Tag Dominic Randolph

“We have put up too long with schools that are devoid of hope, humor & potential.” – Dominic Randolph on Rethinking Schools …*

Here are some excerpts from Dominic’s If I Were Secretary of State for Education post, which is a series of 41 articles written by leading international educationalists about what they would do if they were Secretary of State for Education in the UK. The articles were commissioned by the Sunday Times Festival of Education and Summerhouse Education, and sponsored by Pearson. Read them all at IfIwereSoSforEducation.tumblr.com.

*

I would tackle what I think are the three principal issues that plague educational systems in the UK and in much of the world: how we undervalue the work of teachers, how we undervalue the task of educating our young people and how vitally important it is, and how we undervalue the crucial necessity for supporting lifelong learning so that people have the opportunity to learn new knowledge and skills throughout their lives. Therefore, I would concentrate on vigorously reframing the place of schools in our culture by making schools the most exciting place to be in any given community, making them the core of communities.

. . . *

Schools would be places that would inspire and normalize intellectual development but also the development of character and good ethical decision-making. They would be places that are truly human and, rather than reducing people industrially to summative scores or grades, would encourage ongoing formative development of the full range of their capacities. They would be preventative care health centers. Schools would become the community resource center. People attending schools would develop their potential and grow. They would focus on the delta of their development in an ongoing way rather than measuring it statically at certain points.

. . . *

Making schools positive, productive and cool places at the heart of each community would be the aim. We have put up too long with schools that are devoid of hope, humour and potential. Starting a movement to change this reality and bring learning to the centre of what we are about could be a great dream for us all to have.

Read Dominic’s full post here.

imagine, reframe & rethink …

“I believe in and surrender to solid quality, serendipity and nomadism.” – Our Interview with Dominic Randolph, Head of School & Rethinked Co-Founder …*

"I believe in and surrender to solid quality, serendipity and nomadism." -Our Interview with Dominic Randolph, Head of School & Rethinked Co-Founder ...* |rethinked.org

I may be a bit biased here but I could not be any more excited to share Dominic’s interview today. Dominic Randolph is the Headmaster of the Riverdale Country School, where he has been prototyping various ways to rethink what it means to learn to and for change–notably by exploring the intersections of Design Thinking, Integrative Thinking and Positive Psychology with education. He is the co-founder of our team and, on a more personal note, my father and one of my very best friends. Connect with Dominic on Twitter @daar17.

What was the last experiment you ran? 

Changing spaces where I work. Finding small “in-between” spaces to work with my computer. Changing work spaces all the time. Not being in a fixed spot.

 

What are some of the things that you fear and how do you manage your fear?

Life is fear and finding ways to embrace fear. I believe that we all have a “Woody Allen voice” in our heads constantly narrating our anxieties. I think you achieve things by listening to the voice indeed, but basically ignoring it. Things tend to turn out most of the time quite well, but the little voice assumes the worst. Acting positively and confidentially mitigates the voice’s affect on one’s decisions. And yet, without the voice, the fear, life would not be as amusing nor would one do anything really. It is the comparison between the status quo of the “little worried voice” and taking action that makes you feel a sense of achievement.

 

What breaks and delights your heart? In other words, what do you believe in and surrender to? 

I believe in and surrender to solid quality, serendipity and nomadism.

 

What is the most provocative idea you’ve come across in the past decade

Carol Dweck’s “Growth Mindset” is one of the most provocative, elegant and most difficult to employ idea that I have come across in the last decade. The other one would be “design thinking” that I read in Dan Pink’s book A Whole New Mind and on Tim Brown’s blog “Design Thinking”. The concepts of human-centered design, prototyping and divergent thought as elements of design thinking have changed my life.

 

Can you tell me about a transformational moment in your life?

I often think that the most transformational moments are not the most groundbreaking or the most striking. They are small moments that lead to change. The most transformational moments in my life were dinner debates with my aunt, mother and brother while growing up and meeting, Kris, my future wife, and Elsa, my future daughter, at a small gallery in Sarlat, France.

 

 WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU TO LIVE A GOOD LIFE?

Finding meaning and purpose in one’s life leads to living a good life.

