i t F i g u r e 41. CMHC pamph l e t s - r e a d i l y a v a i l a b l e from CMHC o f f i c e s . Suzuki continues: P r o j e c t your mind f a r ahead i n t o the f u t u r e and c o n s i d e r the problems t h a t we are l e a v i n g as a l e g a c y f o r our c h i l d r e n and grandchildren... This projection and the recording of deliberations might be easier for art students because of the accumulation of graphic s k i l l s and confidence, and the habit of creative envisioning. I can see how t h i s can be integrated into a project for students to consider the future and the works of a r t i s t s who have portrayed future p o s s i b i l i t i e s as well. R e f l e c t on how we can meet our fundamental needs w h i l e a l s o making a living... I have observed that students l i k e to engage i n conversations regarding our needs as opposed to our wants. This obviously has an eff e c t upon subjects chosen for design projects and upon outcomes. Data such as the e a r l i e r mentioned information about the increase i n house size over time i s i n t e r e s t i n g and relevant for young people who are forming, t h e i r attitudes and l i f e patterns. They want to l i v e well on the earth, they c e r t a i n l y Want the planet to be well, and they are w i l l i n g to put considerable thought into the designs for l i v i n g that they develop i n art classes as well as elsewhere. Over the years, I have noted that students love to design places for themselves and th e i r families: a personal sanctuary, a home for themselves and/or t h e i r family - these topics engage the i r deep attention over an extended period in some instances. I have not emphasised as much as I might have, the challenge of designing for the eco-benign quality that Suzuki suggests, but I w i l l in the future. I can see very f e r t i l e p o s s i b i l i t i e s here for gently s h i f t i n g the emphasis towards an eco-planetary commitment with respect to place making. 4 - Work to get your home as ecologically benign as possible. Of the three Rs - reduce, reuse, recycle - reducing i s by far the most important precept- Reduction of size and ov e r a l l material use i s a r a t i o n a l , supportable approach to design, not d i f f i c u l t to understand, support and integrate into planning. - Lest anyone despair, i t i s worth remembering Margaret Mead's words : "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, i t i s the only thing that ever has." (Suzuki 1997, 209-218) This well known maxim provides a very suitable connector to the next section of thi s document regarding the connections of my c u r r i c u l a r proposals to broader themes of architecture. Thinking of ourselves as part of a community, and engaging i n c o l l e c t i v e actions together, i s the l o g i c a l extension of our deliberations i n bringing the ideas of sustainable design into the artroom. 3.5 Social responsibility, Community action Some people don't have a place. This i s obscene. My p e r s o n a l focus f o r my p r o f e s s i o n a l and v o l u n t a r y energy, i n much of my a d u l t l i f e , has leaned towards involvement i n community a c t i o n a g a i n s t the e f f e c t s of poverty. I have long b e l i e v e d t h a t human d w e l l i n g c o n s i d e r a t i o n s are something I c o u l d most m e a n i n g f u l l y address. T h i s c r y s t a l l i s e d i n t o a l i f e p a t t e r n f o r me over c o f f e e one morning many years ago, with a s o c i a l worker, then working at the emergency s e r v i c e s o f f i c e on Drake Street,, Vancouver. She had j u s t t o l d me how hard i t was f o r her to d e a l with women who came to her i n the night to ask f o r help i n f i n d i n g a p l a c e to stay. A f t e r a l l the s h e l t e r p l a c e s were f i l l e d , t h i s s o c i a l worker r o u t i n e l y gave the women two d o l l a r s - so that they c o u l d buy c o f f e e i n a café and wait f o r the s h e l t e r s to empty out i n the morning. ( E x i s t i n g s e r v i c e s are, i f anything, under even more pres s u r e c u r r e n t l y . ) I was h o r r i f i e d at the thought - but even more h o r r i f i e d by what t h i s k i n d l y and good woman s a i d next: "Housing i s not my i s s u e . " At that moment, something came c l e a r f o r me. I r e a l i s e d we must choose our i s s u e s and move them ahead as best we can. I c o u l d never r e c o n c i l e how a woman i n charge of s e t t l i n g homeless women co u l d t h i n k t h a t "housing" was not her i s s u e , but I do r e c o g n i s e t h a t we a l l need to choose where our e n e r g i e s are going to be spent, and to focus our work so that goals can be achieved. Personally, I don't lean nearly so e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y towards promoting the harder s c i e n t i f i c aspects of sustainable development. I do, however, understand that without wise attention to ecological matters, other human considerations may not be relevant for much longer. The Canada and Agenda 21 commentary document, already referred to i n an e a r l i e r section, devotes a chapter to combatting poverty. Two sentences jump o f f the page for me: " S u s t a i n a b i l i t y cannot be achieved without eradicating poverty." (p.1,Chapter 3) And, furthermore, "The rel a t i o n s h i p between poverty and degradation of the environment i s evident."(p.3,Chapter 3) The commentary continues with the observation that the causes of poverty, which are rooted both g l o b a l l y and nationally, r e s u l t i n diminished access to economic, s o c i a l , and p o l i t i c a l options for the poor. The thrust of the e f f o r t to eradicate poverty i s thus to regain access by the poor of options, and to transform oppressive systems using a multi-sectoral and m u l t i - d i s c i p l i n a r y approach. The commentary asserts that "poverty eradication and s u s t a i n a b i l i t y w i l l be achieved through community based development strategies... transformation of ... p o l i c i e s that impede successful development e f f o r t s , and mechanisms for communities and governments to share i n p o l i c y formation." (ibid) So what does this have to do with the artroom? How can the students i n an art course get involved in t h i s sharing of s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y ? I believe that the artroom can be an important learning ground for acquiring the s k i l l s and understanding e s s e n t i a l to the movement against poverty. Obviously, students must be made aware of the poverty that e x i s t s : i n our own neighbourhoods, in our c i t i e s , and further a f i e l d . Envisioning solutions, not simply for the a l l e v i a t i o n of homelessness, but to the underlying causes of poverty and homelessness, can be part of imaginative deliberations i n the artroom. Another of David Suzuki's proposals for action, found i n The Sacred Balance: Get involved... action invariably precedes a profound sh i f t in values, so actually doing something i s important. In the process, one learns and becomes committed.. I sponsor a student club at school c a l l e d Colts that Care and Colts Humanitarian Aid. I am always delighted on Mondays at lunchtime when my classroom f i l l s up with over seventy students who have come to sign up for volunteer hours i n the community and for fundraising for global projects. I believe that much of the motivation springs from a simple desire to make the world a better-place. We joke sometimes about how good volunteer work looks on a resume, but I think there i s much more to i t than that. These students have,raised many thousands of dollars for good global causes and have given s i m i l a r l y thousands of hours of t h e i r time for causes i n the community. It i s many of these students who have spent hours- making posters and informative artwork which enlightens the general population of our school with respect to issues surrounding the r e a l i t y of poverty and the a l l e v i a t i o n of poverty. The i n t e r e s t and energies are there; i t i s up to educators to guide that impulse and to provide some scope for action. We can o f f e r design projects that .promote thoughtful, e c o l o g i c a l responses as part of the art curriculum - the opportunity to combine the wish to l i v e well with p r a c t i c a l investigations of how to accomplish t h i s . We can o f f e r students opportunities to do and to learn and to learn commitment. The Ministry of Education has drafted (February 2000) a document c a l l e d Social Responsibility which reinforces the ideal of encouraging such a component in the curriculum. A 'rating scale' for s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s included i n the Performance Standards document, which might seem a b i t fatuous to some, but which provides some food for thought regarding behaviour goals we might embrace. The several aspects of behaviour to be rated are: 1. Contributing to the classroom and school community 2. Solving problems i n peaceful ways 3. Valuing d i v e r s i t y and defending human rights and 4. Exercising democratic rights and r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . A way of meeting and/or exceeding the f i r s t goal i s a r t i c u l a t e d in t h i s way: "works a c t i v e l y to improve the school or community: often volunteers for extra r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s and shows leadership s k i l l s " . While I am not sure whether the p r o v i n c i a l Ministry would inte r p r e t these goals i n the same manner that I might do, I can see that some of the a c t i v i t i e s one might provide i n the artroom might well serve to help students meet these l i b e r a l goals. So what can we DO? Art students can play a major role in the simple act of b e a u t i f i c a t i o n of t h e i r surroundings, and i n providing thoughtful works of art to provoke thought or even to promote ec o l o g i c a l values. I consider these acts of environmental enhancement to be an important aspect of the art curriculum and am well aware of the power of such acts for students. Because our school was scheduled to be demolished i n 2004, T was granted permission from the School D i s t r i c t to embark on a vigorous program of school b e a u t i f i c a t i o n for the l a s t two years of our building's l i f e . This involves the painting of wall murals i n spots throughout the school and the painting of students' lockers, which proved to be a very popular a c t i v i t y . This l i f t e d our s p i r i t s and possibly helped.to reduce the vandalism that might have arisen i n our old,, soon to be abandoned school building. At another point i n our recent history, in answer to a school-wide question "What can we DO to help people less fortunate than ourselves?", students in my art classes researched and recreated at very large scale the logos of many of the major helping organisations available to people experiencing the impulse to get involved. In every corridor of the school, logos were displayed, which t i e d i n with the theme of an assembly involving the entire school community. Many students, e s p e c i a l l y the 'Colts that Care' have spent countless hours creating well-researched public education posters for the school which focus on themes of poverty, p a r t i c u l a r l y related to the work of "Doctors Without Borders'. Much of t h i s work was done outside of class time - students often spend hours a f t e r school i n the artroom, engaged i n such tasks. With respect to goal 4, 'exercising democratic rights and r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s ' , the school i n general, and the artroom in p a r t i c u l a r can play a rewarding role in fostering t h i s kind of development. From the rating scale, we see that a way of meeting and/or exceeding the expectations of the fourth goal i s : "shows a strong sense of community- mindedness and accountability; can describe and work toward an ideal future for the world". This c a l l s to mind the words of an African theologian, Emmanuel Tehindrazanarivelo, who t e l l s us: ...the African t r a d i t i o n sees education as a process of bringing a sense of awareness to people; that i s , an awareness of worth, belonging, and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y ; a sense of t r a d i t i o n , roots, and projection - a sense of being human within a community. The knowledge produced through education provides people with a v i s i o n that makes them able to interpret and to be creative so they can produce action as an expression of t h e i r own l i f e and the l i f e of the community." (Arnold et a l , 1991, 150) Global i n i t i a t i v e s Every year for the l a s t ten, the students and teachers of a l o c a l l y developed course at our school c a l l e d Global Perspectives have v i s i t e d an area that i s experiencing hardship, and work together with the l o c a l people of that area to complete a project. Some of the countries these students and teachers have v i s i t e d include r u r a l and i s o l a t e d parts of Ecuador, Guatemala, the Philippines, China, Thailand, Guatemala and Santa Domingo and Cuba. At times, art students have provided support to t h i s program, perhaps by making a scale a r c h i t e c t u r a l model of a building to be constructed i n the r u r a l area, perhaps by sending art work along as g i f t s to students i n the area, or by helping to p u b l i c i s e fundraising events for the program. Although such projects c l e a r l y involve much beyond the d i s c i p l i n e of art, the meaningful actions of t h i s program s t r i k e me as a d e f i n i t e example of community action at i t s f i n e s t . Such programs, of which art can be an important component, are to me exemplary models of social, r e s p o n s i b i l i t y education. There are lo t s of things we can do that don't involve leaving our own country, or even our own neighbourhood in some instances. Understand our local reality In a recent study t i t l e d homelessness - THE MAKING AND UNMAKING OF A CRISIS, Jack Layton, formerly a Vice- President of the Federation of Canadian Mun i c i p a l i t i e s and Toronto City Councillor t e l l s us that "On Toronto streets, one homeless c i t i z e n dies every six days". (Layton 2000, xix) He believes that homelessness i s "a s o c i a l construction, a r e s u l t of our c o l l e c t i v e actions as a society, an a r t i f a c t . " ( i b i d xxi) To me i t seems that i f t h i s i s true, the unmaking of homelessness could be a re s u l t of our c o l l e c t i v e actions as well. Theories and research abounds with respect to the causes of and reasons for homelessness. The media and the l i t e r a t u r e c i t e the main factors: economic downturn, unemployment and underemployment, changes i n ' s o c i a l and medical ( p a r t i c u l a r l y mental health) policy, g e n t r i f i c a t i o n - the l i s t goes on. But i t i s a r e l a t i v e l y recent problem. Layton notes that "computer searches of Canadian newspapers of the '60s, '70s or early '80s yields no mention of the word homelessness.(ibid 3) 1987, The International Year of the Homeless, brought attention to this phenomenon to the public eye. It i s important for students, as the generation to i n h e r i t t h i s s o c i e t a l , and perhaps personal problem, to understand homelessness and i t s ramifications. I think students need to understand the facts about homelessness and as well, need to be given the opportunity to address the problem and seek solutions to both the a l l e v i a t i o n of and the eradication of th i s form of advanced poverty. The Toronto group CERA, Centre for Equality Rights In Accommodation, i s one of many a r t i c u l a t e and vocal groups whose mission i t i s to see that we are informed about th i s problem as a society. They assert that in 1976, our country r a t i f i e d the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which ensures that everyone enjoys an adequate standard of l i v i n g . Recently the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cu l t u r a l Rights has expressed grave concern that Canada i s allowing v i o l a t i o n s (documented by CERA) of the right to adequate housing to occur, and has recommended that the problem of homelessness i n Canada be addressed as a national emergency. CERA's charting of how the "epidemic" and "national disaster" of homelessness has spread i n Canada since that covenant was signed i s i l l u m i n a t i n g and s u c c i n c t l y expressed at t h e i r website - (www.equaiityrighs.org/cera/docs/tcupdate.rtf.) Such action groups perform a valuable service to interested students and other c i t i z e n s by making t h i s information r e a d i l y available. CERA's Test Case L i t i g a t i o n s are bringing people whose rights have been denied to the courts a l l across Canada in an e f f o r t to p u b l i c i s e t h i s problem and to claim fundamental rights for the disadvantaged. Most students I broach t h i s subject with, in the inner c i t y (Richmond) school of very mixed economic l e v e l s where I teach,'are not aware of the reasons why the few panhandlers they see i n the streets are there, asking for money or work. Few of my students are aware that, only a few miles from t h e i r r e l a t i v e l y comfortable neighbourhood, s i t s the postal code zone which i s documented to have the lowest per-capita income in a l l of Canada - the Downtown Eastside community of Vancouver. Students arrive with t h e i r own personal biases to the discussion regarding why the problem exists and what we should do about i t . I have found that students are interested and w i l l i n g to do the research and spend t h e i r creative energies involved i n t h i s issue. This kind of creative problem finding and solving i s well suited to the artroom as well as other classrooms. In t h e i r collaborative e f f o r t . Educating for a Change, the authors assert that " s o c i a l change education encourages people to i d e n t i f y , value and contribute what they know so they can solve problems together. The s o c i a l change educator must design d i f f e r e n t processes that a c t i v e l y i n v i t e such j o i n t learning and problem solving". (Arnold et a l 1991, 127) Such educative action t i e s together the creative problem solving common to the artroom, the m u l t i - d i s c i p l i n a r y thrust of the educational system, and the s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y goals a r t i c u l a t e d i n the B.C. Ministry Performance Standards. Such action also brings to l i f e the Afri c a n theologian's abovequoted goal to create i n students "a sense of being a l i v e within a community". Such action i n the classroom also meets the d e f i n i t i o n of the authors of Educating for a Change that education i s : A way to help people c r i t i c a l l y evaluate and understand themselves and the world around them, to see themselves as active participants i n that world. Our hopes for s o c i a l transformation are ignited as people come to see themselves as creators of culture, history and an alternate s o c i a l vision... (ibid 151) In th i s way, my e f f o r t s at educational research, should they be meeting some of these goals, push past the o r i g i n a l goals of educational action research to become par t i c i p a t o r y s o c i e t a l action, to the degree that we see ourselves - myself and the students - as active participants and co-learners with respect to the s o c i e t a l change that we address. In the continued support that we give one another as researchers, designers, learner/students and participants i n our society, as we probe for causes and solutions together to a painful aspect of our Canadian r e a l i t y , we might reach the transformation goals of education described e a r l i e r by M i l l e r and S e l l e r . Poverty - a definite culture in our multicultural, p l u r a l i s t society A young Philippino boy, recently arrived i n Canada and separated from his Philippino-Canadian friends i n the course of an alt e r c a t i o n , was l a t e l y beaten to death by a group of young Indo-Canadians near a schoolyard. The ensuing debate focused upon whether or not t h i s was a 'ra c i s t ' incident. In our part of the world, we have achieved a quite sophisticated l e v e l of m u l t i - c u l t u r a l acceptance, as the extent of our c o l l e c t i v e l y expressed g r i e f over this death w i l l perhaps att e s t . And perhaps we read too much into t h i s incident. It may well be that i t i s not the t i p of a 'ra c i s t ' iceberg, but a h o r r i b l y unfortunate accident that happened between two groups of boys of d i f f e r e n t ethnic backgrounds. I am heartened when I read accounts of students-come-lately to Canada who t e l l t h e i r stories of i n i t i a l culture shock and f r u s t r a t i o n and eventual integration and feelings of acceptance i n the culture we are a l l working to evolve here. It i s an exciting aspect of our contemporary l i f e in t h i s region and I perceive a generally optimistic appraisal of our growing successes, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n my school community. Art has a place in t h i s s e t t l i n g . A curriculum- that embraces and celebrates the p l u r a l i s t i c nature of our region supports and encourages th i s s e t t l i n g and the common understanding that must grow i f we are to t r u l y become a society, a l l together. Dr. F.Graeme Chalmers, presently David Lam Chair i n M u l t i c u l t u r a l Education and Professor of Art Education at UBC, asserts that 'multicultural' means acknowledging more than just ethnic differences, that we need to recognise " a l l aspects of c u l t u r a l d i v e r s i t y " (Chalmers, 1996,4) which includes such differences as economic situation, class, age and a b i l i t y , gender and sexual orientation, as well as the much focused upon et h n i c i t y . I have noted my perception that the multivarious e t h n i c i t i e s have been well-served in our region. The arts, not to mention s o c i a l action i n general, have proceeded well beyond the tokenism that precedes a f u l l e r understanding of meaningful m u l t i c u l t u r a l orientation. We are, I think, generally moving past the l i m i t i n g Eurocentrism that characterised much of our art studies previously. To focus t h i s issue to the area of architecture, I see a cheering array of styles emerging i n the b u i l t form of the region which r e f l e c t s our acceptance of our d i v e r s i t y . Except for the sometimes painful discussions surrounding the so-called 'monster' houses, the architecture of t h i s region i s perhaps generally accepted as riche r for t h i s d i v e r s i t y . F i g u r e 4 2 . S e a b i r d S u s t a i n a b l e C o m m u n i t y p r o j e c t , t h e R o u n d h o u s e . But Graeme Chalmers i n c l u d e s a quote i n h i s d i s c u s s i o n o f p l u r a l i s m which b r i n g s me t o a l o n g pause: " n o t h i n g human need be f o r e i g n i n a m u l t i c u l t u r a l s o c i e t y " , ( i b i d 7, r e f . K a t t n e r ) In my s c h o o l community, the c u l t u r e of p o v e r t y i s , i f p r e s e n t , h i d d e n , not w e l l acknowledged and c e r t a i n l y not w e l l - u n d e r s t o o d by those who do not e x p e r i e n c e i t d i r e c t l y . Graeme Chalmers urges us t o ask "Why do we make A r t ? How do we use A r t ? And what i s A r t f o r ? He su g g e s t s t h a t we s h o u l d encourage s t u d e n t s t o a c t as a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s , t o s t u d y a r t t o i d e n t i f y what m a t t e r s i n a c u l t u r e . He p o s i t s t h a t A r t i s "what a c u l t u r e says i t i s " , i n the sense t h a t a r t i s a " r e p o s i t o r y o f c u l t u r a l meaning". ( i b i d 30) Perhaps we c o u l d the same about a r c h i t e c t u r e . By r e a d i n g t h e e x i