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  • Healthy education

    Education, Environmental Design

    Bad_ed_432_

    There is a major epidemic with the quality of education in the US as well as with the educational facilities. This is more than a concern but a reality. The list of problems we are leaving for the next generation continues to grow. I see this as an opportunity and a challenge. As designers, I find the best solution is to incorporate the integrative design process. Educators, designers, engineers, environmentalists and others all need to be at the table to address these problems with education. Here a few quotes to put it in better perspective.

    " Forty years was the average age of educational buildings in 1999." -National Center of Educational Statistics

    "Forty-two years is the lifespan of an educational facility." -U.S. General Accounting Office

    Also the U.S. General Accounting Office state that air is unfit to breathe in nearly 15,000 public schools.

    For more info Minding Buildings

  • It's a disgrace that the institution through which our next generation is meant to get grounding for the future and inspiration to fly is so saddled down with dust. Interesting to note that etymologically "inspiration" is about breathing in (or out). It's no wonder then that kids today are stifled in school. A formidable and worthy design challenge!

  • I don't know what the situation in the U.S. is - but here in Germany the government is paying for schools and still (I'm sure that's the same in the US) spending for defense and other »important« governmental issues is much higher than it is for education.

    And the buildings where »school« is taking place suffer the most from this situation. However - many see the only solution in letting participate the private sector in education. But I'm afraid of this - being educated by the protagonists of economy could lead to a very single-directed education.


  • In response to Everything But Inspired, posted by Jennifer Leonard,
    in the thread Healthy education
    Boyface_177_

    School system is an institution supported by the government (in most developed areas). It requires visionaries to aspire healthy focuses on education. Yet our dearest society has been heavily based on the ‘wealth of the nation’ from the turn of last century. In the ancient time, regardless of East or West, students are gathered and started discussions with (or listen to) the masters, without any grading that based on Meritocracy. How can children establish interests when there is only a tiny amount of No.1, A+ and100% scores, yet constantly disappointed and fall into the abyss of inferiors? Can designers become politicians and rectify our greater aims?


  • In response to Everything But Inspired, posted by Jennifer Leonard,
    in the thread Healthy education

    The US Green Building Council's LEED for Schools is a step in the right direction and changing the business-as-usual practice of designers. But is this really enough? This obviously lays the foundation so to speak for better learning opportunities. It seems though there is still a need for guidelines to better instruct teachers the possibilities of incorporating the building as a learning tool. Inspired teachers inspire students. My two cents


  • In response to Where's the money?, posted by Marco Siebertz,
    in the thread Healthy education

    I think it is fair to say that the US can learn from Germany and just maybe Germany can learn from the US. Here in the US, everyone is being squeezed. Most development projects revolve around around first costs and short-term paybacks. So why spend more for a green school either for a public or private school? The argument is that students score better, there is less absenteeism, higher retention rates of teachers and less energy and operational costs. Is this enough for the investment world? I would say that there is one more argument. The US educational system needs to be competitive with the rest of the world and train a new set of leaders, thinkers and doers.

  • All the responses I've read (in addition to the seminal posting) are very impressive, and I agree wholeheartedly.

    I'm also beginning to understand that the decay in education is not just a negligence issue, it's a response to communication techniques and hierarchies. Communication in general, and language, in particular, are going through a huge evolution. The effective methods and content used have changed. It isn't that the schools aren't keeping up, it's that the "users" are finding more pungent and evocative avenues to find and use the information they need.

    As designers it's our responsibility to keep our ears to the ground, and decipher the vibe, clarifying the communication channels and structures for the world at large. It's reminiscent of the post WWII abstract expressionists when they deconstructed the visual world and re-built it. Their aesthetic spread throughout the communications world and re-defined it - a definition we've clung to for over 60 years.

    Times have changed, and it's time again.

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