Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Goodbye London

Cracker's joyful but long winter at the Tower of London is over and this weekend she's back to the race course (which means all the clutter has to come off, including the bike (it's mostly carbon, but still...).

The Ivory House behind her by the way, where she is moored at the St Katherine Docks, used to be FILLED with ivory tusks. Such reckless slaughter...

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Animal Magic

Seeing the world through the eyes of a one year old re-awakems the mind to the detail of a daisy, the shimmer of a shubunkin or (as seen here) the slobbery gobble of a goat.

Isn't learning a marvel. This is granddaughter Amelie...

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Chair in Learning

Continuing this phoneblog's theme of comfy collaborative seating for learning, here are just few of the playful seats that serve well for students working together...

These are in the library of the Dubai GEMS World Academy - filled with everything from a professional music technology studios to a skate park.


Sometimes, well quite often actually, a new school design is characterised by the old school's timetable defining lots of little boxes whilst bored architects put a grand atrium on the front to disguise the fact that it is, in fact, just another 20th century school - what the American's call putting lipstick on a chicken.

So I was more than a little delighted to be visiting the GEMS World Academy in Dubai - which has this wonderful entrance of spiral ramp and water feature - to find a fresh look in architecture throughout the building. The building is a mass of curves and textures, with ceiling feature delineating social areas rather than walls and very large, really quite agile, spaces. It is also designed to support the learners' esteem, as this grand image shows..

This is an international school, with a real mission to be global. I'll be doing some work in there tomorrow and am really looking forward to it.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Oo what a whopper!

Not sure which of many images to offer from Gainesville in Florida - home to the huge Florida University where I am currently involved with building a new 21st century lab school in the heart of the uni. , which is America's 3rd largest and set on a tranquil leafy campus.

I'm staying in a charming and photogenic olde cottage, even if I am armed only with the iPhone's camera. However, popping out for a meal I was a bit amazed (= gobsmacked) to see this planet guzzling beastie parked in town, with a stretched Hummer parked behind and fully dwarfed by it. I suppose it shows that some things change quickly, others take a bit more time. The ghost of George Bush's USA is not completely erased, quite yet.

On the other hand the folk here are wonderfully keen to make their school make a real difference. Many of you will know that I argue only that people should be properly ambitious for their learners. Here, folk ARE ambitious; the ones I am with are pretty embarrased about the monster limo-truck too.