Recently, I had the distinct opportunity of working with the Sudbury Valley School once again, this time on their new book A Place to Grow, a collection of essays and observations by Daniel Greenberg, co-founder of the school and major proponent of the Sudbury Model of education. I’m especially intrigued by the double meaning of the title as a PLACE to grow (physically, as a school building) and a place to GROW (individually, as a person) because both of these modes of growth are required to establish and maintain a Sudbury School.
Several months ago, I took a class called Design: Creation of Artifacts in Society. The course was taught by Karl Ulrich from the University of Pennsylvania and was offered at no cost by the massive open online course (MOOC) provider, Coursera.
Recently, Matt Griffin wrote a brilliant article at A List Apart about the eternal disparity facing designers, specifically the difference between using the traditional boring time-tested solution to a problem, or going outside the box to create something a bit more exciting that may not communicate as well. Matt described it as “the mismatch between impulses (bring order!) and outcomes (show us surprises!).”
My design education consisted of a first year immersion in all facets of art and design. Every student at the school had to take a year of something called “Foundations” which consisted of 2D Design, 3D Design, Art History, Life Drawing and, just in case we didn’t get enough of it in high school, English and Social Studies. Although it was a great way to introduce students to the school environment and get everyone to know each other, most students found it dreadful.