s t i n g b u i l t c u l t u r e , we can d e r i v e a g r e a t u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f how d w e l l e r s see themselves and what i s i m p o r t a n t t o them. By making a r t (and a r c h i t e c t u r e ) we i d e n t i f y ourselves and our aspirations, and provide for s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l change. Art (and architecture) can become a "powerful pervasive force that helps to shape our attitudes, b e l i e f s , values and behaviours." (ibid 31) Dr. Chalmers asserts that we need to i n s i s t upon inclusion of art that has perhaps been overlooked or marginalised in the past i n the Eurocentric orientation that we have favoured. He c i t e s murals, street art, public art, as areas of art history that we should not overlook. Certainly i f we focus on the b u i l t environment, as i s the intention here, the merging of the b u i l t form with art i s a very compelling study. Consider a Cuban street mural, or a highly embellished I r i s h neighbourhood, or a high school corridor with public art which has served to enhance and i d e n t i f y the culture and make manifest aspirations ranging from simple aesthetic, to p o l i t i c a l , to deeply s p i r i t u a l issues. Figure 43. Cuban p u b l i c a r t . The poor are an aspect of our culture less well known than perhaps any ethnicity that i s a part of our society There exists a subculture of poverty i n our culture, as di f f e r e n t from the mainstream as i f the people were from a distant unpronounceable land, l i t t l e heard of and seldom v i s i t e d by ourselves. The Gap exists, between the mainstream and the poor, and s t a t i s t i c s n o t i f y us that i t • i s widening. Representatives of a l l e t h n i c i t i e s are found i n t h i s culture of poverty, but some groups are overrepresented to be sure. I think i t i s one of our jobs i n the schools to shed l i g h t upon t h i s culture as well as a l l the other cultures we examine and celebrate. If we are to have a properly integrated culture, we w i l l need not only to understand th i s aspect of our culture, but we w i l l need to act upon thi s understanding - act appropriately upon th i s understanding. This means no tokenism, no shallow responses, but well grounded, informed and authentic responses to genuine issues. Inasmuch as the fortunate ones understand t h i s subculture hardly at a l l , we need to act with care and s e n s i t i v i t y i n order not to make painful mistakes. Perhaps i t i s t h i s fear of error that keeps us from responding when a ragged panhandler approaches us. Perhaps i t i s thi s fear that l e t s us turn a b l i n d eye to the troubles of the disadvantaged people i n our midst, who are c o r r a l l e d into such areas as the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. We need to know about the people who have no place to l i v e , who are tucked into crevasses at the margins of our ex i s t i n g b u i l t culture. We need to understand what i t i s l i k e for so many of the people of our regions who l i v e in substandard or even t o t a l l y inhumane conditions. I think i f we know about these conditions, i f we l e t our students know about these conditions, the urge to do something about t h i s s i t u a t i o n naturally follows. I read stories to my students, and otherwise make available information about the poor i n our culture and in other cultures as well. I t e l l them about the recent photographic i n i t i a t i v e of the 2004 Downtown Eastside P o r t r a i t Calendar i n which 110 black and white disposable cameras were handed out to residents of the area i n order to f a c i l i t a t e image making of the i r neighbourhood. I show them the photographs of the resu l t i n g calendar, along with a l l the other a r t i s t i c and informative images I can fin d that w i l l help them to understand poverty. Figure 44. Photographs from the Downtown Eastside Photographers' 2004 calendar. There Is a whole connection with Vancouver and our environment and what our environ- ment baa to blame far the serious heroin and cocaine abuse. I think one of the reasons why tfim fa happening m because they tear down buildings, for example, across from Eaton's. If that building waa there, people would ba in there, doing things, living, working... and it's gone. It's this big hugs empty lot that's like this tooth that's been pulled out of the smile of Vancouver. The way we treat architecture and specs In this city is really connected, I think, to heroin abuse, tf there were mora gardons and less asphalt this wouldn't be ao much of a problem and I really believe that. This has been my neighbourhood for twenty years So when these gsls ask ms, where are you from, I say Tm from right here - where are you from?' I think that these women can bo saved, snd should be saved. A ht of people think that this is Vancouver's problem, but these woman come from all aver Canada. They're not all from the Downtown East Side. They're from everywhere In Canada. These kids, those women have parents and relatives all over Canada, from coast to coast. Its a national problem. 'I'd really like to see these gals look at themselves a Uttte bit differantty and have a lit- tle bit of respect for themselves and try to get their dreams happening because they all have dreams, all have great expectations end they all have plana snd fantasies. It would be realty B-eat if this could be a turning point for them. • s personal thing to have a record of your- self, snd these gsls hsvs a record of them- sshms in the heroin ghetto. So I'd like it if they couid took bade and he Inspired by these pho- tographs and fd Oka them to fust ah... buy s oneway ticket somewhere aha and get the monkey off their back. Therm are a lot of sixteen year-olds, seven- tsen yaar-ofoa down here, that I realty hope are not hers ten years from now. And I encourage them to change their minds shout being there. You know, I say to them. Isn't there some- where that you'd like to go?".../ get them to talk about their dreams so they dont forget them. A lot of times I ask them whet they | n t e r r P o v e j t y : Enter S h i ( l - • I t dimension Vancouver's Darkest Cloud by A. Peter Jubb If you can judge a chain by its weakest link, can you judge a city by its poorest neighborhood? That sure would make tourism easy wouldn't it? You could bypass Manhattan for the Bronx, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica for Compton, or in our case Robson Street and Stanley Park for the sketchy alleys and taverns of the Downtown East Side So what would a tour of the Downtown East Side be like? What makes the neighborhood really stand out from the rest of Vancouver? Down near Gassy Jack your first tour guide might be Neil from London Ontario who was kicked out of his house when he was 13 for trying weed Since then. Neil's family has mostly been Charity end fvy Neil is also unemployed as a runner. From E to e Z, Neil will find it ell for you (gratuities expected, of course]. On his arm of the journey Neil will probably tell you that there is in fact a lot of good on the streets, tt's like a famify, hell say., Everyone watching and searching. wanting and needing - buying and selling somehow brings them together. Everyone has a buddy, but few have friends. Neil might introduce you to his friends Mr. Brownstone, Harry Jones and his brother Blanco in the alley behind 30 Hastings. Here you can collect free hype sticks and water bottles! Then Neil might make tracks in Chinatown where hell chase the dragon across the street from Sun Yat Sen Gardens. Don't worry, cops don't believe in dragons, he'll tHI you Up the street in Memorial Park, your next guide might be Dave from Abbotsford. who won't tell you anything about himself but hell offer you a cigarette. Dave's one of this city's newest rock stars, king of his own sensa- tions, part of the coke generation. And although he spends most of his time on the streets he is quite bitter Well, to get the best for worst) view of this part of town it is best to start at night in the area commonly known as Zombie Town, or what I like to call the Belushi Belt which is famous for its quantity of heroin and coke users The streets end alleys between Pender and Cordova and from Gambie to Main typify this area's financially challenged population. Despite the destitution the area enjoys a dynamic economy and its rest- dents are highly mobile. Although there ere no tours of this bois- terous district, any number of residents will offer you a unique glimpse of up or down on these The streets ere tough, hell tell you. The only bande that play here ere rubber; the perfume is always opium, the fashion is always retro grunge. A rat's worth of saloons rumbling with sticky barstools, gym bags, and missing teeth. A minefield for the soul. mis Food For Thought" Figure 45. Excerpt from Taxi, a l o c a l newspaper. I explain to my students the extent of the s o c i a l dysfunction that has emerged in the neighbourhood, and I explain how cruel i t i s to turn the area into a gawk-show, by cruising through to take a look. I believe, however, there i s much we can do, as 'mainstreamers', to understand, to a l l e v i a t e and to work towards eradication of poverty i n our culture and in the global culture as well. Students love to discuss issues of relevance. I might draw a l i n e down the centre of the artroom and write 'yes' at one end and 'no' a t the o t h e r . I might ask the s t u d e n t s i f t h e y t h i n k t h e y s h o u l d g i v e money t o someone i n the s t r e e t who asks f o r i t . Take your p l a c e on the l i n e , and e x p l a i n why you are t h e r e . (I might ask them t o w r i t e t h e i r name and t h e date on the l i n e , as we might r e v i s i t the l i n e l a t e r , a f t e r some d i s c u s s i o n . ) I want s t u d e n t s t o t a k e a p o s i t i o n , t o f o r m u l a t e and t o share t h e i r v i e w s . I want t o i n t r o d u c e d a t a f o r them t o stud y , s t o r i e s f o r them t o hear, a r t f o r them t o l o o k a t , q u e s t i o n s f o r them t o ponder, dilemmas f o r them t o i n v e s t i g a t e . And e v e n t u a l l y , I want t o g i v e them o p p o r t u n i t y t o t a k e some a c t i o n , a l b e i t l i m i t e d a t t h i s s t a g e . I might ask them t o c o n s i d e r l i f e i n a s h e l t e r f o r homeless p e o p l e . There a r e l o t s o f ways we can l e a r n about t h i s r e a l i t y w i t h o u t t u r n i n g the peop l e we are concerned about i n t o monkeys i n a zoo. Many so u r c e s of i n f o r m a t i o n e x i s t , and I would g u i d e s t u d e n t s t o those r e s o u r c e s . Perhaps t h i s would l e a d t o some d e s i g n i n i t i a t i v e s . I c o u l d show them the r e s u l t s o f some d e s i g n i n i t i a t i v e s o f o t h e r s . M I X . Architecture's rising stars Stephanie Fors\the and Todd MacAllen have won almost every design competition they have entered TREVOR BOODDY ,<i -ummer panner-Ti- wttga - surname ••or«w!H* .r.j "tad Ma*.....-!. n.i<J j 101 M citoîcn wc r,i»v ttvv cnuid ..rplv i ncir .irchi- aniess I'm vvroni;. is unequalled in the history of Canadian arc lui ecru rv. It's all the more remarkable or ;ac :.ict ;na! ihe r.nr are only three years out of :.it'ir irtr.iiw.u;.:! -Wùies at Dalhousie University. A is i-mjusune just reading the long list of Forsythe .nd MacAllen s recent design competition wins, ;iever rnino the ions days and nights they slaved all •ummer :o prepare :heir entries. Vhiie ;h< : mer national community lavishes .wards anJ anemion on this couple, who live and work in a modest 7~-0-square-fooi Yaletown loft •.villi their iaree pet ruxcr. Charlie, MacAllen and Fiirsythe currently have no substantive eomrnis- -.ons in British Columbia. They are not entirely unrecognized in Canada, however. MacAllen and Forsythe are Z003 recipi- ents m the Canada Council's Ron Thorn Prize, iwardcd to voune designers who demonstrate F i g u r e 4 6 . F e a t u r e r e : d e s i g n e r s f o r t h e h o m e l e s s , T r e v o r B o d d y , 6 D e c . 2 0 0 3 We c o u l d l o o k a t C h r i s t o p h e r A l e x a n d e r ' s P a t t e r n Language, and perhaps expand upon h i s i d e a s f o r making p l a c e s t h a t e n a b l e s l e e p i n g o u t s i d e . Perhaps the p r o l i f e r a t i o n of peo p l e who are s l e e p i n g rough because o f homelessness has changed the tone o f t h i s p a t t e r n over t h e y e a r s . 94. S L E E P I N G ' P U B L I C ..... *rr--- public. It it a mark of success in a park, public lobby or a porch, when people can come there and fall asleep. In * KXiirt* which nurtures people and faMen (run, ihe fact •.hit people îomciiinci »ini :n tleep in public ii thing in (he world. K tomeone liei down on 1 pircmem bench md fall* Jtlccp, if ii pouiblc ro IKM it tcrioutlv u 1 : If he ha» no plice to go—then, we, the people of the town be hippy (hit he cin it ICJ.II ilecp un the public pathi Henchr!. ind, of courte, it mif tito be torn cone who doet 1 plice ;o go, but hippeni to like nipping in the meet. But our tociety doci not imite [hit kind of behavior. In o lOcieiy, tleeping :n public, like loitering, it thought of 11 ict Cot criminal! ind deitituict. In our world, when home people M M tleeping on public benchct or in pub)' uprifht citiicnt get nenout. ind the polio : buildi 1 reitore "p and I, . ._ ted my M i only Uter 1... S M " "° ""L _ 1 . S a w »• " " " " " , „ -i»' M M .1 «rt»ni " '"«- fret obtcently r „,„j.„ , M . , ,0 . . » 7 »~ » -i» ï „ . . . . t a d , ™ l i n , .«1 *_5 Sir J&-i-i •»« » -*» -t: . ,h, d,y, ind toll on ihe ground. Figure 47. Collage of Patte r n Language excerpt, homeless person s l e e p i n g (AIA) We c o u l d d e v e l o p t h e i d e a o f d e s i g n i n g a p i e c e o f f u r n i t u r e t h a t c o u l d t a k e the p l a c e o f the s i m p l e c o t s l i n e d up o n l y i n c h e s a p a r t i n some of the e x i s t i n g homeless s h e l t e r s . We might c o n s i d e r the e x i s t i n g minimum l e g a l r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r h a b i t a b l e rooms i n community h o u s i n g p r o j e c t s , and we c o u l d see what might be p o s s i b l e . We c o u l d l o o k a t some o f the s u p p o r t i v e h o u s i n g p r o j e c t t h a t have been d e v i s e d by h o u s i n g advocacy o r g a n i s a t i o n s , and see what we c o u l d come up with as well. And we could speculate about the s o c i a l ramifications of our ideas, and see where they f i t into the e x i s t i n g context. If we could together, students and teachers, learn.to understand and envision/create an appropriate response to the problems of the most marginalised of our culture, then pluralism, i n i t s f u l l e s t sense, could be given the chance to f l o u r i s h . Without addressing t h i s c r i t i c a l piece of our c u l t u r a l puzzle, we leave a troubling and p a i n f u l gap that w i l l only grow with our inattention. But we can make i t worse with clumsy but well-meaning attempts. In his discussion of pluralism, Graeme Chalmers includes a 'soft' quote given by L i l l a Watson, an Australian aboriginal woman who said something l i k e " i f you have come to help me, don't bother, but i f you have come because your l i b e r a t i o n i s t i e d up with mine, then l e t us work together." ( i b i d 303) It i s this very approach and attitude that w i l l lead to a genuine response to the i n j u s t i c e of our present s i t u a t i o n . We cannot walk past a panhandler and not see her, though we may not f e e l moved to give her money. We at least need to recognise that she i s there, and consider why. Why i s i t that a young man i s s e l l i n g street newspapers or his meagre c o l l e c t i o n of second hand goods on the sidewalk? Why do I often f i n d someone sleeping i n the recycling cupboard of my co-op? How can t h i s be happening i n a country as fat as our beloved Canada? We a l l need to understand what i s happening i n the l i v e s of those we might glimpse, to consider appropriate responses to these people and the si t u a t i o n they demonstrate so v i v i d l y . We can develop a sense of responsible e f f i c a c y i n dealing with the marginalised of our culture, based upon t h i s understanding. A curriculum that includes these considerations can help to evolve and r e a l i s e a genuinely p l u r a l i s t i c culture, where not only 'everyone's art matters' but. everyone matters. Endnotes for the themes of architecture In t h i s document, I include exercises to encourage and stimulate young people to look, with i n t e r e s t and care, at the world around them. My theory i s that people i n general take our environment for granted much of the time. Anything I can do to stimulate an inte r e s t i n pausing to take a r e a l l y good look at what i s around us feels to me l i k e a right and helpful thing to do. If we bring the viewing and sensing of our environment to a f u l l y conscious l e v e l , we start to take a much greater interest i n r e l a t i n g to our settings, and perhaps move to the l e v e l of inte r e s t where we might a c t i v e l y p a r t i c i p a t e i n the arranging, and i f necessary, mending of the places we inhabit. We can learn to consciously design an environment for ourselves that i s supportive and well-considered. We can hone the s k i l l s of cooperation required to make communal e f f o r t s . And we can look to one another to f i n d the courage and wherewithal to prevent and to repair the places that we f i n d that do not maximise our p o t e n t i a l . I am amazed, in my own l i f e , by how I f a i l e d to notice my surroundings, u n t i l I began to make a conscious e f f o r t to observe. Drawing helped sharpen my eye, and building a small home d e f i n i t e l y helped me to grow i n appreciation of where shelter comes from. As a c h i l d , I knew from my own experience that i t was generally the fathers who provided us with homes.. But I had l i t t l e r e a l i s t i c understanding of what was involved i n the provision of shelter - beyond, of course, the o u t f i t t i n g of my own immediate surroundings, my bedroom i n our family home. Building a simple home for myself i n Haida Gwaii changed the course of my l i f e , and d e f i n i t e l y opened my consciousness of buildings. As well, b u i l d i n g a small home planted the seeds for a very • enthusiastic appreciation of what i s possible in the environment, and how one might go about r e a l i s i n g p o s s i b i l i t y . I want to help improve our chances of t a i l o r i n g our environment to meet our human needs. I want .a l l people who are so i n c l i n e d to f e e l welcome in t h i s natural and l i f e - affirming process. I do not question the need for architects i n that process, but a r c h i t e c t u r a l decision making can be shared. Oftentimes i t i s not shared as well as i t might be i n the conceptual and design stages - too many ideas make the process messy (read expensive) and so the users of the building are sometimes excluded a f t e r a certain tokenist involvement has taken place. And often c l i e n t s and building users are not confident (can I get away with saying i t again? - they say "I know nothing about architecture") so they back off, and th e i r valuable contribution i s therefore not included. And although I very much respect the complexity of the fears, and the in t e n s i t y of the doubts a person might have that prohibit comfortable involvement i n place making, I believe there is. much we can do, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the artroom, to mitigate t h i s reticence. In the 90% of our buildings in which ar c h i t e c t s are not involved, careful thought, understanding of what i s needed and how to obtain humane responses to the peoples' needs can be contributed by people who are not professional architects but whose expertise runs the whole spectrum of p o s s i b i l i t y . There are unlimited .scenarios and roles to play: the l i t t l e c h i l d who wants to help create her/his bedroom space, the adult who wants to provide a house for his/her family, the wife or husband whose job i t i s to make that house a home, the young couple who want to renovate an ill-equipped but affordable home, the teachers and students who want to meaningfully p a r t i c i p a t e i n the design of a school that r e a l l y works for t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r learning community, the homeless women or men who dream of l i v i n g i n a safe building - who know exactly what i s needed to provide that security, the people who have the means to b u i l d t h e i r dream home on a wonderful piece of property they have worked a l l t h e i r l i v e s to afford, the group composed of many people wishing to b u i l d a co-housing project together, the developer who wants to b u i l d a group of very beautiful and responsive homes, c i t i z e n s who need a public building for a s p e c i f i c purpose, a r e l i g i o u s group that needs a place of worship, - endless p o s s i b i l i t i e s . And while many of these abovementioned scenarios would not s t r i c t l y speaking be c a l l e d architecture, each i s an important incidence of place making. Through the less earth-shaking a c t i v i t y of decorating a young person's bedroom, for example, the idea i s born that one has something to contribute, that one has the a b i l i t y to choose, perhaps that one has the right to be involved in place making. That sense of personal e f f i c a c y , l i k e l y to be applied in subsequent situations as well, i s probably much more important and powerful than any pink-bedroom-with- clever-design-features might be. But maybe, on the other hand, we need to be careful not to underestimate the importance to someone of self-made settings - even i f they involve heavy emphasis upon pink. Professor Shack wrote to me: "Maybe you should honour the doubts about architecture that were expressed by fellow teachers." He continued, "Exploring architecture opens up unknown worlds or unarticulated worlds that any novice would have l i m i t e d experience with. It can be scary, unsettling, or at least challenging to enter a new 'world." I agree with t h i s sensitive statement, but f i n d i t scary that the world of 'architecture' i n the sense of 'place making', should be unknown to any of us. We a l l l i v e i n the world, but only a small f r a c t i o n of our people choose to be architects, or even place makers. Where have we erred that we don't a l l f e e l eager and ready to be at least somewhat involved? And, more importantly, at least to t h i s document, what can we do to change th i s situation? I want people to f e e l that they belong i n these processes and I don't see that as a widespread phenomenon now. I hear people making- excuses for why they cannot get involved, and admitting to a lack of confidence. I recognise that people often put the economic aspect ahead of others and perhaps concur with architects or designers that i t i s too messy (expensive) to get non-professionals involved i n the process of design. I f i n d i t even worse that people often l i v e i n t h e i r homes without personalising t h e i r space out of fear that the resale value might be affected i f any tinkering with t h e i r environment takes place. People are the experts about t h e i r own selves and t h e i r own wishes and dreams. My dream i s that i t w i l l become general and common practice for people who are not professional architects to be a c t i v e l y involved i n the process of placemaking - to recognise that they indeed have a great deal of knowledge and understanding of what i s i n t h e i r environment, and what could be. Moreover, I want people to recognise, and to acquire, the simple s k i l l s which are indeed teachable: drawing to communicate ideas; à rudimentary understanding of design process; a l i v e l y , attentive, phenomenonlogical way of seeing, thinking and being