 

 COULD YOU SHARE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE ABOUT THE ART OF BEING HUMAN?

Empathize with others–really try to put yourself in their shoes and listen well. Also, draw your thoughts out on a regular basis. Drawing is deeply human.

 

WHAT IS YOUR DRIVING QUESTION?

How can I be my better future self? What legacy will I choose to leave on this earth?

 

 ANY BOOKS OR MOVIES YOU RECOMMEND?

Movies: Withnail and I by Bruce Robinson, En Sus Ojos by Juan Jose Campanella, Mifune’s Last Song by Soren Kragh-Jacobsen, The Trip by Michael Winterbottom, Naked by Mike Leigh

Books: Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne, Le Citte Invisibili by Italo Calvino, Distant Relations by Carlos Fuentes, And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos by John Berger, In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin, Any short story by Alice Munro, La Peau du Chagrin by Balzac…

Music: GoldbergVariations played by Glenn Gould, Exile on Main Street by the Rolling Stones, Every Breaking Wave by U2, Ink by Coldplay, Heysatan by Sigur Ros, Wait it Out by Imogen Heap, Afterlife by Arcade Fire, Bien Avant by Benjamin Biolay, 400 Lux by Lorde, Creep by Radiohead…

Images: Morandi still lives, Piranesi etchings, Cartier-Bresson photographs, Cindy Sherman portraits, Klein blue paintings, Henry Moore sculptures…

THANK YOU, DOMINIC!

. . .

How Might We Ensure That Our Young People Thrive Rather Than Becoming Just Part of a Credentialing System?

“I remember David Levin, one of the founders of the KIPP charter schools in the United States and a co-founder of The Character Lab talk about dual-purpose teaching: the idea that you can teach “character skills” such as grit, optimism and self-control while one teaches disciplinary subject matter. Great teachers do this naturally. Most of us just have to plan more intentionally to foster good character simultaneously as we develop our students’ academic capacities. He represented this dual-purpose teaching as a double-helix, a double-helix that has become part of the icon of IPEN.

As we continue to work on implementing strategies and cultural experiences within our schools that have people develop character skills, I think it is a multi-purposed approach. We need to suffuse “character thinking” throughout schools. We need to change our school missions to explicitly focus on the development of character skills. Faculty members need to model these strengths in their own lives and their school lives. We need to understand how small moments and interactions, micro-moments, have such strong potential for learning about character, and we need to look at the system of school, the macro-structures, that support or diminish a focus on character skills development. This is important work. It is work that we have all done, but it demands more intentional focus and attention within all of our schools.”

Dominic Randolph

This excerpt is taken from a recent article, Butter Late Than Never, that Dominic wrote for IPEN (International Positive Psychology Network). In the article, Dominic raises three critical “how might we” challenges that we should all be keeping front and center as we collectively rethink learning for the 21st century:

How can we ensure that our young people thrive rather than becoming just part of a credentialing system?

. . . *

How might we develop a sense of permission in our students that allow them to develop as engaged and motivated learners? 

. . . *

How might we reframe challenge positively for young people and have them understand that positive challenges lead to expertise, purpose and meaning? 

. . . *

[ Re ] Thinking Character & Opportunity…* New Series of Essays

Rethinkers delight, the Brookings Institution has just published a new series of essays, put together by Richard Reeves, which explores the philosophical, empirical and practical issues raised by a focus on character, and in particular its relationship to questions of opportunity.

This essay collection contains contributions from leading scholars in the fields of economics, psychology, social science, and philosophy. It provides a kaleidoscope of views on the issues raised by a policy focus on the formation of character, and its relationship to questions of opportunity. Can ‘performance’ character be separated from ‘moral’ character? Should we seek to promote character strengths? If so, how?

The series feature a contribution, Schools of Character, from our own Dominic Randolph, which explains why character outcomes must become part of our entire educational system; As well as an essay, Free Will: The Missing Link Between Character and Opportunity, by rethinked * favorite Martin Seligman, which explores the need for character and opportunity to be accompanied by optimism and hope, the bulwarks of a robust future-mindedness. Head over to the Brookings Institution to browse and read all seventeen essays of the collection.

read, question & rethink …*

{ Rethinking Elite Education } “Fragile Thoroughbreds” and “Excellent Sheep”

Elite School Logo

Let’s talk about elite schools.

