Friday, March 14, 2014

Planning for our Outdoor Learning Space

Waitsfield students are learning about the realm of architecture and landscape design as we embark on an exciting school-wide project.  Our artist-in-residence this year will once again be a compilation of local talent.  We are teaming up with Yestermorrow Design and Build School, rock artist Thea Alvin, architect Eleanor D'Aponte, landscape architects Kirsten Seibert and Elizabeth Cadwell and others to design a brand new outdoor learning space for our school.

In art class this week, upper unit students have worked with Eleanor and Kirsten to walk the proposed site and brainstorm ideas for this space.  We used ideas from the article "What makes a Successful Place?" from the Project for Public Places as our framework for our brainstorming.  This article outlines four key considerations for planning any successful public place.  I modified these categories slightly to fit our needs.
They are:
Uses and activities
Social Connections
Accessibility and Care
Comfort and Beauty 

Students began brainstorming by walking the proposed site for the outdoor classroom and by searching the internet for images that answer some of the key questions within each planning category.  Next week we will continue our planning with sketching and model building.

The fresh snow made a great canvas for laying out ideas for our outdoor learning space. 

Architect Eleanor D'Aponte looks over the proposed site. 

Students sketch ideas in the snow.

Planning and research in groups.
Group presentation of ideas
Sketching ideas on the site map

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