i n the world; a strong sense of what we need to do to sustain the resources we have been given to use; and a simple sense of what i t means to be s o c i a l l y responsible - to respond to the needs of the whole community, not just those who are the advantaged. It doesn't take a great deal of s h i f t i n g of attitudes, resources, s k i l l i n g , or expertise to accomplish t h i s . And the holding of the theory that these s k i l l s , a l b e i t simple and rudimentary when compared with the r i c h s k i l l s e t s held by trained architects, can be used to produce genuine contributions to place making, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n concert with the professionals when that i s possible and/or necessary. I believe t h i s growth can at least begin in the schools and thi s i s the fundamental rationale underlying the curriculum approach presented here. Moreover, I believe that i f non-architects choose to investigate these areas, rather than demurring:(I don't know.... ) , and leaving the important or even the minor choices up to the experts, t h i s action w i l l add to, not subtract from, the l i k e l i h o o d that our settings w i l l r e f l e c t ourselves, our needs, aspirations, values and our aesthetic preferences. In the same manner that people in our culture seem to be moving towards increased p a r t i c i p a t i o n and ownership of the care of our bodies, involving a range of alternatives and much more power held by the actual owner of the body i n the making of choices, I envision people taking a more mature role i n the action of place making. Certainly the fact that ordinary people have par t i c i p a t e d i n concert with the experts w i l l enable, at very least, a sense of shared ownership and active caring and involvement that i s often missing i n our b u i l t environment. CHAPTER 4 Architecture i n the Secondary School Artroom What i s available? A r i c h array of exis t i n g programs i s available for teachers wishing to bring the concepts of architecture and studies of the b u i l t environment into the classroom. In t h i s section, I w i l l look at three such programs, which only represent the wide range of materials prepared for the interested classroom teacher, and which I think are p a r t i c u l a r l y relevant for teachers here and now i n B.C. schools. Hinda Avery's comprehensive survey of b u i l t environment programs, which she assembled i n order to gauge each program's inclusion of issues relevant s p e c i f i c a l l y to women, provides a r i c h source of other p o s s i b i l i t i e s . Included in thi s very extensive survey are CUBE and the work of Eileen Adams, both of whom are discussed i n some d e t a i l i n t h i s section. A 'Google' search,, done recently to check for other resources, reveals 'about 1,850,000''responses for the key words 'built environmental education'. (I am not exaggerating.) Although many of these entries' are not s p e c i f i c a l l y designed to a s s i s t educators at the secondary school l e v e l , many are. There i s no shortage of ideas. The Architectural Institute of B.C. architecture for kids guide In 1997, the AIBC published what i s termed 'a Resource Guide for Teachers', which was written by Carole Arnston, MAIBC. This guide flowed out of a successful program i n i t i a t e d e a r l i e r by a group of architects at the AIBC who envisioned a partnering of architects and teachers working together to introduce b u i l t environment education into classrooms around the province. This program, c a l l e d 'Architects i n Schools,' has been in place since the early 1990s, and has achieved varying lev e l s of success on a project by project basis. Some of the more successful and well-received ideas generated and refined by several teacher/architect partnerships i n the course of t h i s i n i t i a t i v e have been documented by Rodney C o t t r e l l , and are available by c a l l i n g him at the Ar c h i t e c t u r a l I n s t i t u t e of B.C. The resource guide, put together by Carole Arnston, supported by other architects and teachers, was an i n i t i a l attempt to draw ideas together into useable form to enable wider d i s t r i b u t i o n of some of the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of architecture i n the classroom. The resource guide i s s p e c i f i c a l l y geared to children.at the elementary l e v e l - Kindergarten to Grade 7, but i t does include many suggestions for use at the secondary l e v e l . architecture for kids attempts to show connections with the Visual Arts K-7 Integrated Resource Package (review draft 1996) and thus gives ideas for classroom teachers to bring the intentions of the IRP to l i f e i n the classrooms. Moreover, the author has made an e f f o r t to e x p l i c i t l y a r t i c u l a t e how each lesson idea connects with the curriculum i n various other subject areas as well, • demonstrating how the teaching of architecture can be relevant across d i s c i p l i n e s . Although the resource guide i s r i c h l y packed with ideas, I think that i s of limi t e d value to any teacher who might be i n c l i n e d to think 'I don't know anything about architecture'. Although the sixteen lesson ideas that are developed i n the guide would probably interest and engage students, the guide does l i t t l e to comfort and advise the classroom teacher who feels insecure about teaching architecture. Some of the ideas i n thi s c o l l e c t i o n are not developed to the degree that they would be useful to a teacher who has not had some experience i n an architecture studio. One example of a lesson plan c a l l e d 'Perception + Representation: Plan', that might discourage a teacher, suggests that teachers provide a set of 'blueprints' for students to examine, show children how to make a re f l e c t e d c e i l i n g plan, and assign the task of recording the landscape surrounding the school i n plan. (Lesson 3, page 19) No background information i s provided for the teacher, who quite po'ssibly has never seen a set of ar c h i t e c t u r a l plans, and who might have no idea where to begin to explain the co d i f i e d drawing to eager students. Although the symbols for wall, door and window have been provided, and given that much can be done with those three basic symbols, I s t i l l suspect that some teachers would require a b i t more d e t a i l regarding how they might proceed with the lesson. The ideas l i s t e d i n the sample lesson noted above are fun: 1. " v i s u a l l y explore the classroom every possible way", 2. "draw your chair from as many ways of looking as you can...include a plan view" 3 . "draw a f l o o r plan of your classroom...discuss scale and proportion" 4. "draw the most t h r i l l i n g imaginary classroom you can, i n PLAN" (page 20). Many teachers might l i k e to stimulate t h i s kind of a c t i v i t y i n the classroom, but the guide does not provide the needed information to proceed. A l a t e r lesson attempts to address proportion and scale, but again, needed background i s missing. Although some of the-ideas regarding human scale might be accessible to students and t h e i r teachers, the guide notes that at the grade 4 to 7 l e v e l , "Students should be encouraged to draw 'to scale' with the aid of a r u l e r or a r c h i t e c t u r a l scale. Ask them to choose an appropriate scale, such as metric 1:50." (ibid 28) Without a l o t more guidance, t h i s might not be the best way to encourage an u n i n i t i a t e d teacher to explore some of the more mysterious technical aspects of architecture with students. Another c r i t i c i s m I might make of the guide i s that i t seems to have the intention of teaching students to learn and practise the s k i l l s of the architect, rather than to understand how lay people, non-architects, might approach the very fundamental issues of place making. The emphasis of the lesson plans seems to be on how to do what architects do: work in plan, section and elevation, draw to scale, manipulate geometric forms (from included templates) to create v i l l a g e s or f o r t s , consider types of construction (which.are not c l e a r l y elaborated in the guide) and make plans and models of various types of shelters. Although some drawing techniques are introduced at the beginning of the guide that would encourage observation and learning to r e a l l y look at the environment, the bulk of the ideas seem to be directed towards trying on the s k i l l s that architects are taught, with topics being treated i n a somewhat s u p e r f i c i a l way, and without much development of any p a r t i c u l a r concept or theme. The idea of c a r e f u l l y considering the function of a building i s lar g e l y ignored. This to my mind i s the c r i t i c a l area where lay people can p a r t i c i p a t e i n the design process. I think that with some more dialogue with teachers, the resource guide could become a more useful tool for the classroom. Wisely perhaps, the guide i s available to teachers exclusively through the Architects in Schools workshop program. It i s thus not a stand-alone document, but i s given only to teachers in the workshop setting where demonstrations and more d e t a i l are provided. Inasmuch as some of the ideas i n t h i s guide, and the v i s i o n of partnering arrangements between teachers and architects i n the classroom are r e l a t i v e l y novel i n B.C. schools, I applaud the e f f o r t s to a r t i c u l a t e the p o s s i b i l i t i e s as the AIBC architects have t r i e d to do. I would submit that there i s much to be done to make the guide useful, e s p e c i a l l y to the teacher who has l i t t l e confidence i n his/her a b i l i t y to teach architecture. Refinements to and perhaps more comprehensive development of the lesson ideas prepared for the elementary school classrooms could strengthen t h i s resource. Some AIBC members involved i n the Architects i n the Schools i n i t i a t i v e have expressed concern about the lack of development of ideas for the secondary school l e v e l . Although some work has been done i n t h i s d i r e c t i o n , the group has not yet succeeded i n t h e i r e f f o r t s to develop and publish accessible and appropriate plans for teachers at the secondary l e v e l . A draft document t i t l e d 'Design and the B u i l t Environment', also authored by Carole Arnston, MAIBC, was c i r c u l a t e d to four secondary schools to be tested by teachers. In t h i s document there has been-some attempt to connect lesson plan suggestions to the IRPs for Applied S k i l l s 11 and Fine Arts 11. A companion document, also i n draft form and dated February 2000, c a l l e d the 'Teachers' Guide for S k i l l s Development', contains lesson plans, exercises and s k i l l s worksheets intended to supplement the course manual and to make the presentation of t h i s material easier for teachers. Teachers attempting to use t h i s material reported that i t was 'too convoluted and too involved' to be-useful to them, according to Rodney C o t t r e l l , MAIBC, Coordinator of the Architecture i n Schools program i n February 2004, which has l a t e l y been renamed * Discovering Architecture i n Schools' . The i n i t i a l guide, architecture for kids, is.thus the only document as yet published by the AIBC for general c i r c u l a t i o n to educators. Rodney C o t t r e l l i s s t i l l going to schools and documenting some of the lessons he teaches, but the large committee i s no longer active. Unless the Architecture Foundation, a charitable foundation which has as i t s mandate the promotion of architecture in B.C., chooses to fund the Discovering Architecture i n Schools program, i t may not be able to continue, at least i n the form i t has taken since i t s inception almost f i f t e e n years ago. There does exist, however, a r i c h body of material that has been assembled by architects over time, that could be shaped into some exc i t i n g educational materials. I think that i f someone approached t h i s material with an understanding,of the hesitancy and perhaps lack of confidence that many teachers f e e l with respect to teaching architecture i n the i r classroom, some engaging lessons could be shaped for use by teachers both at the elementary and secondary l e v e l s .  The Bri t i s h art educator, Eileen Adams In 1986 and 1987, Eileen Adams, renowned art and b u i l t environment educator from England, gave summer curriculum development courses at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design i n Vancouver for teachers wanting to include b u i l t environment education in t h e i r programs. Although the idea of including b u i l t environment projects into the curriculum was not new to the west coast - Graeme Chalmers' books had been available to interested educators since the early 80s, and the Vancouver Environmental Education Project, prelude to the P a c i f i c Educational Press at UBC, was underway. Additionally, a p r o v i n c i a l Curriculum Resource Centre, holding some environmental education materials, was located in Richmond. A HERITAGE EDUCATION WORKBOOK FOR SOCIAL STUDIES AND ART R O M A N E S Q U E & GOTHIC BUILDINGS F i g u r e 4 9 . T h e b u i l t e n v i r o n m e n t e d u c a t i o n b o o k s b y G r a e m e C h a l m e r s a r e a v a i l a b l e t h r o u g h P a c i f i c E d u c a t i o n a l P r e s s , 6 3 6 5 B i o l o g i c a l S c i e n c e s R o a d , U B C . Kraices ISaxaxfr C O LTjMmAW^ Graeme Chalmers A B C H I T B T r ^ i IN ART * gÔMÈroONDMICS vsrec lge /49 F i g u r e 50. C o l l a g e o f pages from t h e books o f Graeme Chalmers. This course at Emily Carr was b i l l e d as the f i r s t vArt and the B u i l t Environment' (ABE) course i n Canada. It was based on Eileen Adams' and Colin Ward's work with teachers which i s described in t h e i r 1982 book t i t l e d Art and the B u i l t Environment: A Teacher's Approach. Proceedings of the course are recorded i n some d e t a i l i n a 1987 j o i n t publication of the Canadian Society for Education Through Art and the B.C. Art Teachers Association c a l l e d Pouring the Foundations - a guide to b u i l t environment education, produced i n 1987. This course presents a very strong program, and an i n s p i r a t i o n a l model for me for several reasons. I was immediately cheered when I read the words of Eileen Adams: The basis of ABE work (Art and the B u i l t Environment) i s d i r e c t , firsthand experience of the environment. But we need to remember that none of us comes cold to any environment. We bring to i t a l i f e t i m e ' s experience and personal knowledge of other environments. Our expectations and perceptions are influenced by our previous experience and our memories. (Pouring Foundations p.4) I have, at the foundation of my own approach, the b e l i e f that we know much more about the environment than we think we know - that much of our understanding i s latent, but with attention can be brought to the conscious, useable l e v e l . Eileen Adams' methods for bringing some of that latent knowledge to the surface must be d e l i g h t f u l to those who follow her course. She might ask students to r e c a l l and describe childhood environments, e l i c i t i n g physical d e t a i l s and elements of personal response. The wonderfully poetic statements that she gleaned from t h i s a c t i v i t y could not have been gathered without some lovely interactions between her students and herself - without the establishment of trust and a willingness to take some chances. She records a few very'detailed and powerful images offered by her students, some of which must have rested i n memories a long while: there was a l o t of swimming, basking and burning on the black sandy beach - boating, d r i f t i n g i n the canoe alone, devouring a forbidden book, f i s h i n g , berrypicking, often unwillingly... (ibid) This emphasis upon "sensory experience and emotional response".(ibid) leads us to understand environmental study as an active, real pursuit, rather than a t h e o r e t i c a l enquiry - from the heart and the gut, not just the head. The ABE program e x p l i c i t l y encourages us to explore our relationships with the environment, to note the impact of people on our places and to enable people to 'cope p o s i t i v e l y and cr e a t i v e l y with change', (i b i d 5) Eileen Adams believes that design a c t i v i t y has as a central concern the matter of dealing with change i n a pos i t i v e and creative way. Moreover she believes that we must encourage students to make value judgements about the qual i t y of the exist i n g state which, when considered, might lead to such change. Some of the a c t i v i t i e s offered to encourage strong sensory awareness of a place include the 'sensory walk' i n which the means used for recording i s c a r e f u l l y related to the sense involved - including v i s u a l , verbal notes and even tape recording of spoken commentary and actual sounds encountered. Adams has noted that most of her students' attention i s taken up with objects rather than with the relationships between objects and people. She thus focuses- on t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p throughout her studies. She introduces the idea that a variety of spaces exist and suggests study methods to encounter and compare d i f f e r e n t spaces: SERIAL VISION - which requires the student to document the experience of moving through a sequence of spaces and to determine how the space changes as he moves through i t STEEPLECHASING - which engages the student i n an exploration of a number of d i f f e r e n t spaces to r e l a t i o n to a p a r t i c u l a r focal point such as a high building, ( i b i d 6) Adams recognises the c r i t i c a l importance of drawing as a to o l for both perception and expression and notes that her program uses drawing to encourage a more intense relationship with the environment, greater observation, recording information - note-taking, analysis, synthesis, e s t a b l i s h i n g relationships between the various elements, expression - where ideas, sensations, feelings are make known and accessible, i n the f i r s t instances perhaps, to the observer himself, (i b i d 7) She suggests that the 'private language' devised by the note-taker can l a t e r be translated into a more public form when the time comes for sharing of ideas. With respect to the c r i t i c a l study of the environment, Adams encourages the use of annotated sketches, reasoning that 'words are needed to convey q u a l i t a t i v e judgements and quantitative information... (such as "two hundred large trucks pass t h i s house every morning").' She asks her students to make a comparative study of three spaces - which she terms the 'good, the bad, and the ugly' and to define the elements and q u a l i t i e s that enable c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of the space and d i f f e r e n t i a t e i t from other spaces. This leads to a l e v e l of r e f l e c t i o n that enables r e a l consideration of a place - well beyond the indifference to the environment that we often experience. A design a c t i v i t y suggested by Eileen Adams i s to ask students to choose a place i n need of improvement and to propose a change. The f i r s t task i s to describe i t i n some d e t a i l , then to analyse and evaluate the place with respect to aesthetics and design q u a l i t i e s , and then to propose improvements. Done with care, t h i s can be a very meaningful a c t i v i t y , looking well- beyond the s u p e r f i c i a l aspects of the space into a well-considered and thoroughly researched investigation. Adams noted that her North American students welcomed the idea that design could mean 'dealing with change' (ibid 11.) rather than merely ^s t y l i n g ' . To Eileen Adams, and through a look at her work, to a l l of us, i t becomes clear that b u i l t environment education goes well beyond the transmission of information and techniques. It involves teaching students how to learn - how to approach the environment with, an attentiveness and wonder of the depth suggested i n the phenomenology work e a r l i e r discussed i n t h i s document. She suggests that t h i s approach has important implication for the role of the teacher - who needs 'to present the model of the good learner who can come to grips with new understandings and meanings' rather that being the 'expert who knows a l l the answers', (i b i d 11) Furthermore, besides shaking up the role of the teacher, Adams suggests that t h i s approach to art education moves art out of the classroom and into the street - well beyond the point where we are engaging i n recreational or therapeutic a c t i v i t y , but into the realm of an 'important and necessary educational medium' - i n the manner of the transformation model suggested by M i l l e r and S e l l e r . Eileen Adams i s an important contributor to. the f i e l d of b u i l t environment education. Besides the abovementioned course delivered to fortunate students in Vancouver i n the l a t e 1980s, and her guide for teachers, she has i n i t i a t e d and documented extensive explorations i n her f i e l d , and presented her work i n Europe, North America and A u s t r a l i a . A recent publication by Eileen Adams, t i t l e d breaking boundaries, published i n 2002, documents and evaluates the work ca r r i e d out i n four secondary schools i n England by the Kent Architecture Centre's Sight S p e c i f i c Residency Programme. It i s a document r i c h i n ideas, c l e a r l y enriched by the insights of Eileen Adams. Some of the ideas suggested elaborate upon her ideas presented in the Vancouver courses of 1986-7. Partic u l a r ideas that could stimulate the tentative teacher wishing to t r y some place making a c t i v i t y might focus upon the school building i t s e l f . One might begin with 'School Po r t r a i t s ' made with the aid of a viewfinder and enhanced by using strong colour and exaggeration of shapes and angles. (Adams 2002, 19) Images of 'Schoo l Por t ra i t ' Figure 51. School P o r t r a i t s . (Adams 2002, 19) Another idea which could be t r i e d at the personal as well as the school l e v e l i s c a l l e d 'Cabinets of Cur i o s i t y ' , wherein students are encouraged to make an i n s t a l l a t i o n which would reveal personal h i s t o r i e s , or which explore ideas that l i n k a person with a place. A school community' might be able to collaborate on such an i n s t a l l a t i o n , to honour and express the l o c a l school culture. A further project idea developed by Adams i n several ways i s to run a f e a s i b i l i t y study for a perceived potential change and/or improvement to the school. This approach includes careful observation of exis t i n g spaces, (and could include an imaginative study of how outsiders perceive the school), present and potential patterns of usage, c r i t i c a l analysis of s i m i l a r spaces elsewhere, redesign of layout and use patterns, studies of materials, and presentations of drawings and models to communicate visi o n s . Adams promotes the idea of envisioning and creating space through the making of small-scale models and then applying t h i s understanding to f u l l - s c a l e models. Light recyclable materials, can be assembled for various purposes - to shelter a small animal, to mock up a bus shelter for people, to explore various kinds of structure such as post and beam or arched constructions. The work carried out in the Kent Architecture Centre and documented by Eileen Adams i s r i c h , i n t e r e s t i n g and quite c l e a r l y communicated. I think the value of the program l i e s i n the connections made with the t a c i t understanding that students and teachers bring to any study of places, whether they recognise the depth of this understanding i n i t i a l l y or not. The program draws on students' own experience of the b u i l t environment and the l o c a l area and the school f a c i l i t y are considered