I went to one and taught at one. My husband, ditto. My husband’s current job has made it possible for our daughter to attend one too.

It’s hardly news that elite schools are often bastions of privilege and wealth, among other things. Nor is it news that a diploma from a top private high school — even more, a top university — is often seen as security for a life of access and comfort. That’s a seductive, and not incorrect, view.

Yet in Brooklyn where I live, this seems a good time to participate in public education. I may not be alone in this opinion: Not a single one of our daughter’s 18 pre-school classmates now attends private school — besides her, that is. So, as a native New Yorker who carries a certain amount of guilt that I never received a day of public education in my life, I’ve been observing somewhat wistfully the groundswell of our peers — few if any of them NYC public school graduates themselves — throwing in their lot with the NYCDOE.

Yes, my daughter enjoys a rich menu of academic and extra-curricular programs every day at her private school. Yes, she has the guidance of half a dozen excellent and well-supported teachers who sincerely want to be there. Yes, she is surrounded by peers who, like her, come to school well-fed and well-rested.

But is the comfortable, pampering environment of an elite school the best environment for growth in the long term?

I wonder about that. And I’m not alone.

rethinked...* logo

My reservations about elite education stopped feeling like the taboo-that-shall-not-be-named-around-public-school-parents in part because I stumbled upon two very insightful critiques — though not of elite education per se. Rather, these were critiques of the unintended consequences of elite education: “fragile thoroughbreds” and “excellent sheep.”

As noted here recently, Coursera now offers an online class on character education, led by KIPP founder Dave Levin. In one of the course’s videos, none other than Dominic Randolph, Rethinked founder and Character Lab co-founder (with Levin), speaks about the need for character education in elite schools. An excerpt of the video is available here. (To see the whole video, sign up for the May session of the MOOC!).

Dominic sees the elite school environment as giving rise to “fragile thoroughbreds,” top students who — through a combination of academic success and relatively affluent lives (my words) — experience few challenges.

[Fragile thoroughbreds are] the kids who are actually performing really well given our metrics at Riverdale. The kids who have the highest GPAs, who are going through this school, always succeeding. 

I worry that the message they get is, It’s all easy… The trouble is, they’re going to reach a point in their lives when it’s not easy. Those kids have a sort of Dweckian fixed mindset. And I think that’s a really dangerous thing to send kids out into the world with. 

[…] If you’ve got a life that’s pretty easy, and a lot of things are done for you, and you come to a place where you feel very comfortable, you get reinforced in that comfort. [Character education] is a way of disrupting that comfort level a bit….

Especially [parents] who can offer their kids a certain amount of ease or facility in their lives, they’re starting to think, Well, wait a minute, am I actually providing my kid with the type of capacities they’ll need to thrive and survive in the world…?

Dominic’s observation is that character education helps give “fragile thoroughbreds” an explicit understanding of skills and mindsets that would likely prove useful to them when faced with setbacks — such as grit and Dweck’s “growth mindset.”

The question is, how do you confound those kids? How do you create systems in a school that confound that easy belief — Everything’s perfect, everything’s fine, and I’m always going to be an A student — ? 

I think that’s an interesting question when you have the pressure of college admissions. The colleges are looking for these perfect transcripts… I’m interested in the delta, I’m interested in growth. And unfortunately the college admission system isn’t looking for growth right now. And that’s a big problem.

rethinked...* logo

Writer William Deresiewicz earned a B.A., an M.A., and Ph.D. at Columbia, and for ten years he taught writing at Yale, my alma mater. There, he observed students closely. In a fascinating essay first published in 2008 in The American Scholar (and which he has expanded in a forthcoming book), he coins the term “excellent sheep” — accomplished hoop-jumpers who aren’t necessarily interested in, or adept at, genuine intellectual inquiry. He argues that both the resume- and test-score-driven admission process and debatable intellectual climate at Yale and other elite colleges outweigh the advantages — as unpopular as that position may be. His assessment is unflinching.

