Rob Walker
http://eastanglia.academia.edu/RobWalker
David Medd 1917-2009



  Early in 2009, Catherine Burke arranged for David
Medd to visit some of the schools he had desig...
Today’s Aerial Geography Lesson
Classrooms: theme and variations
Open classrooms = Open schooling?

  ‘Hard fun’ at Hennigan School
The Medds’ schools have inside and outside spaces
Inside there are typically bays designated for different
                         activities
Environments and
      Activities


  There is an isomorphism
between Medd the craftsman
 and his view of schools as
 plac...
‘Afraid of boring children, avid to present ever-different
 stimulation, the enlightened teacher may avoid routine -
 but ...
Learning by repetition reconnects the mind with the hand and
                           the body

            On being par...
Two forms of obsession

Two modernist houses in 1920s Vienna

Two architects: Wittgenstein and Loos
“I am not interested in
erecting a building, but
   in[…] presenting to
myself the foundations
      of all possible
     ...
The Good Craftsman:
(adapted from Sennett)


• Understands the importance of the sketch – that is ensuring
  that you do n...
But doesn’t Educational Technology change
everything?
 Sennett’s notion of ‘the sketch’ is key to understanding the
 educa...
Just as we see children’s involvement as critical to building
design, so too with technology

A good example is The Rug Ro...
Quote
Steve Hempel
Ursula Franklin
    University of Toronto
• Physicist
• Engineer
• Expert on Chinese
     bronzes and Inca
silver
• Educat...
Buildings as Educational Technology
Cuban, L. (1986). Teachers and Machines: The Classroom Use of Technology
              Since 1920. Teachers College Press,...
Educational Designs: Craftsmanship, obsession and the sketch.
Educational Designs: Craftsmanship, obsession and the sketch.
Educational Designs: Craftsmanship, obsession and the sketch.
Educational Designs: Craftsmanship, obsession and the sketch.
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Educational Designs: Craftsmanship, obsession and the sketch.

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David Medd, schools architect. From a seminar at University of Cambridge June 2009. Pedagogical issues in the design of primary schools.

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Educational Designs: Craftsmanship, obsession and the sketch.

  1. 1. Rob Walker http://eastanglia.academia.edu/RobWalker
  2. 2. David Medd 1917-2009 Early in 2009, Catherine Burke arranged for David Medd to visit some of the schools he had designed in the 1950s and 60s with his wife Mary. He was accompanied by a group of architects and educationalists and the visits were videotaped. Each member of the team has developed ‘a treatment’ for editing, of which this is one.
  3. 3. Today’s Aerial Geography Lesson
  4. 4. Classrooms: theme and variations
  5. 5. Open classrooms = Open schooling? ‘Hard fun’ at Hennigan School
  6. 6. The Medds’ schools have inside and outside spaces
  7. 7. Inside there are typically bays designated for different activities
  8. 8. Environments and Activities There is an isomorphism between Medd the craftsman and his view of schools as places where children can learn by making things
  9. 9. ‘Afraid of boring children, avid to present ever-different stimulation, the enlightened teacher may avoid routine - but thus deprives children of the experience of studying their own ingrained practice and modulating it from within. Richard Sennett (2008), p38
  10. 10. Learning by repetition reconnects the mind with the hand and the body On being part of a skilled community What is important, says Sennett, is that learning by repetition should be in the context of an open system, not a closed curriculum Learning skills becomes empty if it is not also an act of the imagination
  11. 11. Two forms of obsession Two modernist houses in 1920s Vienna Two architects: Wittgenstein and Loos
  12. 12. “I am not interested in erecting a building, but in[…] presenting to myself the foundations of all possible buildings.” Ludwig Wittgenstein "Even thoug h I admired the house very much, I alway s knew that I neither wanted to, nor could, live in it my self. It seemed indeed to be much more a dwelling for the g ods than for a small mortal like me” Hermine W ittg enstein
  13. 13. The Good Craftsman: (adapted from Sennett) • Understands the importance of the sketch – that is ensuring that you do not know too precisely what you are about when you begin. • Values contingency and constraint and knows when and how to admit them to the design process. • Needs to step away from obsession when a problem becomes self-contained. • Avoids pursuing perfectionism to the point where it becomes purely self-referential. • Learns when it is time to stop (short of over-design).
  14. 14. But doesn’t Educational Technology change everything? Sennett’s notion of ‘the sketch’ is key to understanding the educational potential of the new media Too often, computer applications are used in the classroom to close the scope of activities and to limit the play of imagination But there are many ways in which software can be used to ‘sketch’ ideas: in words, in images, in sounds, but we need to be alive to these possibilities and to encourage forms of experimentation and playfulness that welcome risk and see mistakes as opportunities for learning
  15. 15. Just as we see children’s involvement as critical to building design, so too with technology A good example is The Rug Room, where the students worked with the software designers to create a VLE and a media studio that did the things they wanted for their work, to communicate and to express their ideas
  16. 16. Quote Steve Hempel
  17. 17. Ursula Franklin University of Toronto • Physicist • Engineer • Expert on Chinese bronzes and Inca silver • Educator • Peace Activist
  18. 18. Buildings as Educational Technology
  19. 19. Cuban, L. (1986). Teachers and Machines: The Classroom Use of Technology Since 1920. Teachers College Press, New York.

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