prime resources. This can lead to a straightforward and powerful educational experience, and could be a way to promote s k i l l s and confidence i n meeting the challenges of l i v i n g thoughtfully and c r e a t i v e l y i n a place. The work done at Kent and by Eileen Adams provides a very stimulating example and a f e r t i l e s t a r t i n g point for someone wanting to venture into the area of b u i l t environment education. Ginny Graves In the summer of 1994, a group of Vancouverites interested in the educational p o s s i b i l i t i e s of architecture were treated to two day-long workshops given by Ginny Graves, Director of the Center for Understanding the B u i l t Environment (CUBE), of P r a i r i e V i l l a g e , Kansas. The workshops, t i t l e d 'The City as the Classroom: Walk Around the Block', and 'The City as Classroom: Box City', embody the fundamental philosophy of t h i s energetic and generous woman, who has done so much to promote b u i l t environment education i n North America. Ginny Graves believes that 'by teaching children to understand and take r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the b u i l t environment, she could indoctrinate a new generation'. (From an undocumented journal a r t i c l e by Andrea Oppenheimer Dean, included in the workshop 1994 package p.58) The Walk Around the Block workshop provides what Graves believes i s the needed focus for students who are out on a f i e l d t r i p , looking at t h e i r environment. She has devised a 'City Game' which requires participants to look and respond to what they see, for example: *locate a symmetrical (and an asymmetrical) building * f i n d a column which supports something (and one which does not) *look at a building from a worm's eye view *record a shingle pattern *where would you look for help? In concert with Polaroid, who provided inexpensive cameras which produce almost instant images (this i n p r e - d i g i t a l days), Ginny Graves' simple walkabout technique served to stimulate students' c u r i o s i t y about t h e i r surroundings and sharpen t h e i r powers of observation and t h e i r appreciation as well. Graves' idea i n t h i s a c t i v i t y i s to introduce children to l o c a l history, mapping, and to connect the environmental study to basic l i t e r a c y and numeracy s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n as well. Students might be encouraged perhaps to write to city' o f f i c i a l s about something they noticed on t h e i r walk, or perhaps they might choose two contrasting structures and describe i n writing a conversation the buildings might have with one another. Ginny Graves believes that there i s a need 'to stop building s p i r i t u a l l y degrading, traffic-choked, sprawling wastelands of ticky-tacky t r a c t housing' and instead to 'return to communities composed of neighbourhoods that contain streets designed and scaled to meet the needs of people rather than those of the automobile'. ( i b i d 59) Her 'Box City' workshop i s designed so that the part i c i p a n t s can increase t h e i r understanding of the processes through which architecture and c i t y planning take place. Using a seemingly unending supply of modular cardboard boxes (four, f i v e and six-inch sizes) participants construct neighbourhoods or towns, moving through a process that f a m i l i a r i s e s with the vocabulary of c i t y planning, the complexity of decision-making, and the rigours of balancing the c o n f l i c t i n g needs of the participants. In t h i s workshop, the participants are i n v i t e d to choose a role - for example, mayor, or s o c i a l planner, or police o f f i c e r or ordinary c i t i z e n , etc. - and encouraged to resolve issues as they ar i s e i n the laying out of the 'box c i t y ' . In the workshop I attended, the 'mayor', a rather power-tripping, pompous sort of role-player, was turfed out by the c i t i z e n r y and replaced by the rather less forthcoming, but thoughtful 'social planner' who t r i e d to steer development in a gentler, less jazzed up style, and in a more apparently humane d i r e c t i o n . Discovering and engaging i n t h i s process of community negotiation i s an eye-opener for children and adults a l i k e , and gives each participant a sense of the p o s s i b i l i t i e s and the s k i l l s that are required in order to r e a l i s e personal e f f i c a c y i n the planning of one's own community. CUBE has a website (www.cubekc.org), which bustles with energy l i k e i t s founder. Ideas are shared. Workshops are announced. 'archiSources', a catalogue of available resources, connects the interested teacher with a wide range of materials relevant to the teaching of b u i l t environmental education. I think Ginny Graves r e a l l y means i t when she says she believes i n responsible action and knowledgeable community p a r t i c i p a t i o n . In 2002, I found a l e t t e r she published on the CUBE website regarding the 911 catastrophe, which I see as a measure of her courage and commitment to these values. From her words: ...there are parts of i t we can understand, and one i s that when you are as lucky as Americans have been, then you need to act small, act i n a more humble way, give more and understand that always being the winner of the game may not win the war. Can we end the 'Mine's Bigger' mentality that has existed since the f i r s t building of a skyscraper, the contest that has led to the t a l l buildings of-New York, Chicago, Hong Kong, and wherever money and power exist? Can we correct the behaviour that has governed us since the f i r s t white man came to America? Can'we say "What can I learn here?" instead of "What can I force on t h i s place?" Design i s not the only answer, but i t i s one part of the answer. It i s not too soon for the grown-ups ( a l l of them, not just the design professionals) to understand that what we b u i l d and how we b u i l d speaks of who we are, how we treat people, and as we have learned t h i s week, how people treat us. There has to be another way. Figure 53.CUBE home page. I n t h e p a r t i a l copy of t h e CUBE home page I am a b l e t o rep r o d u c e here, what i s m i s s i n g from the downloaded view i s i m p o r t a n t . CUBE promotes B u i l d i n g K i d s , B u i l d i n g Community and B u i l d i n g the F u t u r e . Ginny Graves' Box C i t y program i s now 35 ye a r s o l d and c o n t i n u e s t o have an impact on young p e o p l e who might n a t u r a l l y move i n t o d e s i g n r o l e s as the f u t u r e becomes t h e p r e s e n t . Those young p e o p l e a re f o r t u n a t e who move i n t o t h e f u t u r e equipped w i t h t h e s k i l l s and i n s i g h t s t h a t Ginny Graves' programs p r o v i d e , whether t h e y a r e c o n f i d e n t l a y p e r s o n s e x e r c i s i n g t h e i r e n t i t l e m e n t as c i t i z e n s t o p a r t i c i p a t e , o r e x p e r t s , s p e c i a l l y t r a i n e d t o h e l p us shape our s u r r o u n d i n g s . The v a l u e Ginny Graves p u t s on c l o s e o b s e r v a t i o n o f and p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n m a t t e r s r e l a t i n g t o our own community, as w e l l as the l a r g e r c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f r e s p o n s i b l e b e h a v i o u r i n g e n e r a l , p r o v i d e s ' an i n s p i r i n g model f o r anyone who i s i n v o l v e d i n b u i l t environment e d u c a t i o n . Only one o f t h e sample l e s s o n s p u b l i s h e d on the CUBE web s i t e i s sug g e s t e d f o r s t u d e n t s above the grade 8 l e v e l . T h i s i s the l e s s o n t i t l e s ' P h y s i c s Park', which f o s t e r s s t u d e n t s ' ownership o f a community p r o j e c t , and t e a c h e s some, o f the p r i n c i p l e s o f p h y s i c s as w e l l . Although' most o f Graves' l e s s o n p l a n s a r e p i t c h e d t o the el e m e n t a r y grades i n the format she d i s t r i b u t e s , much can be done t o adapt some o f t h e s e i d e a s f o r p r e s e n t a t i o n a t t h e secondary l e v e l . On to Another Iteration A l t h o u g h I d i d not c o n s c i o u s l y r e a l i s e i t as I formed my own b a s i c g o a l s f o r a r c h i t e c t u r a l e d u c a t i o n - the t h r e e R's: Receive, Respond and Responsibility - on r e f l e c t i o n and i n the course of writing of this simple p r o f i l e of her work, I see that the Ginny Graves workshops have had a profound effect on my thinking and development as an educator as well. I have tended, i n my own lessons, to focus upon the smaller scale s k i l l s which I theorise w i l l , accumulate and produce, with that accumulation, an interested, observant, confident, and courageous c i t i z e n - w i l l i n g and able to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the shaping of his/her environment. After r e v i s i t i n g and reviewing the work of Ginny Graves for thi s writing, I am now newly motivated to attempt some of her processes which consider the environment on a grander scale. For example, I decided not to try the 'Box City' exercise i n my secondary artroom, reasoning that the idea of a new town popping up a l l at once i s farfetched and too oversimplified. In r e v i s i t i n g t h i s project in my mind, I see now that through such a project, some important issues and considerations can at least be raised i n a way that could be meaningful to students at the secondary l e v e l . Issues such as zoning, neighbourliness and basic understanding of systems and the infra s t r u c t u r e can be addressed, though i t would need to be understood that the over s i m p l i f i c a t i o n we would necessarily apply i n t h i s exercise i s quite d i f f e r e n t from the complex r e a l i t y . Yet another i t e r a t i o n to come... CHAPTER 5 The Primer A series of lessons/learning experiences The Primer i s a teaching scrapbook - a c o l l e c t i o n of reports and r e f l e c t i o n s about project ideas written i n a narrative style, perhaps i n the s p i r i t of a one-sided conversation with a teacher. I have pulled a l l the necessary pieces together from my journals, daybook plans and r e f l e c t i o n s , previews, student sketchbooks and commentaries and samples of student and a r t i s t s ' work. I describe what I do/did and why, and t e l l what I learned with respect to refinements and changes i n goals and approaches over time. Where appropriate,.! w i l l connect my processes with the t h e o r e t i c a l underpinnings discussed e a r l i e r i n this document: the educational theory and broader themes of art and architecture, and with the work of others who are' involved i n b u i l t environmental education. My work' has been informed and inspired by the ideas of other teachers: c e r t a i n l y from outside resources such as those I have already named. Others who have enriched my practice include professors i n Fine Arts Education and the School of Architecture, colleagues I worked with as architect and architect-in-schools, teaching colleagues at programs for highly motivated students, and most esp e c i a l l y through opportunities with students and other teachers in the public education system. The work of Ginny Graves and Eileen Adams in p a r t i c u l a r have given me courage to explore, and the understanding that the p o s s i b i l i t i e s are pretty much l i m i t l e s s in the f i e l d of b u i l t environment education. I make no claim to supersede any existing work, e s p e c i a l l y the work of these master educators. The previous discussion, including my personal rationale and background support material, and t h i s section of lesson ideas are simply intended to add to the e x i s t i n g body of b u i l t environmental education work. I do not think that l i f e i s a contest - that my work needs to t r y to be better than anyone else's. What makes my contribution d i f f e r e n t from others' i s the research approach and the attempt to narrate, i n terms r e a d i l y accessible to a teacher, an approach to teaching t h i s material. The action research format and premise of continuing r e f l e c t i o n and refinement i s intended to i n v i t e the interested, but maybe tentative and hesitant teacher to p a r t i c i p a t e . I hope others w i l l be motivated to explore some of these ideas, and discover t h e i r own unique approach to t h i s wealth of opportunity we loosely c l a s s i f y as ' b u i l t environment education'. The simple, conversational format i s intended to reassure and encourage those teachers who don't know where to begin. As well, i n the Action Research t r a d i t i o n , I might try, i n the suggestions for learning experiences, to tease out some a r t i c u l a t a b l e theory that might help me move forward i n another i t e r a t i o n , and that might help others i n t h e i r e f f o r t s too. I think of t h i s section as a barefoot p r a c t i t i o n e r s ' manual, which I have with good cheer, but d e f i n i t e l y without any intent to signal oversimplification, c a l l e d 'the Primer'. In t h i s Primer, useable and teachable ideas are presented which connect to the organising p r i n c i p l e = the 3 R's: Receive, Respond and Responsibility. This i s also not intended i n any way to patronise well-educated educators; but simply to help reinforce one of my p r i n c i p a l goals: to help a teacher approach th i s content e a s i l y and without ever needing to f e e l that 'I don't know anything about architecture' . We a l l know about architecture, and furthermore", we are equipped to bring this understanding to our students, whether we recognise that power or not. We are able to 1. Receive the messages and r e a l i t i e s of our surroundings, and become ever more observant and aware our surroundings, 2. to envision a thoughtful Response based upon that clear awareness, and 3. to act with Responsibility in our p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n our own place making actions. In general, we as teachers are able to employ the not-so- arcane concepts of architecture as a focus for learning. We can contribute to the development of the broader themes of architecture i n the secondary school setting, whether or not we are i n i t i a l l y able to recognise and a r t i c u l a t e that latent knowledge c l e a r l y . As one of my 'research friends' l a t e l y stated, she has been i n and around the designed environment a l l her l i f e - of course she knows something about architecture. Another 'research friend', a designer and teacher, said the she i s not a f r a i d of architecture because she has been trained to look, and because her design t r a i n i n g - i n graphic arts - transfers to the b u i l t environment. To me t h i s i s a very powerful rationale for including some general design a c t i v i t y in the curriculum wherever i t makes sense to do so. Discussion, which helps to c l a r i f y rationale, and background considerations, are found i n the early chapters of t h i s document. To help c l a r i f y the learning experiences of the Primer, the t h i r d Chapter, "Connection to broader themes of art and architecture" i s included. This background discussion knits a connection between the actual project ideas and some of the fundamental themes we might examine: the importance of drawing, the design process, the concept of phenomenology, the s u s t a i n a b i l i t y of our environment, and s o c i a l activism and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . If I can be permitted yet another metaphor, these discussions are intended for the r e f l e c t i v e times, when seeds become planted and germinate into, eventually, useable ideas. Carrying that metaphor a b i t further than i t probably deserves, this section, the Primer, contains what I think of as bedding plants, which the interested teacher w i l l f i n d are e a s i l y introduced into the s o i l , and which, after a l i t t l e tending, begin to produce lovely results on the i r own. Put a l i t t l e less metaphorically, the ideas are designed to get a teacher operating in t h i s perhaps strange and new area, u n t i l personal knowledge kicks in and one can move ahead with some confidence. This work i s intended to encourage, reassure, give us educators f a i t h in our own knowledge, both conscious and unconscious, and to provide some beginning ideas regarding how to put that knowledge, collected over our l i f e t i m e s , maybe even resident in our ancestral memories, to work in our classrooms. I hope users w i l l want to comment on what works, suggest new ways to operate by contacting me by e-mail: This would enable continuing i t e r a t i o n s and refinements in my artroom as well as in others', and maybe keep ideas growing and strengthening with c r o s s - p o l l i n a t i o n . What I am o f f e r i n g i s by no means an exhaustive set of ideas, but a sampling of p o s s i b i l i t i e s , and I look forward to a continuing discussion and refinement of these ideas. A note regarding the adaptability of this Primer I don't mean to exclude elementary or post-secondary levels i n t h i s work, but i t needs to be clear that the ideas i n the Primer are pitched to the secondary school art studio. A l l the ideas can be adapted to any l e v e l . Many of the ideas can be used in other classrooms besides the artroom. There are obvious implications and connections to be made for teachers of Social and Cultural Studies, Language Arts, Science and Math, and Outdoor or Environmental Education; wherever the creative educator wishes to apply these fundamental and engaging concepts, i t can happen. It also needs to be clear that this Primer i s not written i n a p r e s c r i p t i v e way. It i s not a 'how to' manual, but i t i s intended to stimulate the reader's own experience i n the recognition of one's own t a c i t understanding of the environment. I have imagined that the reader i s l i k e l y to be a professional educator, and I would not presume to t e l l such a person how to present this material. I simply off e r examples of how I used these ideas, sometimes over several i t e r a t i o n s . I have grouped the lessons i n what I consider to be a reasonable, l o g i c a l l y expanding sequence. Each lesson idea i s actually a c o l l e c t i o n of p o s s i b i l i t i e s that might stimulate new ideas, or serve to be used in the way I presented i t , but with obvious modifications to meet the needs of one's p a r t i c u l a r situation. A CAUTIONARY NOTE Re: knives r guns, potentially intense outcomes of 3-dimensional model making Figure 54. Students using exacto knives. In o r d e r f o r me t o f e e l r e s p o n s i b l e about p o t e n t i a l outcomes o f t h i s work, I f e e l t h a t the use of t o o l s i n the ar t r o o m needs t o be c a r e f u l l y a d d r e s s e d . Of course t h e r e ar e many t o o l s t h a t can be brought i n t o th e study of b u i l t environment e d u c a t i o n . In a r e c e n t e - m a i l , J o e l Shack noted t o me t h a t the key a r c h i t e c t u r a l tools are d i f f e r e n t modes of drawing, d i f f e r e n t modes of 3-D drawing, and now di f f e r e n t d i g i t a l integrated applications of camera, video and computer. I r e a l i s e that much of what goes on i n a secondary school artroom w i l l be li m i t e d to certa i n of the basic tools and practices - i t i s unl i k e l y that many teachers w i l l have highly developed technology to support t h e i r i n i t i a t i v e s . I think that putting the hand (rather than the machine) into design i s preferable - down the h a l l i s the computer lab. for those wishing to go high tech. But beyond obvious and simple materials: the pencils, pens, colours, edges and measuring devices, graph/drawing/tracing papers, various thicknesses of cardstock and cardboard, (boxes cut down, or large, cheap sheets of cardboard w i l l s u f f i c e ) , there are some tools which could cause some r e a l trouble i n the classroom i f not handled with.care. The materials of model building, p a r t i c u l a r l y exacto .knives, and hot-glue guns, are not for s i s s i e s or buffoons. The faint-of-heart students are maybe easy to deal with, but those students with f o o l i s h tendencies (I think we must operate on the assumption that some kids could at least have a tendency to act s i l l y ) need to be tamed a b i t before the knives and guns come out. knives I st a r t by introducing each class I meef to the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of the knife - exacto blade a.k.a. boxcutter. I t e l l about my architecture professor who, when he was a student, watched a classmate bleed to death before his eyes. The young architecture student was overenthusiastically making a cut through heavy card - using far too much pressure. The knife slipped, severed the artery i n his upper thigh. A l l e f f o r t s to stop the bleeding f a i l e d and the student was dead before medical help arrived. Remarkably, t h i s story has discouraged only one student, to my knowledge, from using the exacto knife. (Maybe others', unbeknownst to me, have s t e a l t h i l y made other arrangements - getting t h e i r confident friends to make the cuts, using scisso r s , etc.) But only the one boy f l a t l y refused to use- the knife a f t e r my demo. Remarkably, again, t h i s student graduated to win the top achievement awards i n both Metalwork and Auto Mechanics, but he never did use an exacto blade i n Visual Arts class. Mostly t h i s story serves to obtain the students' rapt attention, before I show them the safe way.to use an exacto knife. Here i s what I show: 1. Always use a cutting board - preferably with some 'tooth' to hold card from s l i p p i n g . This roughened surface i s nice, but not esse n t i a l . Any kind of board i s better than cutting on the desktops - and ali e n a t i n g the building engineers, administrators, students who need a smooth desktop to do th e i r best work..' 2 . Score. This means make many l i g h t e r strokes with the blade rather than one hugely vigorous one to make the cut. Many strokes - depending on how much resistance the card makes, say 3 - 7 , make a clean, unbloodied edge. 3 . Always use a ru l e r . Metal edge i s best; wood or p l a s t i c work. This seems to prevent random cutting any old where. My metal edged wood rulers a l l l o s t t h e i r metal s t r i p s mysteriously one year, before students were taught how help f u l those b i t s of metal are for safety. They were some sorry when we got to the projects requiring exacto blades. 