The advantages of an elite education are indeed undeniable. You learn to think, at least in certain ways, and you make the contacts needed to launch yourself into a life rich in all of society’s most cherished rewards. To consider that while some opportunities are being created, others are being cancelled and that while some abilities are being developed, others are being crippled is, within this context, not only outrageous, but inconceivable.

[…] If one of the disadvantages of an elite education is the temptation it offers to mediocrity, another is the temptation it offers to security. When parents explain why they work so hard to give their children the best possible education, they invariably say it is because of the opportunities it opens up. But what of the opportunities it shuts down? 

So how does elite education “shut down” opportunities and “cripple” students?  Deresiewicz spells this out unapologetically:

[Elite education] makes you incapable of talking to people who aren’t like you…. [I]t inculcates a false sense of self-worth…. [I]t teaches you to think that measures of intelligence and academic achievement are measures of value in some moral or metaphysical sense.

Without calling for remedies, it seems Deresiewicz would reach much the same conclusion as Dominic Randolph: that students at elite schools need to broaden their skill sets beyond the skill they most excel in — analytical thinking.

[…] However much elite universities like to sprinkle their incoming classes with a few actors or violinists, they select for and develop one form of intelligence: the analytic. While this is broadly true of all universities, elite schools, precisely because their students (and faculty, and administrators) possess this one form of intelligence to such a high degree, are more apt to ignore the value of others. One naturally prizes what one most possesses and what most makes for one’s advantages. But social intelligence and emotional intelligence and creative ability, to name just three other forms, are not distributed preferentially among the educational elite. The “best” are the brightest only in one narrow sense. One needs to wander away from the educational elite to begin to discover this. [emphasis mine]

In short, they need the kinds of experiences that, to borrow Dominic’s phrase, confound students’ sense that things will always be easy for them — experiences that will allow them to grow.

But students at elite high schools and colleges, these two would agree, are not typically getting those experiences. Indeed, Deresiewicz’s most damning assertion against elite colleges — and I suspect it’s one that is not widely known — may be that experiences outside of students’ comfort zones are precisely the experiences that many elite schools actually take pains to prevent.

An elite education not only ushers you into the upper classes; it trains you for the life you will lead once you get there. I didn’t understand this until I began comparing my experience, and even more, my students’ experience, with the experience of a friend of mine who went to Cleveland State. There are due dates and attendance requirements at places like Yale, but no one takes them very seriously. Extensions are available for the asking; threats to deduct credit for missed classes are rarely, if ever, carried out. [As a Yale graduate myself, I can corroborate this.] In other words, students at places like Yale get an endless string of second chances. Not so at places like Cleveland State. My friend once got a D in a class in which she’d been running an A because she was coming off a waitressing shift and had to hand in her term paper an hour late.

That may be an extreme example, but it is unthinkable at an elite school. Just as unthinkably, she had no one to appeal to. Students at places like Cleveland State, unlike those at places like Yale, don’t have a platoon of advisers and tutors and deans to write out excuses for late work, give them extra help when they need it, pick them up when they fall down. 

Dominic and Deresiewicz would agree: elite campuses ought to heed the guidelines put forward by today’s more sensible parenting experts — allow kids to skin their knees, hold them responsible for their actions, give them room to fail.

The challenge before us is how to transform the culture of a school so that growth and risk-taking are valued, recognized, and in some measure rewarded — in actual practice, not just in theory.

Stay tuned for several Rethinked…* initiatives that aim to achieve just that.

It’s A Good Time To Be A Knowmad…* – Free Course To Learn About Using Human-Centered Design For Social Innovation

{ It's A Good Time To Be A Knowmad ...* } Free Course To Learn About Using Human-Centered Design For Social Innovation | rethinked.org

Exciting new learning opportunity on the horizon: Human-Centered Design For Social Innovation, a free five-week course brought to you by Acumen & Ideo.org. This will be the course’s second run as it was previously offered last summer. Registration opens February 18, 2014.

This free course will get you started using the human-centered design process to create innovative, effective, and sustainable solutions for social change in your community.

Human-Centered Design for Social Innovation from IDEO.org on Vimeo.

