Monday, December 21, 2015

Designing for a New Education Paradigm

Westchester + Hudson Valley AIA publication of Arch Plus Fall 2015 Vol.2 No.4 featuring educational projects was just released featuring the article that my husband, Blake Auchincloss and I wrote, Designing for a New Education Paradigm, featuring images and renderings of the Kent Place School Innovation Lab space.  Please follow the link below and you will find the article on pages 38-40

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

3 Key Factors for Creating a "Maker Culture" in your School

In the continuous quest for changing the world of education, I continue to write blog posts for other blogs! Check out the latest collaboration with my husband and school architect, Blake Auchincloss:

Together he and I have seen hundreds of 'Maker' type spaces, both in schools as well as community based. We are both Makers. We have been from birth. In college, we shared professors, classes, and art studios and our conversations about making things began. 35 years later we are trying to help schools change education for Generation Z-a generation of students who need to create, through rethinking educational spaces and teacher training. If you're interested, please get in touch.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Bookclub: Most Likely to Suceed

I haven't been blogging as much as I "should," because I have been busy moderating a bookclub chat about the book Most Likely to Succeed, by Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith. The book is based on the movie, which if you haven't seen it, go to the website and find a screening! Check out the great conversations about the book on Medium.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Reimagining Education and The Teachers' Guild

I know it's almost time to go back to school when I start having the teacher anxiety dreams... and they started this week. I know that most professions don't have two months "off", but teachers don't really take two months off. We are always working, rethinking what we do and gathering inspiration.

This summer has been great. I've worked with many great educators writing curriculum with them and rethinking practice. In every school I visited from Atlanta to New York, dedicated educators were there on their "vacation" working to refine and reimagine their curriculum to better prepare our students for the world today. I met incredible Heads of School, who wanted to support their teachers and created time and space for that to happen. I worked with amazing department heads who started their conversations with me by telling me that their departments contained the best teachers anywhere. And everywhere I went teachers were there because they cared about their students and about giving them the best experience possible.

It is a privilege to work with such caring educators. And I love every second of designing with them. The energy in the room as this work unfolds is phenomenal. I wonder how we might keep this energy flowing during the year, when most of us feel the incredible time crunch of schedules and coverage and the idea of brainstorming feels too difficult because we are all flat-out all the time.

The Teachers' Guild might be one way of continuing that collaboration throughout the year in an easy online platform. It's the brainchild of IDEO, Riverdale Country School and Google and it gives teachers an easy way to collaborate and design together even when we can't physically be together. Last week I went to a #Dare2Design meetup at Riverdale where I met and worked with like-minded educators who were looking to hack the system in order to make education better for our students. It's so empowering to connect with others who work and think in the same way. I am planning on continuing the collaboration throughout the year, because despite the time crunch of our everyday educator lives, it's important to keep that positive mindset. It's easy to get stuck in our own silos, but being connected to others engaged in the same struggle is empowering and imperative. So join us on The Teachers' Guild website and engage in the conversation to reimagine education!

Monday, August 3, 2015

If You Build It... Will They Come?

A blog post for Edutopia written with my husband/architect/designer Blake Auchincloss... So many people talk about putting Makerspaces in schools, but forget that you have to build the culture of Making and Doing and raise awareness about and through Design.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Using Design Thinking and Making to Teach Empathy: WWI Memorials

Just published another Edutopia blog post on a great WWI project with social studies teacher Emily Block! Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Architecture II--the Townhouse Design

By request, here is the second level architecture class townhouse assignment:

Yokana/Architecture II

                                    The Townhouse

You will be designing a townhouse.

Dimensions: 20’ x 50’
·      Two party walls that cannot be penetrated or moved.
·      Front to back orientation
·      Need public and private spaces
·      Some rooms MUST have access to light and air by code.
·      9’ ceilings
·      ¼ scale (1/4" equals 1 foot-use the scale rulers!)
·      Two floors

Program: (minimum dimensions)
·      Entry with closet (2’ depth)
·      Living room—15 x 20’ Needs natural light
·      Dining room—12 x 12’
·      Kitchen—15 x 10’
·      ½ bath—3 x 6’
·      2 Bedrooms—10 x 10’ Needs natural light and air
·      3 closets-2 in the master bedroom—2 x 3’
·      2 bathrooms—9 x 6’ (1 hall access and 1 master)
·      Hallways—3’ wide
·      Stair—3 x 13’ (13 linear feet with a 3’ platform at the top and bottom)(Spiral 8’ diameter)

Begin by working on ¼ scale graph paper and cut out the program spaces. Place them on the graph paper (like puzzle pieces) making three different solutions to the design problem.

Create a client. Who is the user for your design: a family of four? A middle-age career woman? A young man who has a good paying job? You need to design for someone-this is human centered design. Think about what tone, style and feeling you would like your design to invoke. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015