4. Always use a sharp blade. A d u l l blade i s more l i k e l y to cause t r o u b l e / f r u s t r a t i o n than a sharp one. I c a r e f u l l y show students how to break o f f the blade end on blades that are made to break off - how to wrap i t i n recyclable paper and dispose of i t so the building engineer doesn't bleed too. I show then how to change blades i n the type of knife that doesn't have break off blades. They need to know thi s or they w i l l p e r s i s t with a blade long after i t s usefulness i s outlived. The results of these precautionary tales and admonitions are: most students move'forward confidently with this t o o l , and my classroom tends to be an accidental cut/blood-free zone. (One student s l i c e d o f f the f i r s t couple of layers of skin on his f i n g e r t i p a few years back, but the incident did not produce actual blood. I keep band-aids and bandages nearby i n any event, and t h a t s t u d e n t h o l d s h i s r u l e r much more c a r e f u l l y now.) I have a c t u a l l y seen a s t u d e n t use a k n i f e a c r o s s c r o s s e d hands. T h i s i s a n o t h e r t e c h n i q u e t h a t s h o u l d be c a u t i o n e d a g a i n s t , though few s t u d e n t s would l i k e l y attempt i t . A n o t h e r d e t a i l I might i n c l u d e i n t h i s i n i t i a l d e m o n s t r a t i o n o f c u t t i n g a r c h i t e c t u r a l model making m a t e r i a l s : Figure 55. What i s wrong with these p i c t u r e s ? I am always s u r p r i s e d when I see t h a t t h i s d i s c u s s i o n i s n e c e s s a r y , but e v e r y y e a r , i t seems i t i s . I f i n d a l s o , t h a t some d i s c u s s i o n o r what c o n s t i t u t e s a r e u s e a b l e s c r a p , and some c l e a r l y marked p l a c e t o keep the u s e f u l s c r a p s i s a way t o m i n i m i s e waste and keep u s e f u l b i t s of c a r d c i r c u l a t i n g and a v a i l a b l e . Figure 56. Part of the scrap c o l l e c t i o n . guns S t u d e n t s l i k e t o use hot g l u e guns. I t i s e x p e n s i v e t o p r o v i d e a l l the g l u e s t i c k s n e c e s s a r y t o keep the guns l o a d e d , but the j o i n t s thus made are s t r o n g e r and more q u i c k l y f a b r i c a t e d than t h o s e c o n n e c t i o n s made w i t h w h i t e g l u e . F i g u r e 57. S t u d e n t u s i n g a g l u e gun - u s u a l l y i t i s done on a b o a r d a t a t a b l e , b u t t h i s boy wanted t o use an awkwardly p l a c e d e l e c t r i c a l o u t l e t . A q u i c k d e m o n s t r a t i o n o f how t o j o i n p i e c e s of an a r c h i t e c t u r a l model t o g e t h e r pays huge d i v i d e n d s as w e l l . S t u d e n t s need t o know t h a t a l i t t l e hot g l u e i s a l l t h a t i s r e q u i r e d , and how t o move q u i c k l y t o a v o i d g l u e gobs ( e x p e n s i v e , u g l y , u n n e c e s s a r y gluegobs.) Things t o note about t h e hot g l u e gun: 1. I t r e a l l y i s hot. B l i s t e r s can, but m o s t l y don't, r e s u l t - i f the t o o l i s i n t r o d u c e d c a r e f u l l y . 2. I t p r o b a b l y c o u l d burn down the s c h o o l i f a hot g l u e gun were l e f t p l u g g e d i n on a p i l e o f newspapers over the l o n g weekend. 3. There i s a b i t of s k i l l i n v o l v e d . S tudents s h o u l d p r a c t i s e on s c r a p s b e f o r e a p p r o a c h i n g t h e i r major p i e c e . alternatives to the glue gun Common s t r a i g h t p i n s , used roughly l i k e n a i l s are used i n a c t u a l b u i l d i n g c o n s t r u c t i o n , are h e l p f u l i n s e c u r i n g p i e c e s together as a temporary or permanent measure. Masking tape can be used as a temporary measure as w e l l , but i t seems many students need to be guided to c o n s i d e r whether masking tape i s an a c t u a l j o i n i n g m a t e r i a l . Some, students, i t would seem, c o n s i d e r masking tape to be an i n v i s i b l e aspect of t h e i r work. They don't see i t , perhaps because i t performs an important f u n c t i o n , but i s not p a r t o f the content. T h i s i s another time when i n t e r e s t i n g d i s c u s s i o n s about c r a f t e nter i n t o the a r t s t u d i o . . So with t h i s p r e l i m i n a r y s e t of messages d e l i v e r e d , l e t us take a look at some a c t u a l l e a r n i n g e x p e r i e n c e s . 1. mapping "We use maps, because they display, by a st r u c t u r a l analogue, relations i n space that provide a useful image of the world we wish to navigate. Maps lay i t out for us... The i n s c r i p t i o n of v i s u a l images makes v i v i d c e r t a i n relationships. They help us to notice and understand a p a r t i c u l a r environment and our place i n i t . They also obscure. Thus the paradox: a way of seeing i s also, and at the same time, a way of not seeing... maps also obscure what any p a r t i c u l a r map does not illuminate." E l l i o t t Eisner "Arts and Creation of Mind" p.11 learning experience links 3 R's: Receive (building awareness) Educative value: Furthers understanding of student s k i l l l e v e l s , point of view, learning styles; provides the opportunity to explore creative p o s s i b i l i t i e s . Connection to Architectural/Art themes : Drawing or otherwise 'reporting' increases a b i l i t y to see; increases s e n s i t i v i t y to and appreciation of phenomena, encourages" students to makes some judgements about what i s important to them i n the environment. Every year I give a mapping assignment to each class - early on, because I learn so much about the new students from the re s u l t i n g responses. And I see th i s project as a way to encourage students to r e a l l y look at t h e i r surroundings, to consider what i s important, and to think about how to report on and even honour what they care about in t h e i r environment. Students who are in my classroom for the second or t h i r d time (I teach Visual Arts 9-12 i n a m u l t i - l e v e l situation) also l i k e to re-do th i s project, because there are so many d i f f e r e n t ways i t can be done. Mapping i s a good introductory project, p a r t i c u l a r l y when l e f t very open ended, because good responses can be fashioned anywhere on the continuum of s k i l l s : minimal to very sophisticated. And at the beginning of the year, I have learned to c a l l such a project .'introductory' and 'warm-up' so I can j u s t i f y i t not being t i e d to the great bugaboo for some students: marks. Students come to my art class for a huge range of reasons, bringing with them a wide range of s k i l l s and competencies and concomitant leve l s of fear and confidence problems. I • ask them on the f i r s t day to write a b i t about why they are there, and I occasionally receive answers that are sometimes blunter than I might actually wish. Some students mention 'timetabling glitches', 'looking for an easy c r e d i t ' - (are you i n for a surprise, I think to myself), 'my mom i n s i s t e d ' . Some t e l l me: 'I want to be an a r t i s t , architect, designer...' Some responses scare me a b i t with the importance of my part: 'art i s the only thing I've ever been good at'. So when I ask.them to do t h i s project, I get a chance to thicken up the i n i t i a l picture of who i s in my classroom with a non-threatening piece of work. I ask students to Map, i n any form that seems appropriate, your (typical) daily journey from sleep to the schoolhouse door. In motivating t h i s project, I ask what ideas come to mind - what sti c k s out i n t h e i r minds i n i t i a l l y regarding t h i s d a i l y journey. An i n t e r e s t i n g discussion topic to move thi s idea forward i s the idea of 'landmarks'. And a warm-up project could be to report .on, in any form, some Of the objects and spaces they see and relate to on the journey to school. The f i r s t time I t r i e d t h i s , I r e a l i s e d I looked forward to reading the headlines in the newspaper box-as part to my morning journey, and the glancing at the clock tower as I b i c y c l e d by was another key part of the d a i l y t r i p . We also could t a l k about what maps are: and, inasmuch as we are a l l i n the artroom, how might we c r e a t i v e l y expand the d e f i n i t i o n of a 'map'. We have a b i t of a discussion regarding what form the rendition of t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r journey might take. Students are often r e l i e v e d to discover that they are free to. use found images, take photographs, b u i l d 3-D representations from found materials, draw, paint, colour; concoct i n any way whatever. There are l o t s of ways to do t h i s beyond the obvious, but much-loved, cartoon s t r i p . Students who have no perceived drawing s k i l l s or whose drawing g i f t s and confidence have yet to be discovered might fi n d t h e i r g i f t s i n t h i s project i n the area of assemblage. If students have s k i l l s i n drawing and painting, they are able to use t h i s introductory opportunity to u t i l i s e , hone and display those s k i l l s . S t arting a course t h i s way honours the creative p o s s i b i l i t i e s of art and gives yet another way to understand students as they are at the beginning of the program, so that further explorations can be t a i l o r e d to my growing understanding of the students' needs and p o t e n t i a l . Moreover, t h i s project gives, me the opportunity to gauge the powers of observation and the r e c e p t i v i t y of students to t h e i r surrounds. This gives me a. 'way i n ' to general and p a r t i c u l a r discussions with students regarding close observation in t h e i r l i v e s . F i g u r e 58. The p h o t o s t r i p . T h i s s t u d e n t wanted t o show c o n t i n u i t y i n h e r morning r o u t i n e , and t r i e d t o p o r t r a y t h e sequence o f e v e n t s and vie w s she o b s e r v e s i n t h e m o r n i n g j o u r n e y t o s c h o o l . T h i s p r o j e c t a r r i v e d v e r y l a t e - I a l l o w f o r t h a t a l w a y s i n t h e a r t r o o m - and because o f t h e f l e x i b l e d e a d l i n e (or l i v e l i n e ) she was a b l e t o c o m p l e t e t h e many h o u r s o f l o v i n g l a b o u r needed t o c u t each h o l e i n t h e s t r i p w i t h an e x a c t o b l a d e . F i g u r e 59. T h i s map i s a c o m p o s i t e o f s n a p s h o t s t h i s s t u d e n t ' s eye would t a k e , r e n d e r e d i n q u i t e s o p h i s t i c a t e d s t y l e f r o m h i s p o i n t o f vi e w , b e g i n n i n g b e n e a t h t h e c o v e r s o f h i s bed. These l o v e l y l i t t l e d r a w i n g s evoke sound, movement, e m o t i o n a l r e s p o n s e , m y s t e r y and s k i l l ; c l e a r l y t h e p r o d u c t of a t h o u g h t f u l o b s e r v a n t p e r s o n . I t i s so i n t e r e s t i n g t o c o n s i d e r t h e p r i o r i t i e s o f t h e teenage male. A f t e r s e e i n g t h i s p i e c e , I was a l e r t e d t o t h e r e a l i t y t h a t I had a g i f t e d and p o t e n t i a l l y e n e r g e t i c s t u d e n t t u c k e d back i n t h e c o r n e r . Figure 60. This i s the work of another g i f t e d student, whose s t y l e i s as recognisable as her handwriting. Over the course of the year, her drawing became l e s s symbolic and more observant, but her s t y l e , though deepening i n s o p h i s t i c a t i o n , remained recognisably her own. Figure 61. This student pushed o f f considerably from the obvious format, to p l a n t a l l h i s impressions and perceptions squarely i n h i s v i s u a l sense organ. I wish I had had a d i s c u s s i o n with him about some of the elements of h i s drawing before i t was f i n a l i s e d : I would have questioned the s c r a w l y " i n f i l l t h a t f i g u r e s prominently, and the need f o r v e r b a l a s s i s t a n c e to the viewer. Figure 6 2 . A grade 8 boy tossed i n t o the c l a s s of grade 9 - 1 2 because of t i m e t a b l i n g problems, was i n i t i a l l y r e l u c t a n t to even pick up a p e n c i l . To f u r t h e r complicate matters, he had been home schooled f o r many years, and t h i s was indeed a change f o r him. He s t a t i o n e d himself c l o s e to the magazine shelves and mostly looked f o r images f o r the f i r s t few weeks, then he began to draw c a t s . A few months a f t e r t h i s p r o j e c t was given, he showed up with a l a r g e (approx. 2 0 " x 3 0 " ) response, which he had c l e a r l y been working on f o r some time at home. He needed to f i n d h i s own f e e t , and I'm glad I didn't badger him too much t o adhere to the 'schedule'. I t h i n k i n a r t , that i s not too d i f f i c u l t to accommodate. Figure 6 3 . An unusual s c i - f i i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the assignment. Figure 64. A student newly a r r i v e d from Afghanistan, t h i s young man had never had an a r t c l a s s i n h i s l i f e before. His work a l s o a r r i v e d q u i t e a b i t l a t e r than most of the other students' responses, but was d e f i n i t e l y worth w a i t i n g f o r . Done on approx. 24" x 36" sheet, t h i s represented a huge triumph f o r t h i s student. I t was such a t r e a t to watch him zoom through the t y p i c a l stages of rep r e s e n t a t i o n . He d i d two blocks of a r t a f t e r the f i r s t two weeks of school, and became one of the most p r o l i f i c and e n t h u s i a s t i c students I have ever had. Figure 65. This very h i g h l y motivated student t r i e d to model part of h i s morning journey. His 3-D c a p a b i l i t i e s grew and f l o u r i s h e d over the year. F i g u r e 66. One o f t h e s e n i o r s t u d e n t s i n t h e c l a s s c aused a b i t o f a s t i r w i t h h e r q u i t e i n t i m a t e r e n d i t i o n o f h e r morning. She i s A s i a n , and v e r y i n t o some o f t h e l i v e l y g r a p h i c s t y l e s so p o p u l a r i n A s i a , e s p e c i a l l y i n Japan. She had no qualms about r e v e a l i n g t h e f a c t t h a t she owns a b u t t , but some o f t h e younger s t u d e n t s were s c a n d a l i s e d . I a s k e d them why. The f u s s q u i c k l y d i e d down. T h i s s t u d e n t became more i n t e r e s t e d , o v e r t i m e , i n t h e b r o a d e r w o r l d a r o u n d h e r . H 9 U \ S O m S r e s P ° n s e s ^ r e low r e l i e f , l e a n i n g a l i t t l e towards t h e t h r e e d i m e n s i o n a l . Some s t u d e n t s made more o f an e f f o r t t o work i n t h e t h r e e d i m e n s i o n s . Some a d o p t e d t h e comic s t r i p a p p r o a c h , p e r h a p s w i t h a b i t o f v a r i a t i o n . A l l the responses to t h i s introductory assignment, which most students completed promptly and with enthusiasm, gave me some ways of assessing s k i l l s , f a c u l t i e s of observation, personal perspectives; and gave us a l l a low r i s k s t a r t to the year in the artroom. I think a project l i k e t h i s must not be heavily t i e d to marks, es p e c i a l l y at t h i s time of year. I simply said I was looking for e f f o r t and some c r e a t i v i t y i n the responses. I stopped short of saying ' d e t a i l ' , because I thought that might be too p r e s c r i p t i v e . Next time, I think I w i l l emphasise the words ' d e t a i l ' and 'observation', to help some students think about moving past the symbol systems they have b u i l t up over the years, and not yet abandoned. I w i l l always keep the response mode completely open, however, because some students were very relieved to be 'allowed' to c o l l e c t othermade images. That t e l l s me quite a b i t about what i s needed i n the way of confidence building i n s t r u c t i o n i n i t s e l f . This introductory project connects to and starts to set the stage for a l o t of d i f f e r e n t environmental observation type a c t i v i t i e s that w i l l emerge l a t e r i n the year. Future projects w i l l involve, for example, 'sighting' i n t e r i o r s , simple drawings of a r c h i t e c t u r a l d e t a i l s , section and elevation drawings, ways of rendering 3-D forms - simple perspective for those who request t h i s technique, and the c r a f t of modelling. Ways I've come across to enrich this project In 2003 , the Vancouver Art Gallery offered an outstanding suite of exhibits c a l l e d 'Drawing the World: Masters to Hipsters.' This show presented a wide range of drawings from a diverse c o l l e c t i o n of c u l t u r a l t r a d i t i o n s . One section of the show, t i t l e d 'For the Record - Drawing Contemporary L i f e ' included several fresh and ex c i t i n g experiments that could generally be included i n the area of •mapping. After spending many happy hours viewing, discussing and copying the Masters and the Hipsters, I r e a l i s e there i s much more I can do with students on the subject of mapping. I have introduced very few, i f any, examples of a r t i s t s ' maps into the motivation for th i s project over the years, and have thus overlooked a promising opportunity, F i g u r e 6 8 . D a n i c a P h e l p s - maps e v e r y t h i n g she g e t s and spends - we c o u l d map consumerism t o o . ( A u g a i t i s 2003) F i g u r e 69. M i c h a e l Landy, who f a m o u s l y d e s t r o y e d e v e r y t h i n g he owned, mapped t h a t a c t i o n g r a p h i c a l l y . ( A u g a i t i s 2003) Figure 70. Alex Morrison made.maps of h i s progress through vEvery House I've Ever L i v e d i n Drawn from Memory'. ( A u g a i t i s 2003) Mark Lombardi maps p o l i t i c a l intrigue from media reports. There i s lo t s of intrigue i n the l i v e s of teenagers. Raymond Pettibon keeps track of everything - right on the walls. So what i s a map? If we are going to map a piece of our l i v e s , i t might also be f r u i t f u l to explore t h i s idea a l i t t l e or even to expand out to the broadest d e f i n i t i o n possible. Some examples: National Geographic magazine provides an array of beautiful examples, including p i c t o r i a l , verbal, celestial... And there are c i t y maps, plans of the school, and conceptual maps l i k e a l l the diff e r e n t types of webs and graphic organisers we use i n education. If we were to push the d e f i n i t i o n of 'map' to i t s broadest extent, where would we arrive? Perhaps drawings of one's progress through d a i l y l i f e can be included i n t h i s d e f i n i t i o n . As examples, a n o t h e r s e c t i o n o f the 2003 Drawing the World e x h i b i t i o n show how a r t i s t s i n o t h e r c u l t u r e s r e c o r d t h e q u o t i d i a n : F i g u r e 71. The I n u i t a r t i s t s o f t e n sequence. (Ruth A n n a q t u u s i T u l u r i a l i So why s h o u l d we? A n o t h e r f e e l no need t o draw t h e i r n a r r a t i v e s i n k, from J a c k s o n . ) - ) way t o break b o u n d a r i e s . 2 . h o m e , i m a g i n e d a n d r e v e a l e d This two part lesson serves to i l l u s t r a t e to students how d i f f e r e n t i t i s to r e a l l y look at a place instead of taking i t for granted that we 'know' a place. It helps students to push past the stereotypical symbol making that many teenagers f e e l so safe with. learning experience links 3 R's : Receive (building awareness of the environment) Educative value: increases-concrete perceptual s k i l l s - transmission of simple techniques Connection to Architectural/Art themes: c l a r i f i e s that the act of drawing ,is an act of seeing; suggests that drawing buildings i s not d i f f i c u l t . Students are asked, as a sketchbook exercise, to draw the front elevation of your home, from memory, accurately and including as much d e t a i l as possible. This exercise needs to.be done'in class, and i t should be completed i n an hour or less. In order to c l a r i f y the term 'elevation', I use a green pepper - ac t u a l l y a few green peppers, so they can-be d i s t r i b u t e d about the classroom and students can get a good close look. This i s the only vegetable easy to obtain that has 'walls' enclosing an empty space - l i k e a building. The outside view of the pepper, looking straight at i t , i s the elevation. We might have a few minutes to draw some continuous l i n e drawings, noting the idiosyncrasies of the pepper. Students need to be clear that fancy angular views are perhaps d e l i g h t f u l and int e r e s t i n g , but an elevation drawing i s a straight ahead view of the object - no bird's eye, worm's eye views allowed. Now i s as good a time as any to explain what the terms 'plan' and 'section' mean as well. I might cut the pepper ho r i z o n t a l l y about one-third of the way up the pepper from the bottom. Looking down on the pepper i s the 'plan' view. Typ i c a l l y , plans of buildings are drawn at an imagined cut about three or four feet above the f l o o r . F i g u r e 72. P l a n , s e c t i o n and e l e v a t i o n v i e w s . After students have had a chance to sketch t h i s vegetable in plan, I would cut another pepper v e r t i c a l l y , through the middle. The view of one side so cut i s the 'section' view. Although we won't be needing plan or section view for thi s exercise, I think i t i s a good idea to introduce a l l three a r c h i t e c t u r a l conventions/views at once, so students can sta r t to think about the building as a whole, and how i t can be represented. Although t h i s exercise i s concerned d i r e c t l y with the façade or face of the building, i t i s he l p f u l for the student to consider what i s behind the face, how the building f i t s together. A d d i t i o n a l l y , before attempting t h i s exercise, students could examine some well-drawn elevations to see how li n e s work together to i l l u s t r a t e a l l the d e t a i l of a building façade. Every edge can be recorded i n an elevation. (Sometimes we take shortcuts, but every major designed edge should be shown.) Students should note that the most important l i n e s are heavier than secondary l i n e s , and some minor l i n e s - say, parts of layered window frames, are drawn more l i g h t l y . I ask students to think about the general massing or form of t h e i r home. Is i t a single family dwelling, an apartment, or perhaps a basement suite? I ask them to v i s u a l i s e the 'face' of thé building they see as they approach t h e i r home. What i s the p r i n c i p a l elevation of t h e i r home - the 'face' i t presents to the world? (This may d i f f e r from the entrance they normally use.) What i s the rel a t i o n s h i p of t h i s façade of t h e i r home with the ground? Are there gardens, shrubs, trees" - these can be 'ghosted' or drawn very l i g h t l y , so as not to obscure the actual elevation. How large i s the entry door related to the student? What i s at eye level? Are there s t a i r s up to the door? How do the windows relate to the entry door? What i s the general arrangement of a l l the ar c h i t e c t u r a l elements and de t a i l s ? How i s the roof placed over the general massing? If the student l i v e s in an apartment, focus can be placed on the entry, but perhaps enough of the building can be sketched to show the relationship of one's own apartment to the main entry. What colours are involved? If there i s time, the sketch could have colour added, at least enough to show the arrangement of cladding and trim colours. Materials can be noted. Visual notes can be added to the drawing regarding materials, d i f f i c u l t i e s i n sketching, any points of importance can be verba l l y added. The objective i s to draw a clear image of the home as vi s u a l i s e d . The drawing must be fini s h e d i n class, without looking at the actual building. Students are asked, for homework only a f t e r t h i s drawing i s completed, to go home, and compare your sketch with the actual building. Redraw your home from direct observation, accurately and including as much d e t a i l as possible. I ask students to t r y to refine the rendering of the d e t a i l s , and to consider technique - p a r t i c u l a r l y the use of l i n e weight. • It i s a good idea to consider composition - how i s the drawing arranged on the page, what materials are to be used to obtain the most appropriate e f f e c t s . Pens of various thicknesses are often employed by students, various pencils of d i f f e r e n t hardness can be used. It i s n ' t necessary to belabour the point: students get i t right away. They usually immediately see what they had not c l e a r l y observed about t h e i r homes before t h i s exercise, and they note a major s h i f t i n t h e i r understanding of the place they c a l l home. We might discuss how .these increased powers of observation can be translated to other aspects of th e i r l i v e s , but few words are necessary - they get i t . F i g u r e 73. Two s k e t c h e s o f a s t u d e n t ' s home. Students who l i v e i n apartments struggle v a l i a n t l y with the complexity of t h e i r building, often with good res u l t s , as seen i n the following examples. Figure 74. Two sketches of a student's home - apartment b u i l d i n g - f i r s t i s the imagined view, then drawn from r e a l i t y . F i g u r e 75. A b e a u t i f u l l y s k e t c h e d house - t h e s t u d e n t was s u r p r i s e d a t h e r s u c c e s s . The images of these e x e r c i s e s can be used i n other p i e c e s l a t e r . They might want to p e r s o n a l i s e t h e i r image, adding d e t a i l s of the i n h a b i t a n t s of t h e i r homes to make a home ' p o r t r a i t ' , or p i e c e s of t h e i r home might f i n d t h e i r way i n t o other compositions. But the power of these e x e r c i s e s l i e s i n the s i m p l i c i t y at t h i s f i r s t e f f o r t - the chance to see how t o see - e s p e c i a l l y p o w e r f u l when a p p l i e d t o a p l a c e t h a t i s as i m p o r t a n t as one's own home. Figure 76. Some developments of the home image. 