Other intriguing learning opportunities to check out:

Tina Seelig’s upcoming courseCreativity: Music To My Earsa six week course designed to explore several factors that stimulate creativity in individuals, teams, and organizations. Registration is now open for Creativity: Music To My Ears and the course will begin April 2, 2014.

Dave Levin’s free four-week long MOOC on CourseraTeaching Character and Creating Positive Classrooms, which explores the interconnection between character research, education, and academic rigor. The course began yesterday and features our own Dominic Randolph

learn & rethink …

Tune in to CUNY TV this Saturday/Sunday to Watch Dominic Randolph & Dave Levin Discuss Teaching Character…*

Tune in to CUNY TV Saturday, May 25 at 8:00 pm or Sunday, May 26 at 10:00 am to watch a new installment of EdCast: Can “Character” Be Taught? This segment will feature two of the three co-founders of the brand new non-profit, the Character Lab, which seeks to unlock student achievement by bridging the worlds of psychological research and K-12 practice to change how research is done and how character is taught. Dave Levin, co-founder of KIPP, and our very own Dominic Randolph will be discussing what it takes to succeed in school and in life. Angela Duckworth is the third co-founder of the Character Lab.

This segment will include:

What does it mean to succeed in school and in life? Linda Hirsch interviews Dave Levin, Founder KIPP Charter School Network and Dominic Randolph, Headmaster Riverdale Country School about their Teaching Character initiative and its new approaches to building, teaching and assessing character beyond the usual definitions of what it means to succeed. Additional interviews with teachers at Riverdale Country School.

To tie you over until Saturday, here is a small excerpt from a discussion on teaching character that Dominic and Dave had with John Merrow and Paul Tough as part of the JCC’s Learning Matters series this past December

John Merrow, Paul Tough, Dave Levin and Dominic Randolph on the importance of failure in schools | Learning Matters, published December 20, 2012.

Learning Matters ~ Dominic Randolph, Paul Tough, Dave Levin & John Merrow on Teaching Character…*

Learning Matters ~ Dominic Randolph, Paul Tough, Dave Levin & John Merrow on Teaching Character..

 

On December 5th, our very own Dominic Randolph, along with Dave Levin (co-founder of Kipp), Paul Tough (author of How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character) and John Merrow (veteran reporter for PBS and NPR) gathered for an installment of the JCC’s Learning Matters series entitled Teaching Character. The discussion centered on the importance of teaching children skills such as perseverance, grit, optimism and curiosity–how to communicate and instill character strengths and how these characteristics relate to the short and long term success and happiness of our children.

You can view a 3 minute video excerpt of the conversation (on structured failure)  here or listen to the full podcast here.

Enjoy & rethink…*

 

 

Friday Link Fest {November 2-9, 2012}

ARTICLES

What Does It Mean to Be Simple? ~ All designers say simplicity is important, but what does it really mean to make something simple? Most of the time we think it means less, that by removing stuff we achieve simplicity. We think by keeping content above the fold we’re helping people focus, or by using bullets instead of paragraphs more people will read it, or by cutting text in half it becomes more clear. But simple doesn’t mean “less”. A better definition would be “just enough”. via 52 Weeks UX, published December 22, 2011.

How to recognize Design Thinkers ~ Since Roger Martin and others hijacked the term ‘designthinking’, there is an ongoing dispute. Two thought worlds exist and possibly these can be united by laying bare the essential characteristics of a ‘design thinker’. via Team Cognition, published October 30, 2012.

Given Tablets but No Teachers, Ethiopian Children Teach Themselves ~ via MIT Tech Review, published October 29, 2012.

Pinterest’s Founding Designer Shares His Dead-Simple Design Philosophy ~ Sahil Lavingia on why design shouldn’t be designated a specific function or industry. The discipline is just as fundamental as technology and profit are to a business that it doesn’t need to be isolated to a single role. It should be considered part of every role. via FastCo.Design, published March 7, 2012.

