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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Architects ’R’ 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 ’3 Rs’ : Receive, Respond, and Responsibility Kinegal, Jane W. N.


The processes involved in making places are not the .exclusive province of experts, but a set of natural actions that belong to all people. Creating places for ourselves is a natural, organic, and integral part of our work as a society. The term 'place' connotes particularised, human settings, located at a specific site and reflecting the geographic and cultural context. Many people view the architect as a practitioner of an esoteric profession that is understood only by the formally trained. Architecture, which I define as the planning, designing and crafting of our built environment, is a subject for us all. 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 skill and confidence, people can move from reticence regarding the shaping of our places to a more active role. The goal of this work is to invite, encourage, and provide some tools for teachers to promote awareness of our settings, and active, responsive and responsible participation in the shaping of our places. In no way do I mean to subvert the practice of architecture, or to encourage ill-advised, headstrong attempts to build or rebuild our environment. I hope to encourage thoughtful discourse about how our world might be, and more exchange between the experts and the others. Fitting 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, is : What is the nature and scope of an architectural 'Primer', designed to assist educators to encourage a citizenry that is aware of our settings, willing to be involved and capable of responsible participation in the shaping of our collective and private places? To carry the 'Primer' idea a bit further, this approach to place making is organised into learning experiences founded on what I have come to view as the basics of built environmental education: 'the 3R's' of architecture. The program encourages teachers and their students to: 1. RECEIVE - the messages of our environment, to thoughtfully look, see, and consider what is 2. RESPOND - envision and shape what could be - with growing confidence and capability 3.take RESPONSIBILITY - at the personal and collective scale to affect needed and appropriate change. These 3R's are as important to an educated person as are the traditional 3R's. We need to be able to operate capably with all the R's to maximise ourselves and our settings, rather than abstaining from this 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, particularly in the secondary art classroom. If architecture involves the human activities associated with the making our places, and if we are accepting the responsibility thus implied, then Architects 'R' Us!

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