3 . r e d e s i g n (frankly facadism) learning experience links 3 R's: Receive ( b u i l d i n g awareness of the environment) and Respond t o what we see - no t r a c e s o f s o c i a l R e s p o n s i b i l i t y here though - the o b j e c t i s t o expl o r e p o s s i b i l i t i e s E d u c a t i v e v a l u e : e x p r e s s i v e r a t h e r than a n a l y t i c a l d e sign p r o c e ss, p l a y f u l e x p l o r a t i o n o f form - r i g h t b r a i n fun. Connection t o A r c h i t e c t u r a l / A r t themes: a g e n t l e i n t r o d u c t i o n to the design process, emphasising composition over p r a c t i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s . Once students are f a m i l i a r with the e l e v a t i o n drawing, we can have some r e a l fun wit h the i d e a . I ask students to f i n d a b u i l d i n g t h a t i s i n need of some l o v i n g a t t e n t i o n , and draw i t i n t h e i r sketchbooks. Inasmuch as I had gone one Sunday morning on a s k e t c h i n g e x p e d i t i o n to prepare a demonstration drawing, I was ab l e t o g i v e students some important advice. I worried t h a t I might upset someone, sta n d i n g i n f r o n t of t h e i r house and making marks i n a book, so I suggested t h a t they use d i s c r e t i o n i n the choice of b u i l d i n g to sketch . They a l l a r r i v e d w i t h drawings of 'needy' b u i l d i n g s , and no r e p o r t s of complaints, but I t h i n k i t i s a good warning. Students were than asked to imagine you have unlimited resources to renovate a neglected building you have noticed. Redraw the main elevations, front and rear. The elements of t h i s assignment obviously do not include an acknowledgement of s o c i a l l y responsible design. I am e x p l i c i t about t h i s : we are just going to have some fun with facades. We w i l l experiment with materials, we w i l l try to think about what goes on behind the façade to some extent, but mainly the objective here i s simply to play with the façade, to enjoy the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of colour, texture, shape, form, composition, and to apply some design strategies to the newly created elevations. One of my favourite results was designed by a student who Figure 77. Reworked e l e v a t i o n s of a t y p i c a l 'Vancouver S p e c i a l ' . Another s t u d e n t d e c i d e d her house was too s m a l l , and she t h e r e f o r e a t t e m p t e d t o r e n o v a t e by add i n g a second s t o r e y t o the b u i l d i n g . Figure 78. Renovated home. Some s t u d e n t s e x p e r i m e n t e d q u i t e c r e a t i v e l y w i t h t e x t u r e s , and low r e l i e f , c r e a t i n g . r e s u l t s n o t a b l e f o r t h e i r p i c t o r i a l , i f not a r c h i t e c t u r a l i n t e r e s t . Figure 80. Low r e l i e f facades. We grouped some of t h e f a c a d e s i n t o 'neighbourhoods' and suspended them t o g e t h e r from the c e i l i n g . I r e a l i s e d a f t e r making t h e s e m o b i l e s f e a t u r i n g f a n c i e d - u p f a c a d e s , ( i n c l u d i n g some t h a t were s i m p l e l i n e e l e v a t i o n s made of bent w i r e ) t h a t we c o u l d been much more i m a g i n a t i v e about the making o f the m o b i l e s . A l o o k a t the work of C a l d e r might have s t i m u l a t e d a much more s o p h i s t i c a t e d response. Figure 81. Mobile. Another façade s t u d y t h a t I have ex p e r i m e n t e d w i t h i s more fo c u s e d , but s t i l l p o t e n t i a l l y fun and p i c t o r i a l r a t h e r t han s e r i o u s r e - d e s i g n . I ask s t u d e n t s i n t h e mapping assignment t o end t h e i r j o u r n e y t o s c h o o l a t t h e sch o o l h o u s e door. They t h e r e f o r e have drawn the e n t r y t h e y use i n some form or an o t h e r a l r e a d y , u s u a l l y w i t h o u t much a t t e n t i o n t o the a c t u a l d e t a i l of the door. Figure 82. Student at the schoolhouse door. I ask s t u d e n t s t o r e v i s i t t he schoolhouse door t h a t t h e y most commonly use on t h e i r j o u r n e y t o s c h o o l i n the morning, t h i s time o b s e r v i n g the e n t r y c a r e f u l l y , and drawing i t i n as much d e t a i l and as a c c u r a t e l y as p o s s i b l e . A g a i n , I might say, g i v e n u n l i m i t e d r e s o u r c e s , how would t h e y l i k e t o c h a r a c t e r i s e the s c h o o l , by a l t e r i n g the e n t r y t o r e f l e c t t h e i r views of the s c h o o l community - how i t i s , and how i t c o u l d be. Figure 83. Study of the school entry. This can lead to very i n t e r e s t i n g discussions about student perceptions of the school, and equally i n t e r e s t i n g discussions about how architecture both contributes to and r e f l e c t s those perceptions. Some students are very e x p l i c i t and imaginative about t h e i r renditions of the how the school might be renovated to r e f l e c t the character of i t s inhabitants:  Figure 85. E l e v a t i o n s of a school as i s , and as i t might 4.doorways - a method of drawing in t e r i o r s learning experience links 3 R's: Receive (building awareness of the environment) and Respond to what we see. Educative value: strengthen perceptual s k i l l s , and encourage with a simple drawing task - the v i s u a l s p a t i a l a b i l i t y i s engaged more e a s i l y i n a framed/focused si t u a t i o n . Transmit some simple drawing techniques. Connection to Architectural/Art themes: drawing to see/communicate and some focus on some elements of composition. When students have had the opportunity to t r y a few projects requiring energy and imagination, but not necessarily sophisticated drawing s k i l l , T l i k e to t r y to introduce some opportunities for observation and recording of a r c h i t e c t u r a l i n t e r i o r s . These results can range from very simple i n t e r i o r elevations for students whose confidence and s k i l l has not yet blossomed, to more complex and b e a u t i f u l l y rendered images. Limiting the focus of the drawing i s a way to as s i s t students who are tentative. I ask students to think about doorways. Go and look i n some open doors i n the school, and find one that i s intere s t i n g . Then: Draw the view through an open door, or through a glass door, as accurately as possible; aim to make an interesting drawing. It turns out that locker doors are a great favourite with students, and simple but interesting drawings can be the r e s u l t . Figure 86. View i n t o a l o c k e r . I once asked students to form into groups, to work with chalk pastels to make large murals i n response to t h i s assignment. One group of students, who were i n i t i a l l y very reluctant to p a r t i c i p a t e because of t h e i r lack of drawing confidence, were delighted with t h e i r r e s u l t when they tackled the simple forms of a locker. Other students might produce e f f o r t s of varying s i m p l i c i t y and complexity, but even the least experienced student seems more w i l l i n g to tackle the drawing of i n t e r i o r s (perceived of as 'hard'), i f the area i s framed by a door. rote. ! «- s - s - « - Figure 87. View through a classroom door, and the view through the entry door. Figure 88. A simple view through a classroom doorway. The p r o j e c t does g i v e scope, however, f o r t h e s t u d e n t who has d i s c o v e r e d d r awing power and wishes t o d e v e l o p a complex image. Figure 89. View i n t o a c l o s e t (etching). Figure 90. Views of a room. It i s not a painful step, after some drawing success has been obtained, to move to Betty Edwards' i n t e r i o r drawing methods - primarily the idea of 'sighting', i n which students are shown how to use th e i r pencil held p a r a l l e l or perpendicular to the f l o o r to help them determine i n t e r i o r angles. Many students who freeze l i k e l i t t l e animals i n the headlights of a car at the prospect of drawing something so complicated as an i n t e r i o r , are ready to t r y i f they have been led gradually to thi s point. Figure 91. View of a ki t c h e n .   5 . s a n c t u a r y - w i t h i n and w i t h o u t People give pain, are callous and i n s e n s i t i v e , empty and cruel...but place heals the hurt, soothes the outrage, f i l l s the t e r r i b l e vacuum that these human beings make. Eudora Welty (quoted i n endnotes, "A Conversation with Sue Monk Kidd" p.11 the Secret L i f e of Bees learning experience links 3 R's : Respond to a need, Social Responsibility - secure place as an important aspect of our s p i r i t u a l l i v e s . Educative value: Transmit simple understanding of ar c h i t e c t u r a l conventions, simple techniques of drawing and 3-D modelling. Begin to conceptualise/verbalise as part of the design process, develop visioning, s p a t i a l c a p a b i l i t y ; Develop r a t i o n a l and r e f l e c t i v e c a p a b i l i t i e s . Connection to Architectural/Art themes: a gentle introduction to the i t e r a t i v e design process - analysis, synthesis, evaluation; phenomenological aspects - envisioning scenarios, d e t a i l s . Can introduce/tie i n s u s t a i n a b i l i t y lens - explore ways to incorporate healthy housing p r i n c i p l e s , sustainable energy, etc. •After the events of September 11, 2000, I searched my mind for a project that could help some very unsettled kids f i n d t h e i r way back to a fe e l i n g of peace and security. I was not surprised by how unsettling t h i s nightmarish piece of performance art was for students, and we talked a l o t about i t i n Visual Arts classes as well as i n English class. I l a t e r devised a project to consider how the s i t e thus emptied i n New York City could be redeveloped, (see Primer # 12), but at f i r s t I just wanted to think of a gentle, relaxing, centring sort of project that would give us a chance to regain equilibrium. I decided to introduce the idea of mandalas. In many cultures, people have made art of one form or another to help focus t h e i r energies and to enable a meditative, peaceful state. The wonderful book Mandala, by Jose Arguelles, i s f u l l of i n s p i r i n g examples, ranging from simple to very complex, and we went to work creating personal mandalas, i n any form, using any medium, and at any scale. The r e s u l t s were sur p r i s i n g l y b e a u t i f u l . Figure 94. Two mandalas (25% of o r i g i n a l s i z e ) . A f t e r making mandalas, I thought the concept of sanctuary might be appropriate inasmuch as students r e a l l y did seem to take a l i k i n g to the notion that making art could help in s t r e s s f u l times. The idea of a personal sanctuary or retreat i s very appealing to most young people. I have t r i e d to develop the notion of designing personal space every year i n some form or another, but the idea of sanctuary seemed es p e c i a l l y meaningful i n the post 911 time. In his wonderful omnibus, A Pattern Language, Christopher Alexander and his colleagues have several sections or 'patterns' that are relevant, including: #141 A Room of One's Own, and #154 Teenager's Cottage. These give a r i c h l y philosophical foundation for the idea of enabling young people, ready for some independence,' the opportunity to have a private retreat. Many North American young people have a bedroom, over which they may or may not have design control. It i s germane and i n t r i g u i n g to encourage young people to what they might do given space and some resources to develop their own personal sanctuary. \ihe I N T I M A C Y G R A D I E N T f , , , \ _ , - , - d , roon,, w W Lrt" , " * * "*> >v/,icA iu more , „ , „ o n e ™ ™ «7 M , nom* „ » A eootw ?w) * "**" « • « M O N A « A , A T T « „ E , R T ( ^ ) ^ P " , V " ' C D ^ having Figure 95 _ Sample pages ! » * O M t inditidu,!! " £ X m C n , b , : r ° f "™ l*»J » «O** in tt control I, i, „ ' ,1"" "° P " ' °' *« °"' 1 0 P"t'c.pa, t ;„ c o m m „ „ a , Jn"CY, and „ „ „ ttach c h . U « ? , | ! ! h,° P ' 0 V I * " ™ and „ „ ™fof f r o m ^ t t e r n ^ L ^ u a a e ^ ^ ^ ^ <;<„) ,_!<; OWN , o F ONE 5 -» <TZ mm - .1* ^ * S>«> ° n , ! \ t „r .«x ï . * * * * " * ""'Li KB*** ' If. ..., - room " l u an c 100OV 5 J "wgc*"- S a n c t u a r y i s a f a s c i n a t i n g concept f o r t e e n a g e r s , i t seems. Many examples e x i s t o f l o v e l y and i m a g i n a t i v e measures which p e o p l e have d e v i s e d t o respond t o t h e i r needs f o r peace and p r i v a c y . GEORGE BERNARD SHAW'S WRITING HUT 8' x 8' 64 square feet George Bernard Shaw, perhaps the most significant British playwright since the seventeenth century, wrote his most creative work, including his plays Pygmalion, Heartbreak House, Back to Methuselah, and Saint Joan, in a little writing hut at the bottom of his garden at his home in England. Shaw designed the hut himself as a tiny office built on a cen- tral steel-pole frame so that it could be manually rotated to follow the arc of the sun. He worked alone and loved his privacy; he even adjusted his telephone for outgoing calls only. 6 8 69 Figure 96. George Bernard Shaw's sanctuary (Tiny Houses). I think that the opportunity to dream cr e a t i v e l y i s one of the fundamental joys of t h i s project. Students were asked to consider possible 'programs' that would su i t t h e i r circumstances and personal preferences. Simply put: who would be allowed to come in to the personal sanctuary, and what would be the a c t i v i t i e s that would take place there. Results of these deliberations tend to range from simple, singular design intentions, to complex, s o c i a l , action- packed design b r i e f s . Figure 97. Student worksheet prepared f o r t h i s p r o j e c t . Students can brainstorm i n t h e i r sketchbooks, and t h i s preliminary dreaming phase can be a very enjoyable part of the project. Some students might want to simply convert t h e i r bedroom to a more elaborate or l i v e l i e r or more pleasant place, others might want to design a f a n c i f u l free-standing building the l i k e s of which has never been seen before. The task as I see i t i s to give students the design tools to enable the development and manifestation of the idea at least i n drawing and model form. Once students have accumulated some confidence i n drawing buildings from observation, however simple the re s u l t s may be, they usually understand that i f approached systematically, drawing a building i s actually not such a d i f f i c u l t operation as they may have once thought. (I have a secret theory that most buildings are a c t u a l l y quite easy to draw.' If they weren't, they would l i k e l y never have been designed or b u i l t . This of course excludes some of the very ex c i t i n g work done by some of the b r i l l i a n t a r c h i t e c t s , some computer generated/designed structures, and some buildings made without the aid of drawings.) At any rate, buoyed by some success, students are perhaps less l i k e l y to be frightened by the prospect of drawing a building that doesn't exist - except i n t h e i r own imaginations. But f i r s t , the idea needs to be developed. Back to dreaming. I have never been as clear and a r t i c u l a t e i n my classroom about the steps i n the design process as Bardach i s i n his e i g h t f o l d path to design (discussed i n Chapter 3 ) , and I think I w i l l t r y to be more a r t i c u l a t e about the methodology of design i n the future. I do believe that i f enough envisioning takes place, the program, including cast of characters and range of a c t i v i t i e s becomes clear, and a good responsive design almost naturally flows out of t h i s d e l i b e r a t i o n . Bardach suggests the f i r s t step might be stated: 'define the problem'. Speculating about what might be or as Bardach puts i t 'assembling some evidence' or 'thinking and hustling data' can engage students for hours i f they are shown simple ways to express what they are thinking. In order to plan e f f e c t i v e l y on paper, students need to know simple conventions for plan, section, elevation drawings and how to show walls, windows openings and to sketch massing. Out come the green peppers to remind about these simple views, and a few l i n e s sketched on the board or a chart are a l l that i s r e a l l y needed to get students moving towards a design. It i s a very simple vocabulary that i s required: Students need to know these rudimentary drawing techniques so they can do what I might c a l l fooling around with some ideas or what corresponds to Bardach's step 'construct the alterna t i v e s ' . Ideas should be kept sketchy at t h i s point; nothing done i n thi s phase should be too precious. Otherwise too much energy gets invested i n the product, and further exploration might be precluded. Figure 98. Simple conventions f o r drawing plans. Figure 99. Sample p r e l i m i n a r y sketches. Classes are u s u a l l y m u l t i - l e v e l . Results vary, but not n e c e s s a r i l y c o n s i s t e n t l y with l e v e l or age. The generated ideas, wishes and dreams need to be analysed and evaluated i n some way - what i s most satisfactory, and which ideas are within the realm of p o s s i b i l i t y at least to be manifested i n drawing and/or model form. This i s the process that Bardach c a l l s 'selecting the c r i t e r i a ' . In the r e a l i t y of an actual building, many constraints are entertained at t h i s stage. In art class, some of the 'real l i f e ' factors can be included or excluded at w i l l : economics, materials, s o c i a l r e a l i t i e s , zoning bylaws, and the l i k e . We can decide i f economics w i l l matter i n t h i s project, and consider how d i f f e r e n t i t might be i f we take one decision about economic constraints rather than the other. We can assume that the planning department w i l l accept our creations, or we could study the bylaws to see i f our ideas w i l l be welcomed or at least allowed. Or we can cheerfully ignore a l l these considerations i f students are at a stage where learning to be free and p l a y f u l with ideas i s most appropriate. Having generated some alternatives, we might push those ideas a l i t t l e to see what might come of them. Again, Bardach c a l l s t h i s "projecting the outcomes'. This requires a l e v e l of patience that many students at high school l e v e l do not e a s i l y find, but i f we can promote th i s sort of exploration, students w i l l t r u l y be engaging i n the richness of the design process rather than rushing to the f i n a l solution too quickly. I t r y to encourage students to make working models, which are patched together roughly to test ideas - c l e a r l y d i f f e r e n t from the finished model i n l e v e l of craftsmanship. A l l but a few students r e s i s t this idea and l i k e to make t h e i r models as well crafted and beautiful as possible, right from the star t . Figure 100. A working model of l i t t l e investment i n time and c a r e f u l c r a f t . Once some e x p l o r a t i o n o f p o s s i b l e a l t e r n a t i v e s has t a k e n p l a c e , i t comes time t o d e c i d e upon a c o u r s e o f a c t i o n and th e n c l e a r drawings o f t h e i d e a and a model t o communicate the concept are p r e p a r e d . T h i s s t a g e does not need t o be to o i n f l e x i b l y t i e d t o a d e c i s i o n - changes can s t i l l be made i n t h e m o d e l l i n g up t o the time o f c o m p l e t i o n . Figure 101. Model made with love and care. I ask s t u d e n t s t o b e g i n m o d e l l i n g by drawing a p e r s o n t o s c a l e on c a r d - then t h e house can be made t o pers o n s c a l e . I n t e r e s t e d s t u d e n t s a r e encouraged t o e x p l o r e the use o f th e a r c h i t e c t u r a l s c a l e , but some choose t o f o r e g o t h i s t o o l . S t udents o f t e n d e s i g n on graph paper and s e t the s c a l e a p p r o p r i a t e t o t h e i r needs. Some s i m p l y draw a s c a l e p e r s o n t o h e l p g u i d e the drawing, -1À -1 •A- 1 1 AT Figure 102. Human sc a l e examples guide a r c h i t e c t s i n t h e i r d e l i b e r a t i o n s .  Figure 104. A rendering of a sanctuary. I have found t h i s to be a very s a t i s f y i n g project for students who are new to design. It can be from the heart and successful even for students who aren't ready to take too many chances i n the artroom, and i t can be a highly imaginative exercise for those students who are ready to take an imaginative f l i g h t . Figure 105. Examples of student sanctuary models. One student even nested her sanctuary below the water i n a large pool. Figure 108. Pool t a b l e s and giant screens f i g u r e d prominently i n designs. Figure 109. Many students simply made an i d e a l bedroom, some very s i m i l a r i n type to t h e i r own rooms at home. On r e f l e c t i o n I can see that t h i s project i s a good way to introduce the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of pursuing alternatives and applying some rigour with respect to the analysis and evaluation of new ideas. In the next i t e r a t i o n s , I w i l l t r y to put more emphasis upon, and fi n d more ways to express, the stages of the design process, p a r t i c u l a r l y as ar t i c u l a t e d by Bardach, to give students a richer experience i n the generation and consideration of p o s s i b i l i t i e s . Another way thi s whole lesson sequence (including the next topic - a family retreat) can be developed i s by introducing and a r t i c u l a t i n g as c l e a r l y as possible some of the concepts discussed i n the phenomenology section of thi s document. I could encourage students to understand t h e i r dreams more f u l l y by appealing to t h e i r senses when they are dreaming t h e i r sanctuary: not just what goes on there?, who i s allowed to come in?, (creating a place story) but what about the views, the colours, the textures, the style, the smells, the sounds, the feelings engendered, the moods evoked, the l i s t s of adjectives we could make to describe i t , the types of spaces - for example, cosy or open?, the comforts provided. I could guide students to show in words and/or pictures what makes the place special? What makes i t unique?, what makes i t decidedly yours? Upon r e f l e c t i o n , I don't think I have ever done enough of thi s sort of dream-guiding when we have approached t h i s project. I think i t i s help f u l to lead students through some of these considerations. Additionally, I might try, another time when thi s project i s underway, to ask students to f i n d a place that i s al i k e i n some quality - not the space they would create, but one that has some s i m i l a r i t y . I might ask them to make notes about t h e i r experience i n that space - much l i k e my phenomenological t r i p to the pool, recounted i n Chapter 3. I might sometime ask students to f i n d a poem or a story that could f i t the place, some music that would go well with t h e i r vision, some art pieces that could be displayed there, some clothing they might wear to spend time there. Students were able to look at materials catalogues and paint colours, and they could investigate these resources c a r e f u l l y , even to the point of preparing materials and colour boards for t h e i r creations. Alternately, most students enjoyed showing colours, sample materials, even s p e c i a l l y designed furniture as part of the modelling exercise. Also, although I did ask students to have some sense of the s i t e or context for t h e i r design, much more could be done to bring the relationship of the designed space to the exi s t i n g space to l i f e . I once asked a prospective c l i e n t to send me a small box f u l l of b i t s of vegetation c o l l e c t e d from her s i t e , and a verbal/visual description of the views at various times of the day from her s i t e . This was a very enjoyable exercise for us both. I could ask students at the beginning of the year to 'adopt a s i t e ' - to sketch i t maybe once a week i n t h e i r sketchbook, perhaps guiding them to focus upon a range of considerations.: vegetation and changes through the seasons, views out and i n , neighbours, passers-thro', even guesses about the history of the s i t e and potential s i t e development. F i g u r e 110. Some s t u d e n t s c o n s i d e r e d s i t e - t h e beach. I asked s t u d e n t s t o w r i t e a d e s i g n b r i e f o r program (who and what happens t h e r e ) and t o draw some s k e t c h e s b e f o r e commencing w i t h model b u i l d i n g . I would show s t u d e n t s some of the i n s p i r i n g , f r e e s k e t c h e s made by the masters i n the d e s i g n phase. (See Chapter 3 - the Phenomenology s e c t i o n f o r some examples.) Next time I would show s t u d e n t s how t o make a x o n o m e t r i c drawings - which a re s u r p r i s i n g l y easy t o p r e p a r e . F i g u r e 111. a x o n o m e t r i c d r a w i n g - s i m p l y t w i s t t h e p l a n t o an a n g l e , keep a l l v e r t i c a l s j u s t t h a t : v e r t i c a l . Next time as w e l l , I would encourage m o d e l l i n g as e x p l o r a t i o n more, r a t h e r than l e t t i n g the emphasis f a l l on t h e c r a f t of m o d e l l i n g f o r t h i s e x e r c i s e . With a p r o j e c t o f t h i s scope, I would be i n c l i n e d t o save some of the large modelling techniques suggested i n the Phenomenology section for the more sophisticated project to follow - the family retreat. This idea of sanctuary can take many forms, and can be a very personal or a communal project. It seems to me that the envisioning of sanctuary can be a wonderful way to lead students to the understanding that place can be, as Eudora Welty declared, something that heals, soothes, and f i l l s the vacuum that humans, i n the course of l i v i n g . t h e i r l i v e s , can experience a l l too often. We can make places that make us f e e l better. 