Design Firms Go Beyond Gadgets As Portfolios Expand~ On the rise and ubiquity of design thinking: Bay Area design firms behind iconic technology products like the mouse and the Macintosh computer are broadening their portfolios. Health-care companies, nonprofits and industrial giants are among those tapping these and other designers to conceive not just gadgets but new software, business strategies and even school systems. The expansion has happened gradually but is accelerating as firms seek to connect with design-savvy customers. via The Wall Street Journal, published October 31, 2012.

The High Line Effect: Top 10 Urban Transformation Projects ~ When it comes to urban transformation, size does not matter, per se. The subtleties of thoughtful urban projects shine through at every level, and sometime outperform their more ostentatious contemporaries. The Architizer Plus: Urban Transformation Award will reward the best architectural project that spurs new occupation and lively places. via Good, published October 31, 2012.

Design Thinking Starts At The Top ~ Even though design thinking requires participation from many different sectors of a business, there is no question that this is an initiative that has to be led and implemented from the very top by a management committed to the process. Unless there is a strong figure there to properly determine what shape design thinking will ultimate take, there will be no firm direction and there will be no significant follow-through. via Fast Company, published November 2, 2012.

Learning to Bounce Back ~ via The New York Times, published November 2, 2012.

Van Bo Le-Mentzel: Rethinking Everything ~ “It was like my reset button had been pressed,” Le-Mentzel said of his childhood. “Other kids had parents who were doctors, teachers, grocers or lawyers to follow, and I was starting at zero. No one told me what to be – and that turned out to be an advantage. via Smart Planet, published November 1, 2012.

 

TALKS & VIDEOS

Watch A Great Short Film On The Future Of Technology And Education ~ We’re still teaching our kids using a 20th-century paradigm, but many visionaries–like the ones in this video–have plans to take our advances in computing and technology and use them to explode the idea of what education can be. via FastCo.Exist, published October 22, 2012.

 

Open Source Architecture Manifesto Movie ~ Istanbul Design Biennial 2012: this movie shows how a custom printer continually updates a copy of the Open Source Architecture Manifesto Wikipedia entry, written on a wall in the entrance to the Adhocracy exhibition at the Istanbul Design Biennial. via Dezeen, published November 7, 2012.

 

A 3-D Printed House That Grows Like Human Bone ~ London design studio Softkill paints a far-out picture of what 3-D printed architecture could eventually look like. At last week’s 3D Printshow, the team of Architectural Association grads presented a concept called ProtoHouse, which imagines a radical new mode of construction based on the strengths of 3-D printing. Their design is in stark contrast to other 3-D printed home schemes, which are either markedly utilitarian or oddly traditional. via FastCo.Design, published November 2, 2012.

(Softkill Algorithm from Sophia Tang on Vimeo.)

 

Design the New Business ~ Design and business can no longer be thought of as distinct activities with individual goals. Design the New Business is a film dedicated to investigating how designers and businesspeople are working together in new ways to solve the wicked problems facing business today. The short documentary examines how they are joining forces by bringing together an international collection of design service providers, education experts and businesses that have incorporated design as a part of their core approach. Design the New Business features inspiring case studies and insightful discussions, helping to illustrate the state of the relationship and how it needs to continue evolving to meet tomorrow’s challenges.via  dthenewb on Vimeo, published November 2011.

(Design the New Business – English subtitles from dthenewb on Vimeo.)

 

Rethinked’s…* Dominic Randolph on Design Thinking for Educators: Short Documentary on His Collaboration with Ideo ~ Dominic Randolphrethinker…* extraordinaire and Head of Riverdale Country School, won a grant in 2012 from the E. Ford Foundation to teach Design Thinking to Educators and to spread its adaption and implementation across the country. This seven-minute film documents Dominic’s collaboration with legendary design firm, Ideo. via Rethinked, published November 8, 2012. (Video Design Thinking for Educators – Dominic Randolph from paul dewey onVimeo, published November 6, 2012.)

 

Urbanus: Argitecture / Archiculture – Future Cities, Beijing ~ Wang Hui of Urbanus presents his recent works which are dealing with the development of the urban landscape in China. Understanding that eliminating farmland in favor of high rise structures is not a sustainable model, Hui presents a new system which brings together the two worlds instead of isolating them. By taking the words ‘architecture’ and ‘agriculture’ and hybridizing them to spell the terms ‘agritecture’ and ‘archiculture’ new meanings are created and from that dynamic proposals can be established.via Design Boom, published November 7, 2012.

