By Design


The pursuit of design is not about the way things appear,
but rather about the way things have meaning, and how these things
add or detract from the human experience.
– Rob Forbes
Preface to How To See

Since arriving at Crossroads, I have given a lot of thought to its design. I think about the design of the building and its grounds. I think about the design of the common spaces and the classrooms. I wonder: What does this space invite us to learn (or do)? I also think about the design of the academic program, its goals and vision, the design of Activities and Good Works and Advisory. Frankly, I do a lot of wondering as I move through the space, in and out of classrooms, and among the students and teachers each day.

Part of the work of students in AP Studio Art is to read the Preface and Introduction to How To See: A Guide to Reading Our Man-Made Environment. Angela shared it with me knowing that I have an interest in design thinking. I’m looking forward to listening to her students discuss the Introduction, particularly from their point of view as artists. What stands out to me is the idea that people design for meaning and that what we design can contribute to, or detract from, our experience as humans.

So as I wonder about the design of Crossroads, from its building to how it uses time, I wonder about what meaning we are able to give to the experience of learning and teaching at Crossroads. I wonder about how the experience of being in the space, of sharing learning and recreational and community time adds to each of our experiences as people. I wonder what we might contribute to the city and community around us.

So far, I am excited and impressed by our smart and good students, by their kindness and charisma, by their generosity and connectedness. I am learning about all the ways they contribute to the design of the school, whether it be the art on the walls, the support of a team where anyone can play, or the study and talk time used to support learning and togetherness. Our students are integral to our experiences with Crossroads as adults, and, they have, already, added to my experiences as a teacher and leader and person.

With great expectations,