Rethinking and Re-doing…the School House Hallway #nxtchp2011

On early Friday morning, October 7, I met with architect Paul Van Slyke. Paul is a partner of Goode Van Slyke Architecture. Much of the firm’s portfolio exists in K-12 architecture and re-imagining educational design – program and space. Among many inspiring drawings, drafts, and conversations, I was impressed with the ways that Paul was rethinking school-house details – all the way to pieces as mundane-seeming as hallways. Hallways are not just transport tubes, but learning commons. Amen.

Talking to Paul, I was reminded of a Trung Le article in Fast Company that I had read a few months ago. Additionally, I zoomed mentally to the incredible experience of RE:ED Next Chapter 2011 – a design intensive several weeks ago in which we re-imagined the libraries of the future. In one of Paul’s drawings, he essentially transformed the library/media center from “lake” (fixed location) to “river” (flowing location). The function of the media center – library as verb – meandered meaningfully through the school house. It fed and enriched the river banks, and it teamed with life.

Much of my thinking resides at the intersection of education, innovation, design, and professional learning. I am most thankful for the travelers I meet at these crossroads!

Post in Progress – Capturing Some Action @reimagine_ed and #NxtChp2011

This weekend, I am participating in Re-Imagine Ed (RE:ED) – Next Chapter (on Twitter at #nxtchp2011). I am part of an integrated network of design teams working to imagine the K-12 libraries of the future. From the website:

An Active Process:

Instead of another traditional conference — speakers talking at passive audiences; vaguely connected sessions — you’ll join a dynamic 3-day design event focused on imagination and action.

Becoming Part of a Design Team

“Next Chapter” participants automatically become members of 7-8 person design teams.

This will allow passionate, creative, professionally-diverse attendees to collaborate actively with innovative peers and design facilitators in imagining new futures for the K12 library.

Over the course of the 3 days, teams will work closely with their experienced design facilitators to solve a variety of real world case studies in an effort to create new visions for K12 libraries:

  • Listen -> empathize, ask, seek
  • Imagine -> ideate, brainstorm, wonder
  • Make -> prototype, craft, test

During the first two days, I have made some short movies, just to capture some of the action. I will write more later.

Day 1

Day 2

NOTE: It’s like Synergy 8 for adults!