 

IMAGES

Invisible Street Art by Cayetano Ferrer ~ Los Angeles-based video, photography and sculptural/installation artist Cayetano Ferrer has re-interpreted the discipline of graffiti through his artistic interrogation of urban objects. Through his projects ‘City of Chicago‘ and ‘Western Imports‘ he camouflages street signs and ordinary cardboard boxes to mimic the surrounding scenery – rendering them ‘invisible street art’. Ferrer creates the work by pasting high-quality photographs reflecting the relevant environment printed onto stickers and fixing them to various urban debris around the city. By photographing these pieces in situ, the resulting images articulate an illusion of transparency, prompting the viewer to look twice. via Design Boom, published November 2, 2012.

Flying Houses, Spotted In Paris ~ Paris-based art director-turn-photographer Laurent Chéhère has created a series of whimsical photographs featuring buildings that appear to be flying. via Design Taxi, published October 30, 2012.

Brilliant 3D pencil drawings by Nagai Hideyuki ~ Who knew that pencil art could be so multi-dimensional and layered? These incredible illustrations by young Japanese artist Nagai Hideyuki are created using the projection technique, Anamorphosis, which gives the images a three-dimensional appearance when viewed from certain angles. via Lost At E Minor, published July 19, 2012.

How Children Learn: Portraits of Classrooms Around the World ~ A revealing lens on a system-phenomenon both global in reach and strikingly local in degree of diversity. via Brainpickings, published August 20, 2012.

Disruptive wonder from French artist Rero ~The artist simply known as “Rero” works exceedingly simply – but all the better to get his point across. Recently, he has been making challenging through contradiction, posting fliers with phrases like “I hate graffiti” and “I don’t really like people who stick bills on walls,” as well as questioning our perception of public art. via Beautiful Decay, published August 10, 2010.

Rain-Activated Street Art ~ Poland-born, US-based mixed media artist Adam Niklewicz has created a stunning water mural on a red brick wall of a historical building in Hartford, Connecticut. Only appearing when rain falls on it or if water is sprayed on it, this public art project features an image of Charles DeWolf Brownell’s “The Charter Oak”, a reference to American freedom and independence.via Design Taxi, published November 5, 2012.

Our Differences Unite Us ~Just last week, 10-year-old Sophia Bailey-Klugh wrote and illustrated an endearing letter to U. S. President Barack Obama and, as the daughter of a gay couple, thanked him for supporting same-sex marriage. She then asked for advice on how to respond to those who saw such a thing as “gross and weird.” Her letter, and the reply she soon received, can be seen here. via Letters of Note, published November 6, 2012.

RESOURCES

Top 7 Websites for Creating the Future City ~ seven websites that harness the power, wisdom and knowledge of the crowds to cultivate smarter future cities. via Goodnet, published September 26, 2012.

The History of Western Architecture in 39 Free Video Lectures ~  The History of Architecture, a free course that recently debuted on iTunes. Taught by Jacqueline Gargus at Ohio State, the course features 39 video lectures that collectively offer a classic survey of Western architecture. via Open Culture, published November 8, 2012.

Ways to help affected communities after Hurricane Sandy ~ via Architizer, published November 2, 2012.

16 Free Lectures by “The Great Courses” (in a Sea of Free Courses) ~ You have got to hand it to The Great Courses (previously called The Teaching Company). Based in Chantilly, VA, the company has traveled across America, recording professors lecturing on great topics. They have roughly 390 courses in their catalog, market them aggressively with millions of print materials and emails, and generate $110 million in annual sales (as of 2010).And it just so happens that we’ve dug up 16 free lectures sponsored by the company. (Most are individual lectures taken from longer courses available for purchase online.) via Open Culture, published November 2, 2012.

Take First-Class Philosophy Lectures Anywhere with Free Oxford Podcasts ~ Conveniently podcast lecture courses from the University of Oxford. via open Culture, published November 6, 2012.

%d bloggers like this: