Monday, 23 February 2009
It is also pretty hard to be collaborative or sociable on the standard school chair isn't it? It isn't built for conversation to the left or the right. And the secondary children also spoke of how they missed the playfulness of their primary school lives.
Well, goodness knows I've said all this often enough and in this picture here we are again at the blessed St Aloysius in Tasmania where they have playful and comfy and social all in one go with these sofas which they found, affordably, in a library catalogue. You could read, learn, collaborate in this school, couldn't you?
And here's a wonderful school, in Tasmania, that's done it all and done it SO well. Staff and students love it, parents are reaping the dividend of commiting their children to a new design. It came in under budget, it really shows the thought, leadership and debate by all involved and it is quite, quite lovely.
Why do people STILL build cells n bells factory schools when for less money they can do this and then see substantially better learning as a result? And why don't inspection systems criticise schools whose lack of ambition fails their students by continuing to embrace a model of factory learning with a dull incrementl targets?
St Aloysius, I salute you - what a wonderful and ambitious place to be learning - I'll post a lot more images soon and then link them from here.
Meanwhile, these are the toilets: doors that fit the frame top and bottom, glass means no place for bullies, the toilets are small scale and everywhere. These folk LISTENED and reflected and it shows, everywhere.
Saturday, 21 February 2009
The ship docked in Hobart this afternoon after pursuing Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean for several weeks and the bow bears testament to just how tough that pursuit has been. Plenty of video footage on youTube. Anyone who knows the sea will know just how tough this kind of action must be. Just like the late Steve Irwin, these are brave folk.
Friday, 20 February 2009
In building schools around the world we have used local culture groups and children with cameras / phones to capture the feature that say "us' most strongly and then try to capture the angles, shiplap, details, textures, colours, heights etc., in the new school designs. It really works, of course, but how could anyone ever imagined that one size might fit all?
Thursday, 19 February 2009
I guess all addictions are like that...
Sunday, 15 February 2009
Some Valentine's Day - I left on the Friday (13th) and arrived on the Sunday (15th!!). Better have two next year to make up!!
Monday, 9 February 2009
As cinema has built huge barriers to entry of new competition through vast budgets and bloated marketing it has somehow also isolated itself from originality and creativity with the result being a host of remakes almost always worse than the original, badly interpreted books, and dismal sequel / prequels (the recent awful Steve Martin Inspector Clousseau being surely a millenium-long low?). So it was a relief to see some really unexpectedly good films in the frame for awards this year. Just as music seems to have rediscovered talent through live performance, so maybe cinema is recovering its values from the accountants too? Watch out for the rediscovery of theatre next...
Saturday, 7 February 2009
Amongst a sea of movie stars (sorry, takimg pictures would have been intrusive - everyone deserves some privacy) the Asprey jewels, clocks, antiques and first edition books (Pooh! Beatrix Potter!!) shone out. The place is literally a treasure trove.
This 21st century grandfather clock was astonishing - by the way, Mickey Rourke (nominated for his tour de force in Darren Aronofsky's "The Wrestler") is standing right behind me at this point; he was also upstairs and interested in clocks - but looking wonderfully decadent (in his slippers!!). Nice bloke.
There was something quite reaffirming about seeing the community that represent the captivating craft of cinema exploring and enjoying the craft of hand made jewellery (Asprey's workshops are up on the roof) - and all coming together to appreciate each other's skill and creativity. Wherever 21st century learning takes us, being good at stuff still really matters, (mercifully)
Monday, 2 February 2009
Also, down at water level (it is still tidal at this part of east London) the Thames usually keeps things a bit warmer too, like a giant storage heater, so this much snow on the boat is very unusual. It's actually really hard to get on and off the boat safely as you can imagine - although it was very snug on board last night. Ice and snow on gel coat, even with a textured non slip racing-safe finish, is quite a lively surface underfoot!
Sunday, 1 February 2009
I bought these in East London's Brick Lane's Sunday Up Market which is a multi ethnic foodie heaven. I had Japanese cabbage amd seaweed pancakes for lunch.
The market is indicative of just how cosmopolitan London has become, like a number of other huge World Cities. You really can see the lines of democratic organisation being redrawn in the 21st century and can't help but wonder whither the nation state as new organizational groupings and communities emerge...
Meanwhile the cup cakes were yum.