Residency to Classroom 2b

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cara armstrong
curator of education, fallingwater
western pennsylvania conservancy
p.o. box r, 1478 mill run road, mill run, pa 15464
v 724-329-7823
f 724-329-7823


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  • Central to the effectiveness of the program is experience-based learning. Rather than describing concepts in architecture and assigning illustrative exercises, the program creates opportunities for participants to learn these concepts through experience. For example, instead of a slide-illustrated lecture telling participants about the relationship of Fallingwater to its site, participants walk through the forest to the house, in silence, the night they arrive, and record their impressions. A discussion follows, designed to elicit the underlying concepts. For many, this is a profound experience, and a complete switch from the teaching model they know and use in their classrooms. This is a process of inquiry — the process by which architects approach a problem. And participants experience for themselves its relevance to their own disciplines.
  • Once teachers become aware of the built environment and the process by which it is created, and once they begin incorporating design into their teaching, architecture will cease to be a mystery to the public.
  • Instead of boxes to contain activity, buildings will become meaningful places and spaces that engage the senses and the imagination. With an increased understanding of architecture and architectural process, the public will be able to participate in the built environment in more effective and profound ways.
  • They will also see architecture as a reflection of their lives, their families, and their communities. We can all benefit from that.
  • Residency to Classroom 2b

    1. 2. Architecture education is important because it addresses multiple ways to perceive and proceed Katie Wolf Fallingwater Teacher Resident, San Francisco
    2. 3. The problems are right in our own towns and cities to examine and learn from. Architecture education offers a perfect medium for personal and social education. H.R. Reynolds Fallingwater Teacher Resident Burlington, Vermont
    3. 4. Our cities and homes define who we are and in what direction we are going. It is of key significance for students to understand the built environment around them in these times of continued rapid social and technological change. Peter Vietgen Fallingwater Teacher Resident Toronto, Ontario

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