An architectural fantasy

Originally uploaded by anselm23

Via Flickr:
My students decided to have a little architecture competition. I don’t think I was specifically included in the bounds of the competition, actually, as a potential contestant. I decided to enter anyway.

How did I do?

As teachers, it’s our job to set standards and constantly raise the bar —to provide quality examples of what can be done, what ought to be done, and what might be done. We’re also expected to provide know-how, so that students who are curious can also learn how this was done and with what tools.

I don’t have enough architectural chops or interest to see to it that this building ever stands. But if even one kid sees this, and then learns to draw a building in some fashion other than as a triangle on top of a square, I’ll be happy.

In that sense, this is a Gordonian sigil-shoal, all rolled into one image. It’s not just designed to change my experience of the world, but to remold the minds of people who see it. It doesn’t just fix one small thing in the world; it makes a range of positive outcomes far more likely.

I think visual thinking skills are far more important than we generally give them credit for being, in the Western world. I’m going to have more to say about this eventually, but there’s a power in the visual image that cannot be conveyed by other means. And we ignore this way of knowing the world at our peril, especially in how we educate young people.