6. f a m i l y r e t r e a t A more complex project also on.the sanctuary theme - a family retreat - might require a more sophisticated design process than the previous personal sanctuary project. Some of the more detailed phenomenological approaches to design might be here explored as well, as suggested by Joel Shack learning experience links 3 R's: Receive messages from precedents (awareness of the environment) and Respond to perceived human need Educative value: More complex but similar goals to those i n the previous lesson. Practice using the a n a l y t i c a l tools, exploration of form - right and l e f t brain integration. Connection to Architectural/Art themes: Again, s i m i l a r goals to lesson 5.with some emphasis on a phenomenological approach to the design question. For t h i s project, I have d e f i n i t e l y emphasised the r e l a t i o n s h i p of the designed building with the s i t e ' o r loc a t i o n . Perhaps sensible economic considerations can be thrown to the winds - perhaps not - i t needs to be clear whether money i s a constraint or not - but c l e a r l y s i t e i s l i k e l y to be an i n t e g r a l part of t h i s project. I have started with some guided envisioning of a place where one's family could go to retreat from the routines of d a i l y l i f e . Students might sketch some lovely settings, real or imagined, where they would envision t h e i r family, could rest and relax'together. Joel Shack suggests what he c a l l s 'deep immersion' i n the s i t e i n a l l seasons, which again, could be r e a l or imagined, but would expand the understanding of the circumstances i f a l l seasons were to be considered. I have noticed that forests and water figure prominently i n many schemes done by students in the past, but some students are reluctant to move too far from the a r t e r i a l s that could f a c i l i t a t e a quick transport back to t h e i r friends and t h e i r d a i l y l i v e s . Be that as i t may, students could be guided to consider the group of people who w i l l use the retreat, and the neighbours, and the neighbourhood, in as much d e t a i l as seems reasonable. Moreover, i f at a l l possible, precedent examples can possibly be found, i n r e a l i t y and i n the media, which might stimulate and insp i r e , but which should not be allowed to dominate the design process. Inasmuch as families can be very complex e n t i t i e s , I introduce the idea of 'zoning' a building to accommodate the range of privacy-communal requirements, which even members of very small families c l e a r l y understand. The making of 'bubble diagrams', a' tool used i n the planning stages by designers to enable f l e x i b l e t e s t i n g of alternatives, i s re a d i l y understood and easy for students to use. _-_ Figure 112. Examples of bubble diagrams. I c o u l d show an example o f a bubble diagram, which s i m p l y r e c o r d s , u s i n g n o t h i n g more f a n c y than c i r c l e s drawn on a page, the r e l a t i v e s i z e o f spaces r e q u i r e d , and some i n f o r m a t i o n r e g a r d i n g the r e l a t i o n s h i p o f spaces t o one a n o t h e r . Codes can be developed: spaces t h a t are v e r y c l o s e l y r e l a t e d can be j o i n e d w i t h a t h i c k l i n e , t h i n n e r l i n e s can j o i n spaces of l e s s i m p o r t a n t c o n n e c t i o n , jaggedy s t r o n g l i n e s can s e p a r a t e spaces t h a t s h o u l d be kept s e p a r a t e . I use the word 'spaces' a t t h i s s t a g e , r a t h e r than 'rooms', t o h e l p keep t h i n k i n g open and f l e x i b l e about what might comprise t h i s r e t r e a t . 'Rooms' are i n many minds q u i t e d e f i n e d spaces, w i t h p a r t i c u l a r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s t h a t may be d i f f i c u l t t o q u e s t i o n . A 'space' might t a k e forms not yet d e f i n e d and/or assumed. We c o u l d s t a r t w i t h l i s t s o f i n h a b i t a n t s , t h e i r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , and spaces r e q u i r e d , o r we c o u l d move r i g h t on w i t h bubble diagrams once the i n i t i a l e n v i s i o n i n g of s i t e and b u i l d i n g u s e r s / i n h a b i t a n t s i s done. I t r i e d a v a r i a t i o n on the bubble diagram l a s t time I d i d t h i s p r o j e c t which was v e r y s u c c e s s f u l . I made a v a i l a b l e a l o t of l i g h t c a r d b o a r d s t r i p s , l o t s of tape and some l i g h t c a r d b o a r d s h e e t s and c o n s t r u c t i o n paper. S t u d e n t s were asked t o make a rough s y m b o l i c s i t e on the c a r d s h e e t s , and the n t o work w i t h the s t r i p s o f c a r d t o form t h r e e - d i m e n s i o n a l bubble diagrams on the mock-up of the s i t e . From t h e s e p r e l i m i n a r y s t u d i e s w i t h s i m p l e c a r d b o a r d s t r i p s , my s t u d e n t s moved t o s i m p l e s k e t c h e s and then s i m p l e m o d e l l i n g t e c h n i q u e s and f i n a l p r e s e n t a t i o n models. Figure 114. Simple p r e s e n t a t i o n models. On r e f l e c t i o n , and from d i s c u s s i o n s w i t h o t h e r s , e s p e c i a l l y J o e l Shack, I see t h a t t h i s c o u l d become a much r i c h e r e x e r c i s e . J o e l s u g g e s t s t h a t we might "make of e v e r y b u i l d i n g a ' s o c i e t y of rooms'- (rooms, not j u s t f l e x i b l e s p a c e ) " which t h i s form of bubble diagramming seems t o s u p p o r t . T h i s i s f i n e w i t h me as l o n g as s t u d e n t s do not adhere too c l o s e l y t o t h e i r i d e a s about s p e c i f i c rooms: bedroom, k i t c h e n e t c . They need t o be encouraged t o i n v e n t new ways f o r a bedroom or a k i t c h e n t o be c o n f i g u r e d . They need t o q u e s t i o n what t h e y know about th e s e rooms. J o e l f u r t h e r s u g g e s t s t h a t we t h i n k on what the b u i l d i n g as a whole and each major p a r t 'wants t o be'- i d e a s which can sometimes be g e n e r a t e d by a good bubble diagram and i m a g i n a t i v e d r e a m i n g / s k e t c h i n g combined. D e v e l o p i n g a p l a c e s t o r y or p o s s i b l e s c e n a r i o s t h a t might u n f o l d i n the p r o j e c t i s a d e l i g h t f u l way f o r s t u d e n t s t o sharpen t h e i r v i s i o n of what might be i n t h e i r d e s i g n e d p l a c e . But t h i s can be deepened by f u r t h e r s p e c u l a t i o n r e g a r d i n g what might have happened p r e v i o u s l y on t h a t s i t e , and what might happen t h e r e as a f a m i l y r e t r e a t comes t o l i f e . T h i s k i n d o f i m a g i n i n g b r i n g s t o the p r o j e c t a v i v a c i t y and depth t h a t a s i m p l e s t o r y or l i s t (or program of b u i l d i n g elements and space s i z e s ) c o u l d not, on i t s own, p r o v i d e . Students can be encouraged to experiment with various ways of responding to these imagined place s t o r i e s . They can be guided to try some alternative designs with respect to b u i l t form and arrangement that could accommodate t h e i r dreams. Annotated drawings wherein simple words and phrases help to thicken out ideas regarding how l i f e might enfold i n the retreat can be a lovely element of the design process. And students can evaluate t h e i r ideas by doing as Joel also suggests "read stories into t h e i r drawings to test authenticity" - i . e . imagine i f t h e i r l i f e stories r e a l l y could be accommodated in t h e i r creation. Students as well can l i k e l y be persuaded to try to do some simple drawings to i l l u s t r a t e key parts of t h e i r design - to show what a walkthrough of t h e i r creation might reveal. Perhaps th i s could be connected to the plan view. I have noted i n the past that some students l i k e to show with arrows on plan i n which d i r e c t i o n they are looking and to draw what they might see from that vantage point. Those that are drawn to t h i s careful investigative drawing might benefit from encouragement to c r y s t a l l i s e t h e i r visions in th i s way. This project can be taken i n many directions, and students can decide how far they i n d i v i d u a l l y wish to take the ideas. Some students choose to get very elaborate and grand, others choose the simple l i f e . The p r o j e c t a l s o c o u l d be used t o i n t e g r a t e some o f the i d e a s of s u s t a i n a b l e development: h e a l t h y c h o i c e s w i t h r e s p e c t t o m a t e r i a l s and t e c h n o l o g y , the ' s m a l l i s b e a u t i f u l ' approach can w e l l be a p p l i e d t o r e s t and r e l a x a t i o n , and c e r t a i n l y such elements as a l t e r n a t e h e a t i n g and c o o l i n g and waste management c o u l d be e x p l o r e d . I n my next go'round, I am newly m o t i v a t e d t o gu i d e s t u d e n t s t o i n v e s t i g a t e how t h e i r f a m i l y r e t r e a t c o u l d be based upon some o f t h e s e s i m p l e p r i n c i p l e s of s u s t a i n a b i l i t y . One s t u d e n t chose t o d e s i g n a t i n y r e t r e a t t h a t i n c o r p o r a t e d s o l a r p a n e l s on the r o o f . She d i d some r e s e a r c h and p r o u d l y d e s c r i b e d the green a s p e c t o f her d e s i g n a t the group p r e s e n t a t i o n . With t h i s p r o j e c t , t h e Figure 1 1 7 . Model views - some chose to develop a very elaborate sanctuary. 7. unpave - community process The i n d i v i d u a l s i t e , and even the i n d i v i d u a l house and yard, are to the landscape region what the single c e l l i s to the human body. Just as the health of the human body i s dependent on the health of a l l i t s c e l l s , so the ecological health of a landscape region i s dependent on the health of i t s i n d i v i d u a l s i t e s . Patrick Condon (quoted i n the Vancouver Sun September 6, 2003 p.C2) learning experience links 3 R's : Respond to human needs in a s p i r i t of cooperation and s o c i a l Responsibility Educative value: Engage kinesthetic and mathematical l o g i c a l ways of learning, and gives practice i n v i s u a l i s i n g . Transmit simple concept of f u l l scale. Practice interpersonal s k i l l s , exploration of form - right and l e f t brain integration. Connection to Architectural/Art themes : Large drawings to be made. Practice with the steps of the design process (on your feet for the most part) and a phenomenological approach to design. Community action with issues of s u s t a i n a b i l i t y to consider. I would venture to guess that almost every area where students congregate to be educated has paving thereabouts. And I would further o f f e r that some of that paving i s not necessary. Moreover, the process of paving the earth can cause problems. In a feature news a r t i c l e concerned with 'The New (sustainable) Suburbia' p a r t i c u l a r l y Surrey's East Clayton housing development, b i l l e d as a part of North America's new housing revolution, some emerging ideas for planning sustainable communities are outlined. In 1995, the Surrey Municipal Council, led by the mayor Doug McCallum, i n concert with Patrick Condon, UBCs James Taylor Research Chair i n Landscape and Livable Environments, began to move forward with a planning process and a scheme to design a sustainable community which conformed to emerging national, regional and l o c a l p o l i c i e s .promoting sustainable development. Although t h i s p a r t i c u l a r project demonstrates the controversy and messiness common to leading edge exploration and change, some of the operating p r i n c i p l e s attempted i n the development might be of inte r e s t to students i n the art studio. With respect to paving, one of the 'green' p r i n c i p l e s for s u s t a i n a b i l i t y i s a c l e a r l y a r t i c u l a t e d goal i n t h i s housing development. The designers wanted to: Preserve the natural environment and promote natural drainage systems (in which storm water i s held on the surface and permitted to seep natu r a l l y into the ground). William Boei, The Vancouver Sun, 6 September, 2003 page C4 Surrey i s highly paved, and drainage has long been a problem i n the municipality. In the a r t i c l e i t i s noted that "Low-lying parts of Surrey had been flooding more often since the old forests were cut down, and the more land was paved, the worse the flooding became." (ibid, C3] Surrey provides a good example of thoughtful response to damage accrued by over-paving, and a further excerpt from t h i s feature story i n the Sun provides s u f f i c i e n t background to at least get students thinking about the rationale for reducing paving, and what measures might be i n i t i a t e d . Riparian parkway cross-section 0.6m 2i-3im . 15m 2.2-3.2m Varies: 9.5m -10m L5m The East Clayton project features a proposed "riparian parkway" - a 27-metre-wide arterial road complex that includes four lanes of traffic, two walking paths, three boulevard areas with trees, and an artificial stream that would be green space most of the year, but during wet weather would carry excess rainfall to an artificial wetlands area. Source; James Taylor Chair in Landscape and Livable Environments Today, McCallum insists, development in Sur- rey is "well controlled," and "East Clayton is just a good example of that." Surrey is civilizing most of the highways and major arterials that angle across its landscape, adding grass medians, trees and boulevards. Even before East Clayton came along, McCal- lum says, Surrey was nudging developers to build more back lanes and narrower streets so as to dis- courage neighbourhoods from turning to park- ing lots. "It's been very effective in the newer commu- nities," he says. "By narrowing the streets, we're forcing the cars off the streets and they have to start to use their garages." Surrey has been encouraging small-lot subdi- visions for several years. And McCallum adds that Surrey has sworn off massive shopping cen- tres like the one at Guildford, which require vast stretches of land to be paved. "You're not going to see those huge paved parking lots any more." Surrey is also pushing the use of porous drive- ways that absorb water, and it has spent big mon- ey in the past four years to strengthen dikes, build pump stations, improve drainage and reduce the frequent flooding that has plagued the lowlands, especially in the flood plains of the Serpentine and Nicomekl rivers. Perhaps most significantly, the city has built Surrey Lake, a four-hectare artificial lake on the boundary between the uplands and the lowlands, which serves as a massive detention pond for runoff water. McCallum, whose administration built it, calls it "an environmental masterpiece" that not only helps control flooding by holding water until it can drain through natural systems, but is also growing into a bird sanctuary, salmon habitat and recreation area Surrey Lake opened just last year and "what we have found this year for the first time is a huge number of fields being farmed which had never been farmed in the history of Surrey," McCallum says. That includes Fry's Corner, a low-lying area near the Serpentine River where the Fraser High- way crosses 176th Avenue. It hadn't been planted in at least 30 or 40 years due to frequent flood- ing, but McCallum says it's growing a crop this year. Figure 118. Excerpt from the a r t i c l e quoted above. I t h i n k t h i s (or a s i m i l a r package of) i n f o r m a t i o n i s s u f f i c i e n t t o make s t u d e n t s aware of the i s s u e s s u r r o u n d i n g n a t u r a l d r a i n a g e , and the r a t i o n a l e f o r t h i n k i n g about 'unpaving' our land. I would not want to produce a resistance to t h i s information by providing too much s c i e n t i f i c data i n the artroom. Certainly interested students could be guided to investigate the questions of natural drainage more thoroughly, but in general, a simple rationale should s u f f i c e . Once students understand that unnecessary overpaving i s causing problems, i t i s a fine, l i f e - a f f i r m i n g i n i t i a t i v e to f i n d such a place and consider what might be done i f the paving process were to be reversed: vunpave'. I see t h i s project as an opportunity to pursue two goals - a small contribution to greening of our neighbourhood, at least i n theory, and an opportunity to practise working communally to achieve a desired goal. I t r i e d t h i s project at a school that had a massive parking l o t that was underutilised by cars. While some parts of the paving were used for games, some of the hard surface was not needed and could have been unpaved. We talked i n the classroom about other ways the paved area could be u t i l i s e d . Suggestions were made which included gazebo type shelters - some of rather f u t u r i s t i c design, and others which included provisions for simple sanctuary. Students organised themselves into groups, and with some preliminary discussion and sketching on paper at t h e i r desks, began to plan what they might do to redevelop the excessive paved area outside the school. Figure 119. A simple preliminary sketch When the time seemed ripe, and I think I made a poor c a l l as to when that time arrived, each student was given a piece of chalk and ushered out the door to begin sketching, d i r e c t l y onto the pavement, t h e i r schemes at f u l l scale. They were very highly motivated, and keen to get out there and begin drawing on the asphalt. Figure 120. Student at work on the paved area. I wish I could c a l l those students back together into the classroom now. I saw, upon r e f l e c t i o n then, and even more c l e a r l y now, that I missed a wonderful opportunity to encourage collaboration amongst the groups. While the small groups were very successful at working together to decide what t h e i r creation might be, and how to set i t out upon the paved surface, the entire arrangement lacked coordination. When the students and I noticed t h i s , we t r i e d a t r i c k often attempted in the b u i l t world: to soften our mistakes with vegetation. To the students' credit, they were able to see the joke in th i s , and we a l l learned something about community planning by recognising our error. The rain soon washed away our e f f o r t s , and I wish I had found the time to r e v i s i t t h i s exercise with that group. F i g u r e 121. Drawings and f u l l s c a l e p l a n s on pavement. I have t r i e d t h i s p r o j e c t w i t h o t h e r , younger s t u d e n t s , who were t h r i l l e d a t the i d e a of c h a l k i n g t h e i r d e s i g n s a t f u l l s c a l e as w e l l . I t i s a w o n d e r f u l way t o c l a r i f y t h e p l a n view and t o encourage t h e a b i l i t y t o v i s u a l i s e . I now see t h a t a l t h o u g h each e f f o r t I have made i n t h i s p r o j e c t 'unpave' has produced some e x c i t i n g r e s u l t s , the i d e a can be v e r y much e n r i c h e d by i n c l u d i n g c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f t h e r a t i o n a l e f o r s u s t a i n a b i l i t y , and the e x e r c i s e o f c o l l a b o r a t i v e s k i l l s a t b o t h the s m a l l group and l a r g e r group l e v e l . With t h i s emphasis, the a s p e c t of s o c i a l l y r e s p o n s i b l e d e s i g n can be f o c u s s e d upon, and v a l u a b l e s k i l l s o b t a i n e d . Furthermore, t h e a c t i o n o f w o r k i n g a t the f u l l s c a l e c r e a t e s the o p p o r t u n i t y t o e x p l o r e the i d e a s o f f e r e d by J o e l Shack i n t h e s e c t i o n on phenomenology. We might, a f t e r making a f u l l - s i z e l a y o u t on t h e ground, t r y making a s k e t c h c o l l a g e o f views o f what we might see i n o t h e r d imensions as we a c t u a l l y move t h r o u g h the h o r i z o n t a l p l a n view. T h i s a c t i o n would b r i n g the p l a n s t o l i f e i n a way t h a t might e x t e n d the v i s i o n i n g i n t o a new and e x c i t i n g r e a l m . Figure 122. Students working together on t h i s cooperative p r o j e c t . G e n e r a l l y , when we t h i n k of paving, we t h i n k of a s p h a l t : p a r k i n g l o t s , driveways, roads, and the l i k e . I am s t r e t c h i n g the p o i n t here, but perhaps when a patch of l a n d i s i n a c c e s s i b l e f o r some reason, we c o u l d m e t a p h o r i c a l l y at l e a s t , c a l l i t 'paved'. A b e a u t i f u l v a r i a t i o n on the i d e a of sanctuary, d i s c u s s e d i n the p r e v i o u s s e c t i o n , i s the c r e a t i o n of a communal- sanctuary by a group w i l l i n g to donate some energy to the common good. I have seen a few l o v e l y examples of t h i s , and would i n c l u d e them here i n the l e s s o n sequence c a l l e d 'unpave'. The f i r s t example i s a recent development by the N ' g y s t l e S o c i e t y , a group of people d e d i c a t e d to forming a h e a l i n g community, on Haida Gwaii (formerly c a l l e d the Queen C h a r l o t t e I s l a n d s ) . T h i s group and s u p p o r t i v e v o l u n t e e r s d e c i d e d t o make a sanctuary space behind t h e i r community o f f i c e s , on a patch of land badly overgrown, i n e f f e c t 'paved', with brambles and weeds. A f t e r c o u n t l e s s hours of very d i f f i c u l t l a b o u r removing the t h i c k and p r i c k l y growth, they c l e a r e d a p l a c e where tog e t h e r they c o u l d begin t o e n v i s i o n a p e a c e f u l outdoor space. They wanted to make a p l a c e where they c o u l d s i t outdoors and q u i e t l y meditate or converse with o t h e r s . V a r i o u s people i n the community o f f e r e d ideas and hard work, and soon a l o v e l y communal sanctuary was underway. Gravel was de c i d e d upon t o thwart the r e t u r n of the brambles. Someone c o n t r i b u t e d an e v o c a t i v e p i e c e of driftw o o d , another added a p r e c i o u s g l a s s f l o a t found on the beach, p l a n t i n g s were i n t r o d u c e d and garden s t a t u a r y , a bench and a p i c n i c t a b l e were p r o v i d e d . F i g u r e 123. The s a n c t u a r y g a r d e n i n S k i d e g a t e . Inasmuch as my students have r e c e n t l y moved i n t o a new s c h o o l , and complaints are heard along the l i n e s of "our s c h o o l looks l i k e every other s c h o o l now", th e r e may be some o p p o r t u n i t y to t r y some communal development of spaces i n my very near f u t u r e . I t h i n k i t i s q u i t e s a f e to say t h a t each s c h o o l has some l i t t l e area t h a t c o u l d b e n e f i t from c o l l a b o r a t i v e student a t t e n t i o n . Perhaps t h i s i s a wonderful a r t p r o j e c t w a i t i n g to u n f o l d . 