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flextegrity study, School of Tomorrow

Rewiring an Education System

As students get a taste of what homeschooling is like, thanks to the many school shutdowns occasioned by the 21st Century’s first global pandemic, some will find it more congenial than others.

I’m not preaching about panaceas here, more focusing on the personal workspace (PWS), a site for value adding and time management (scheduling).

Some subjects make more sense to tackle from a personal workspace in the workbench sense, an equipped studio, like when you need a big screen and don’t want to lug a laptop, an expensive personal item, to the school.

On the other hand, perhaps the school provides personal and group workspaces?

Passing on a culture requires apprenticeships and mentors. Isolating the generations from one another is not an answer.

The paradigm home studio might be an apartment in some high rise, with some floors, not necessarily the bottom ones, devoted to markets, offices, schools, clinics, veterinary facilities, hydroponic gardens.

The challenge of the mixed use high rise is percolating through many of the the architecture magazines, along with the lifestyles these engender.

Perhaps school provides a shared makerspace and a gym, along with meeting rooms, whereas much of the anchored discussion happens online?

City planners have long fought the bedroom community commuter based patterns that came with freeways, in favor of higher density models with more emphasis on walking than driving.

The multi-use high rise marks an extreme in that direction.

I’ve scattered many references to my Quaker meeting room on some science fictional 47th floor. I’m not suggesting a replacement aesthetic, as we all adore those wood stove heated meetinghouses with the wooden benches.

I’m simply augmenting the concept of high rise with the idea of space for worship, meditation, yoga and other practices.

What’s the rewiring I’m talking about? Yes, it would be a big change to reconfigure the schools to fit a post commuter lifestyle, but is that all we’re talking about here?

The Personal Workspace is what follows you around as your personal bubble, within which to practice time/energy management. One of our main sources of energy is the sun. The sun powers with “water wheel” cycle, whereby evaporation become precipitation, which leads to flowing streams and the wheels of industry turning. Even if your grid is powered by coal fired plants or natural gas, the point is the same: the cosmos itself provides an energy budget within constraints. The idea that “value added” (all these trillions of dollars worth of life support) begins with human beings, has given way to the new realism, based in synergy.

Technology extends nature, for better or worse, and that includes human nature. What we are as humans is continually re-expressed as our cultural DNA produces the latest proteins, such as high rises with fast elevators and air conditioning.

What’s surprising perhaps, is that we’re surprised, as if termites could stand back from their collective mound, in wonder at what they had instinctually wrought.

Maybe termites don’t do that, lacking existentialist centers in their nervous systems. As humans though, we continually surprise ourselves.

We feel caught up in some miracle, our own scenario, less believable than science fiction sometimes, or at least more surreal.

The curriculum I’m working on, and meeting remotely about with other faculty, includes a new way of bridging the C.P. Snow divide, or so we hope. If you’re curious, I hope you’ll research more about these projects and perhaps join us. We’re always on the lookout for talent.

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