Looking with “Fresh Eyes”: What Makes a Successful School Design?
By Patricia Kendall, May 17, 2009
- High School
- Language Arts
- Social Studies
Common Core Standards
Anchors for Reading:
Key Ideas and Details:
Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
Craft and Structure:
Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:
Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity:
Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
Anchor Standards for Writing:
Text Types and Purposes1:
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.
Production and Distribution of Writing:
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
Research to Build and Present Knowledge:
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Range of Writing:
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Anchor standards for Speaking and Listening:
Comprehension and Collaboration:
Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas:
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
Anchor standards for Language:
Conventions of Standard English:
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Knowledge of Language:
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use:
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.
- determine the relationship between design elements and design products
- examine ways in which different sources are used to produce art forms
- conduct informal research through inquiry and interview to identify problems or concerns
- use research skills to evaluate data
- reference personal experience in creating different types of structures
- understand the role of empathy in design
- use problem-solving techniques to reach design solution(s)
- offer evaluative, written critical analysis to communicate ideas
- provide effective persuasive analysis to communicate ideas
- project notebook for each student (3-ring, 1.5”, with side pockets and three tabs, sheet protectors, and loose paper. Tabs should be labeled “Journal Entries”, “Walkabout Findings” and “Exploration.”)
- digital camera (at least one for every five students)
- card reader
- computer (at least one for every five students)
- internet access (for research)
- poster board or large sticky poster sheets
- colored permanent markers
- point-and-shoot cameras (one per student) with processing
- “fresh eyes”: a term credited to many, including 17th c. poet Basho; the term references the ability of the individual to re-vision and renew their experience of a particular person, place or thing, and in doing so, discovering a perspective or element not seen initially due to cultural or personal bias
- “form follows function”: a principle associated with modern architecture and industrial design in the 20th century; the principle is that the shape of a building or object should be primarily based upon its intended function or purpose; attributed to Louis Sullivan,the “Father of the Skyscraper”
- CRAP (contrast, repetition, alignment, repetition): an acronym/mnemonic introduced by Robin Williams, a typographer and graphic design instructor to aid students in recalling the four basic principles of design; in this lesson students will discover that these terms are equally applicable in industrial/environmental design as in graphic design
- “Other students” refers to peers attending school who “share the experience” of attending this school.
- “Teachers / faculty” could include the principal. The purpose is to identify adults at this school who are experiencing the same environment as survey team.
- “Professionals” refers to adults who share the experience as creators, i.e., architects, urban planners. They may be parents of students at school, but ideal participant would be more objective.
- Does this section fulfill the purpose to educate, enlighten and inspire? (Does form follow function?) (Yes / No)
- Which of the four design principles does it define? Check: (a) contrast (b) repetition (c) alignment (d) proximity (Could check more than one.)
- Who is the principal occupant/user of this area? Check: (a) students (b) teachers/faculty (c) both
- Which senses are most engaged in this area? Check: (a) hearing (b) touching (c) seeing (d) taste/smell (Could check more than one.)
- Is this area primarily defined as a learning environment? (Yes/No)
- If “yes”, what kind of learning is best served in this area? (a) tactile/kinesthetic (b) auditory (c) visual (Could check more than one.)
- completed checklist
- verbal feedback: At least three quotable responses from "users" of their areas (no more than two from peers) to the question, "If you could redesign this area, what would you like to add, subtract, or change - and why?" (Have students remind participants that the question is related to structure, not accessories such as furniture, window dressing, or wall hangings.)
- visual documentation: Ask students to illustrate their findings, either by using cameras to create a photo gallery documenting their site OR by drawing sketches or scaled line drawings of the area. Remind them to include creative images that illustrate how "form follows function." (Here is another reminder of how "fresh eyes" could help them discover the presence of design principles in their area.)
- descriptions of CRAP: Students should identify examples of each principle, with an explanation of what that principle accomplishes. ("Repetition of windows in classrooms increases natural light source, enhances aesthetics of room, supports opportunity to daydream.”)