8.community u p l i f t providing a r e f i t learning experience links 3 R's : Receive messages of the environment, Respond to human needs i n a s p i r i t of cooperation and s o c i a l R e s ponsibility Educative value: Gives practice in v i s u a l i s i n g what might be appropriate interventions. Practice interpersonal s k i l l s , negotiation and working together. Connection to Architectural/Art themes: Recognise that simple interventions can raise the qual i t y of the environment and discover personal e f f i c a c y . Expressive art making. I spent four very happy years teaching i n an old school, slated for demolition and replacement. Although the school could have been said to be crumbling about our ears, the school community was generally happy there. Over the f i v e decades t h i s school had operated, many layers and accretions - signs of l i f e had been applied, and few would ever have commented that the school lacked 'soul'. The fact that the building's shelf l i f e was soon to be reached provided a stimulus for me to do some serious decoration. I saw i t as the opportunity to dress up and honour t h i s old building before the demolition crews arrived. After some serious negotiation with the school d i s t r i c t and the head of the painting crew i n par t i c u l a r , I received permission to launch a r e f i t i n i t i a t i v e at the old school. (This permission i s sometimes d i f f i c u l t to obtain as union regulations discourage anyone other than CUPE members from doing any action that might be part of someone's job description.) painting lockers and murals My request was for permission to make paintings on the lockers and, where appropriate, murals on the walls. I needed to show that the operation would be well controlled, and that inappropriate art work would not be included. At the agreement stage, af t e r many months of sporadic discussion, the painting crew foreman even gave me a number of used cans of paint to use i n the project. In order to 'control' the locker painting project, I devised a design sheet for students to use to plan t h e i r artwork, and to demonstrate appropriateness. It had to be signed by myself before paint would be given out. In the i n i t i a l stages, u n t i l our very supportive p r i n c i p a l was assured that there wouldn't be inappropriate paintings l i n i n g our h a l l s and frightening the grade 8's, (not to mention t h e i r parents), the designs had to be vetted by the administration as well. The d e s i g n sheet p r o v e d t o be a good i d e a . S t u d e n t s had a chance t o d e v e l o p t h e i r i d e a s a l i t t l e , b o t h i n t h e i r s k e t c h b o o k s and f i n a l l y on the d e s i g n s h e e t , and any w i l d , f r i g h t e n i n g o r o t h e r w i s e i n a d v i s a b l e i d e a s were c o n v e r t e d i n t o w o r k a b l e ones. I n i t i a l l y , o n l y s t u d e n t s e n r o l l e d i n my a r t c l a s s e s were a l l o w e d t o p a r t i c i p a t e , but soon another a r t t e a c h e r got i n v o l v e d f o r a time i n the p r o j e c t as w e l l . B e f o r e l o n g , t h e p r o j e c t was opened up t o the e n t i r e s c h o o l and many s t u d e n t s who were not e n r o l l e d i n V i s u a l A r t s got i n v o l v e d . A l l s t u d e n t s f o l l o w e d the same procedure o f d e s i g n / a p p r o v a l b e f o r e sandpaper, p a i n t and brushes were r e c e i v e d . A few s t u d e n t s t r i e d t o i n j e c t some s u b v e r s i v e , not t o mention unapproved, c o n t e n t i n t o t h e i r p a i n t i n g s , but p a i n t i n g over was the a c c e p t e d n e x t s t e p . A f t e r t h r e e y e a r s o f p a i n t i n g , our o l d s c h o o l l o o k e d d e l i g h t f u l . Some f i n e p a i n t i n g s were p a i n t e d over by new owners of the l o c k e r s a t the s t a r t of new s c h o o l y e a r s , but m o s t l y s t u d e n t s a r r a n g e d t o p a i n t someone e l s e ' s l o c k e r i f th e y were a s s i g n e d one i n September t h a t a l r e a d y had an ar t w o r k on i t . I was a b l e t o purchase t e n o f the p a i n t e d l o c k e r s from the d e m o l i t i o n / s a l v a g e company. These w i l l be mounted on a c o n c r e t e w a l l i n t h e new s c h o o l t o b r i n g some ' s o u l ' and even ' g h o s t i e s ' of the o l d b u i l d i n g i n t o our new, F i g u r e 125. L o c k e r s .   murals The painting of murals was organised according to a sim i l a r plan. I showed students a model of a design approval drawing, for which i t was necessary to draw a simple elevation of the wall to be painted, complete with landmarks to i d e n t i f y location. Students then would design t h e i r mural and show the colour scheme. Approval received: l e t the painting begin. F i g u r e 128: Sample mural approval drawing. It turned out that far fewer students wished to be involved in mural painting than i n locker painting, but a few good murals resulted from t h i s i n i t i a t i v e . Figure 129. Sample mural proposals and a painted mural. the scrapbook Throughout the time leading up to the departure of our school community from our school building, I asked students to look very c l o s e l y at thi s beloved old building and draw. Sketchbook expeditions were frequently taken when projects were complete, and some of the in-class drawing assignments such as sighting, practice with elevations, shading exercises, etc. were directed to the subject of our school. Students were often surprised to note that a very f a m i l i a r place becomes much more fa m i l i a r and understood when the place i s c a r e f u l l y studied and drawn. We made a huge scrapbook of drawings of the school and of the new school under construction as well. Figure 130. The completed scrapbook. I wish I had been f a m i l i a r with Eileen Adams' ideas about s t y l i s i n g views of f a m i l i a r surroundings before we l e f t the school. I can imagine a lovely set of colourful simple views of the old school, within and without, would have been yet another way to catch the essence of our grand old place. design for a new school - community visioning Although the prospect of a new school f o r our s c h o o l community brought with i t many o p p o r t u n i t i e s to l e a r n about a r c h i t e c t u r e and to dream about what might be, I was r e l u c t a n t t o get my a r t students too i n v o l v e d i n the p l a n n i n g process. Budget c u t s . Many students were n a t u r a l l y i n t e r e s t e d i n what the new s c h o o l might be l i k e . S e v e r a l of my c l a s s e s - E n g l i s h as w e l l as A r t , had done some 'imagineering' e x e r c i s e s when we heard t h a t the new sc h o o l had been approved. These i n v o l v e d c o n s i d e r i n g the gen e r a l s t y l e and tone o f the b u i l d i n g - 'techy' and 'homelike' were the l e a d i n g p r e f e r e n c e s . And I kept the design drawings a v a i l a b l e i n the artroom f o r i n t e r e s t e d students t o read and study. One student, on h i s own i n i t i a t i v e , made a l o v e l y s c a l e model of the s c h o o l . Others drew the new b u i l d i n g s under c o n s t r u c t i o n . And some got i n v o l v e d i n the a r c h i t e c t ' s c o m p e t i t i o n . The a r c h i t e c t o f our new sc h o o l , L a d i H o l o v s k i , o f f e r e d a $200 p r i z e f o r the best i d e a , drawn by an a r t student, regarding•how t o f i t out and decorate the 'student p l a c e ' which i s a c t u a l l y j u s t a very wide p a r t of the c o r r i d o r of the new s c h o o l , near the multi-purpose room and acr o s s from the t e a c h i n g c a f e t e r i a . I was r e l u c t a n t to c a r r y any very s p e c i f i c dreaming too f a r ' because I knew t h a t the deep budget cuts were going to take p l a c e . I d i d not t h i n k that students should become too i n v o l v e d i n a f r u s t r a t i n g s i t u a t i o n where dreams were c l e a r l y not going the come to pass, and where even the s i m p l e s t v i s i o n s would l i k e l y be compromised. (It tu r n s out t h a t the 'student p l a c e ' i n our new sc h o o l i s completely unadorned, p a i n t e d grey, and f u l l of o l d f u r n i t u r e from the o l d s c h o o l . Budget cuts.) Notwithstanding these c o n s i d e r a t i o n s , I d i d t e l l my students that the a r c h i t e c t had made t h i s o f f e r , and, although budget cuts would be l i k e l y , perhaps we could do some envisioning for thi s area, maybe for future reference, maybe just for the exercise. Quite a few students part i c i p a t e d , and c e r t a i n l y the discussions about how teens might l i k e to develop a large, busy and important space in the school were f r u i t f u l . But the economic constraint was foremost i n my mind - our budget was severely slashed - and I did not want to set anyone up for disappointment. Some student schemes involved cheery murals and graphics, l i g h t i n g e f f e c t s , s p e c i a l colour schemes and wall coverings, raised platform arrangements, simple but comfortable furniture arrangements, (such as we had i n the student entry lounge i n the old school), and wonderful f l o o r patterns. I did not keep the entries, but many students were happy to be recognised by the arc h i t e c t - he agreed to s p l i t the money prize seven ways, so the 'contest' aspect was somewhat diminished and the dreaming/wish-list aspect was underscored i n a low-key manner. Perhaps some day we w i l l be able to aff o r d to do some creative interventions i n that area of our new school. I think we a l l need to inhabit the space and think about i t for awhile, and then eventually we w i l l be able to marshall some energy to develop thoughtful, r e a l i s t i c , and achievable design proposals. future iterations I am inspire d by the work of B.C. public school teacher Linda Faulks, who recently delivered a keynote address to the B.C. Art Teachers Association Conference i n Richmond. This energetic.teacher has worked with students to produce over 250 murals for schools, as well as hospitals and other community venues. I am inspired as well by the town of Chemainus on Vancouver Island, which i s b e a u t i f u l l y r e f i t t e d with murals by a range of a r t i s t s and themes. Teachers and students might also want to investigate the p o l i t i c a l mural painting t r a d i t i o n s i n such places as Ireland and Cuba, to name only two of the diverse global sources of i n s p i r a t i o n and guidance. BELFAST MURAL Figure 131. P u b l i c a r t . E m b e l l i s h m e n t of p u b l i c b u i l d i n g s sometimes t a k e s courage and always r e q u i r e s c a r e f u l p l a n n i n g , but i t can be an e n r i c h i n g c o n t r i b u t i o n t o the b u i l t environment, and a d e l i g h t f u l way f o r p e o p l e t o put a p o s i t i v e i m p r i n t upon t h e i r s u r r o u n d i n g s . collaboration The art department i s often asked to collaborate with other d i s c i p l i n e s within the school to provide a r t i s t i c support for projects. One other scheme which Visual Arts students participated in was the embellishing of a g r a f f i t i wall for a school play. This project became the backdrop in the drama classroom for years a f t e r the play, adding a l i v e l y touch to an otherwise drab area. Figure 132. Art students painting sets. 9.product design learning experience links 3 R's: Receive - sharpen p e r c e p t i o n s of some t h i n g we take f o r granted. Respond to p a r t i c u l a r needs of an i n d i v i d u a l . A component of S o c i a l R e s p o n s i b i l i t y - c r e a t i v i t y vs. mass consumerism. E d u c a t i v e v a l u e : Opportunity to develop a n a l y t i c a l problem s o l v i n g and e x p r e s s i v e s k i l l s . V i s u a l i s e what might be a p p r o p r i a t e . Engage v e r b a l / l i n g u i s t i c i n t e l l i g e n c e . Connection to A r c h i t e c t u r a l / A r t themes: Develop drawing to communicate ideas, develop a b i l i t y to generate and e v a l u a t e o p t i o n s . S u s t a i n a b i l i t y c o n s i d e r a t i o n s - products t h a t are kind to the p l a n e t , reuse of r e c y c l a b l e m a t e r i a l s . chairs On the assumption t h a t everyone l i k e s a good p l a c e to s i t , I f i r s t i n t r o d u c e d the t o p i c of c h a i r s to a Woodworking c l a s s i n which I was the Teacher on C a l l , and i n which I was unable, l e g a l l y , to t u r n on the power t o o l s . T h i s s t o r y i s more f u l l y recounted e a r l i e r i n t h i s document. A d d i t i o n a l l y , i n t h a t s i t u a t i o n , I had no idea how long I would be s u b s t i t u t i n g i n the c l a s s , so the p r o j e c t was c o n f i n e d to one 75 minute p e r i o d . I very b r i e f l y o u t l i n e d that d e s i g n i n g f o r a s p e c i f i c person i s q u i t e d i f f e r e n t from mass p r o d u c t i o n f o r the s p e c u l a t i v e market, and I asked the students to s t a r t by l i s t i n g at l e a s t f i v e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the person who would be the r e c i p i e n t of t h e i r c h a i r . I e x p l a i n e d t h a t they c o u l d experiment to f i n d a way to communicate t h e i r i d e a s , and that words and p i c t u r e s together, and sketches from as many angles as seemed necessary would be the scope of the work. I suggested t h a t students t r y to generate a few alternatives, but we were a l l very mindful of the amount of time we would have to complete t h i s project. The results were ac t u a l l y quite d e l i g h t f u l , though the constraint of b u i l d a b i l i t y of a model, or eventually, of an actual product, was not a key part of student considerations. •î)-c- W o o d -Top -5-ter4y ' K I M A b o i W • ) <L k)\£r M E S + u de r< t" •S rn &. r \ • w i S c S I D E V I EW r V . o ^ - - PerScM^ c a r . F R O N T . View ( f ' 1 Figure 133. Chair design. s<̂ 'V<.k Cor Fe„r wheels The next time I attempted t h i s d e s i g n p r o j e c t , a l s o i n a T.O.C. s i t u a t i o n of unknown d u r a t i o n , I c o p i e d a few pages of c h a i r s : out o f a woodworker's manual, from a shop drawing book of Shaker f u r n i t u r e , and from a modern i n d u s t r i a l d e s i g n j o u r n a l , t o d i s t r i b u t e around the c l a s s . The g o a l m o s t l y was t o g i v e i n s e c u r e s t u d e n t s the i d e a t h a t s o p h i s t i c a t e d d r awing s k i l l s a r e not r e q u i r e d t o t h i n k v i s u a l l y on paper. One s t u d e n t , who i n s i s t e d he c o u l d not draw, was v e r y happy t o d i s c o v e r t h a t he was good at making a n n o t a t e d diagrams. T h i s worked s i m i l a r l y f o r a number of s t u d e n t s . Moreover, s t u d e n t s warmed t o the i d e a of making a c h a i r t h a t was t a i l o r e d p a r t i c u l a r l y t o the needs of a p e r s o n they had s e l e c t e d . Figure 134. Unknown designer ( c l o t h e s p i n c h a i r ) , David C o l w e l l (middle chair) and Tony Winteringham ( r i g h t ) . splayed back legs, they are ideally placed to support the addit ional weight al that angle. The structurels, in fact, superbly suited to its intended purpose. A n overloaded shelf sags and may eventually break because o f the combinat ion o f compression and tension. But if you cut offa 50mm (2in) strip, turn it through 90 degrees and glue it to the underside o f the shelf, it w i l l be able to support more weight without bending - by turning the strip on edge you have constructed an effective beam. The rails supporting a table top or chair seat perform a similar function. The load on a beam is transferred to whatever is supporting it at each end - the legs of a table or chair, for example. The joints between the rails and legs must be capable of resisting shear forces (the downward pressure o f the load being opposed by the rigid sup- ports). Shear forces are increased considerably when sideways pressure is applied to a structure, exerting leverage on the joints. A strong dowel joint or the tongue of a mortise and tenon is able to cope with this leverage, especially i f the rail is deep enough to provide decent shoulders for the joints and i f glued corner blocks are used to reinforce the structure on the inside o f the rails. The joints of a cabinet or a box are especially vulner- able to sideways pressure, which causes the frame to 'r.ick'. forming a parallel- ogram. However, a rigid b.ick panel, vertical pilasters or comer plates will prevent movement in the joints and create a rigid structure. A built-in plinth orshelf- Mipporl rails will achieve the « i « purpose, while metal- Mnpcross-bracing prevents tacking by tyingopposite diagonal corners together. The effects of load on a shelf An unsupported box will collapse Making a box rigid To creale a n p d struc- ture the joints of a box or cabinet must be re- inforced using one o f the fol lowing methods. Strong joints and corner blocks hold the frame rigid Cross-bracing Figurel35.Inquiring i n t o c h a i r design Figure 136. 'Annotated diagrams'. The f i r s t few times I introduced the idea of product design with Visual Arts 3-D students, I did i t near the' beginning of the year, because I thought that a design project of more l i m i t e d scope than a building, however simple, would be easier and therefore a confidence builder. Although the product design process i s si m i l a r to the process for designing a building, I don't now think i t necessarily should precede some attempts at building design. Sometimes i t might be better to wait u n t i l students have acquired some s k i l l at three-dimensional model building before the p o t e n t i a l l y more i n t r i c a t e product design project i s tackled. In a Visual Arts 3-D class, students know they w i l l be developing the design into a 3-D model. This tends to s e t t l e some of the wilder ideas into the buildable realm, but I haven't noted, over the years a lack of imagination i n the b u i l t forms. Again, I would emphasise the careful choice and consideration of the person for whom the chair i s to be designed - the 'design b r i e f . In order to underscore the importance of th i s decision, I expanded the character study somewhat, and"gave some marks for a 'P r o f i l e ' of the person for whom the product was being designed. I asked for basic data, and d e t a i l s about the person, and even a simple sketch or i l l u s t r a t i o n of his/her appearance as well as an expanded l i s t of interests, l i k e s and d i s l i k e s and ch a r a c t e r i s t i c s . Some students elected to design for a person well-known to themselves, some chose to design for a c e l e b r i t y or even for an imagined character, such as one of the Simpsons. The goal at t h i s stage i s simply to analyse needs i n order to s t a r t problem solving. I think this goal can be re a l i s e d just as well for an imagined ' c l i e n t ' as a re a l person. '• BarBarA (my cowmj Shoe. 0i^ë; é r u - (Laî̂ ~ Figure 137. P r o f i l e of an intended r e c i p i e n t . It i s important to consider what are the functions of a chair, what comforts can i t provide; what q u a l i t i e s can a chair have, what c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s must' a chair have? What constituent parts might a chair have? The history of chairs i s fascinating. Although I was nervous i n i t i a l l y that i f we did too much research, only copies would result, t h i s was not borne out i n practice. I ask students to consider several p o s s i b i l i t i e s for t h e i r ' c l i e n t ' , sketching alternate designs i n a simple, diagrammatic way i n i t i a l l y , and adding annotations to enrich the expression of t h e i r ideas. I have used the green peppers i n t h i s instance as well, to introduce or remind students about plan, section and elevation views. Simple axonometric views can be demonstrated as well. Figure 138. Simple axonometric drawing. (Shaker Shop Drawings) In order to reinforce the importance of generating . alt e r n a t i v e solutions, I made t h i s exploration a markable task - so that the design b r i e f and the alternatives, taken together would be valued as highly as the eventually r e s u l t i n g model i n students' minds. For example, one could decide to make judgements based upon s u i t a b i l i t y to the recipient, the energy with which several optional solutions are developed, the imaginative power of the ideas, and the quali t y of the craftsmanship i n the development of the selected idea. This evaluation approach i s , of course, always adjustable to reinforce learning goals. Each teacher using these ideas would develop s p e c i f i c learning goals, out of. which would naturally f a l l the marking c r i t e r i a . Once students have developed several alternates, they meet the need to do some evaluation of the options, decision making, basing t h e i r choice on the intended recipient of the chair and the b u i l d a b i l i t y of t h e i r idea as well. An important consideration i s what materials are available for building, and whether we can b u i l d successfully with those materials. I might ask students to make a simple model of the person for whom they are designing the chair, then the chair can be b u i l t to the scale of the model person. Students with mathematical strength l i k e to do the cal c u l a t i o n to determine how big the model should be i f i t i s b u i l t at scale l"=l'-0", or i n a metric equivalent. One student brought in a Barbie d o l l to b u i l d a chair for. Sometimes students choose to work i n groups, and decide to b u i l d a chair at f u l l s i z e . Sometimes groups choose to work together to b u i l d a very i n t r i c a t e small scale model. Figure 139. Chairs - Barbie s c a l e , f u l l s c a l e model i n progress, toddler s c a l e . Some s i m p l e t e c h n i q u e s f o r model b u i l d i n g need t o be demonstrated: s a f e t y measures f o r c u t t i n g c a r d w i t h b l a d e s , g l u i n g , ' n a i l i n g ' w i t h p i n s , neat t a p i n g p r a c t i c e s , r e i n f o r c i n g f o r s t r e n g t h w i t h c a r d . W h i l e most s t u d e n t s seem t o s e l e c t t o work w i t h c a r d b o a r d of v a r i o u s t h i c k n e s s e s , some foamcore and some s p e c i a l t y papers from the s c r a p box, o t h e r s choose t o u p h o l s t e r w i t h c l o t h , some e l e c t p a p i e r mache on a c h i c k e n w i r e base, some choose b a l s a wood or even c o l l e c t e d s t i c k s of v a r i o u s t y p e s . L o v e l y r e v e l a t i o n s c