Transparency in Education Can Lead to a Lifelong Passion: How a Piece of Glass Can Drive Discovery

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Transparency in Education Can Lead to a Lifelong Passion HOW A PIECE OF GLASS CAN DRIVE DISCOVERY BY MICHAEL HOLLY, AIA, NCARB, REFP

HOLLY & SMITH ARCHITECTS, APAC


In educational environments, we often observe those “in the process” of learning through discovery. In the traditional sense, that process is self-fueling. However, many are searching for a direction. Educational systems are abundantly aware of this condition, and in building design, there is a simple approach that can assist. While there are many avenues of discovery, transparency in the physical environment is a catalyst in the path of discovery. The use of strategically placed glass is crucial to the process. The steps that result from physical building transparency can create a progression of impulses that lead to an individual’s ability to reach accomplishment. Those steps start with visual transparency and can move to:

Interest

Discovery

Excitement

Passion

Commitment

Transparency “Transparent” at its root is that of allowing light to pass through so that objects behind can be distinctly seen. To be transparent is to be easy to perceive. In building design, it is similar; the clarity of being able to see activity activates the mind. This frame of reference makes transparency important in initiating interest.

Interest When a student sees activity, there is a tendency to observe then motivate to do further investigation. In some cases, this is even within the same discipline where there are multiple avenues to explore. Viewing activity sets up the opportunity to think, search, inquire, and discover.

HOLLY & SMITH ARCHITECTS, APAC


Discovery To observe more, sets up desire to dig deeper. This process stimulates the development of ideas for one’s own needs. Once this discovery process reaches a relevant level of depth, it can transform into excitement and encourages development and energy to absorb.

Excitement

The energy resulting from discovery maintains and develops excitement and an interest in the discipline, evolving into passion, thus creating focus.

Passion Once passionate, the work becomes play, and this combined focus commits an individual. This is the optimum in an educational environment because the learner becomes an individually sustainable entity, resulting in self-commitment, which further results in the ability to contribute.

HOLLY & SMITH ARCHITECTS, APAC


Commitment Visual activity sets up the opportunity to think, search, inquire, and discover.

Educational Space that Supports the Process While any of these steps can follow the other, and a learner could find other means to step into the process, transparency in the built environment can initiate, enhance, maintain, and support the process of learning. To live the work, learners must have a conducive environment that supports collaboration, reinforces the spirit, and allows the environment to be livable with a magnetic attraction. Therefore, physical transparency is a necessary component in support of the learning continuum.

H/S EXPERIENCE As human beings, we spend our personal and professional time within the built environment. As Architects, we are privileged to create spaces where people can gather, live, learn, work, eat, sleep, and worship. Therefore, it is incumbent that we design spaces that enhance the quality of life and nurture a greater passion for living. Our design approach is influenced by the environment, culture, and community in which architecture exists. To take it further... We Design for Life. HOLLY & SMITH ARCHITECTS, APAC 208 North Cate St. , Hammond La 70401 985.345.5210 2302 Magazine St., New Orleans La 70130 504.585.1315 2014 W Pinhook Road, Suite 201 Lafayette, LA 70508

Michael F. Holly, AIA, NCARB, REFP is the Founder and Principal at Holly & Smith Architects. He is a member of the AIA Committee on Education and former Governor of the Louisiana Chapter of the Association for Learning Environments (A4LE). Michael is certified as a Recognized Educational Facility Planner (REFP), and he is one of only two carrying that recognition within the State of Louisiana. HOLLY & SMITH ARCHITECTS, APAC

hollyandsmith.com


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