Wednesday, 30 September 2009
I've been involved in designing prisons from time to time and the old "open centre" design has rather given way to complete floors - with of course a significant additional cost in security as each floor is then a unique sealed entity - it just seems wrong to me. Designing spaces that have on the one hand a sense of what I like to call us-ness, but on the other hand offer some character and intimacy - without opening a door to the bullying and boorishness that often accompany intimacy is a huge design task - and a task for schools too.
But as we try to get that right, sometimes it's just a joy to sit back and bask in the spactacle of the Pitt Street Mall. Now, perhaps I should try the lemon meringue pie next...
Of course resources are tight and because ideas come n go you're never sure what to keep, but even so...
In education, everything is escaping from its boxes: subjects, timetables, classes... Surely we should let the staff out too?
Monday, 21 September 2009
I could write tons about this, but Alan Cameron - who has made all this extraordinary work happen - recorded a conversation we had together, reflecting on the whole experience a little later that same day. It covers a lot more detail...
Friday, 4 September 2009
Today, working with the excellent staff of schools in the Upper Shirley area (outside Southampton) who are really going somewhere together, there was a a moment where over lunch everyone tried to get the 'standard' chairs to work for their informal chats and discussions. As you see in this picture people there were twisted on chairs, moving chairs, half on chairs... and you get to see just how bad the standard school chair is for collaboration and indeed for learning.
As schools move into and through BSF or other rebuilds we seem to keep on coming back to the whole issue of furniture and its design. This is a HUGE opportunity for a business somewhere. Where are they?