Sunday, September 23, 2012

The School of Life and Will Alsop

Or, The Glorious Potential of Boredom..... a talk by architect Will Alsop.

I have a feeling it was/is today, however, there is a short interview over at the School of Life where he mentions:

SOL: You’ve argued that “if a society is creating spaces where people are happy to sit and do nothing, it’s doing something right”.  

WA:  Strange that it’s difficult to sit in a public space and do nothing, as they have moved all the benches, at the expense of street cafes where you have to pay to sit and do nothing.

Now that's a talk I would have liked to go to....

(Image of interior of Alsop's Blizard Building)

Bryan Nash Gill

These are simply stunning. Would that I could afford them, I would sit all day looking at the beauty of these woodcuts.

They are artist Bryan Nash Gill's imprints of cross sections of trees and have recently been made into a book.

And while I'm on the subject of trees, check out Herman Hesse's thoughts on trees, at Brainpickings, where they have included a lovely passage from his book, Trees: Reflections and Poems.

"......When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured......."

The Meaning of Life: Reflections in Words and Pictures on Why We Are Here

Here is Arthur C. Clarke's quote from the book " The Meaning of Life: Reflections in Words and Pictures on Why We Are Here", published by LIFE magazine in 1991.
"A wise man once said that all human activity is a form of play. And the highest form of play is the search for Truth, Beauty and Love. What more is needed? Should there be a ‘meaning’ as well, that will be a bonus?
If we waste time looking for life’s meaning, we may have no time to live — or to play."

Via Brainpickings.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

21 Swings: An exercise of musical co-operation

This is such a wonderful project and such a shame it's only a temporary installation.

Aside from the idea of co-operation that the piece explores, i.e. the music changes when the participants wok together, I just love the playfulness of it. Every person in the above video has a smile on their face. Oh, and the swings lighting up at night, genius.

Love, love, love it.

World Congress of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature

I was thrilled to get an email from The Children and Nature Network (Richard Louv and Dr. Cheryl Charles's organisation), about the World Congress of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature just held in Jeju, South Korea at the beginning of September.

Actions taken there will lend dramatic support for the worldwide movement to re-connect children and nature—for their health and well-being and that of the Earth itself.

"More than 10,000 people representing 150 nations and more than 1000 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) participated in the Congress which convenes every four years. The Children & Nature Network (C&NN) is one of the participating NGOs.

Of the many declarations approved and actions taken, there are three of particular relevance to the children and nature movement:
  • IUCN adopted the resolution, “Child’s Right to Connect with Nature and to a Healthy Environment.” The resolution calls on IUCN’s government members and NGOs to promote and actively contribute to the international acknowledgement and codification of this right within the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • Leaders of national parks and protected areas throughout the world resolved to work collectively to strengthen people’s engagement with nature by approving the “Jeju Declaration on National Parks and Protected Areas:  Connecting People to Nature.” This declaration commits to creating a global campaign that recognizes the great contribution of these natural treasures to the health and resilience of people, communities and economies.
  • The Children & Nature Network, one of the signatories to the Jeju Declaration, along with the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication (CEC), jointly released the landmark “Children and Nature Worldwide Summary of Research.” This annotated bibliography of peer-reviewed research and studies from scholars throughout the world provides an evidence-based resource to dramatize the critical reasons for connecting children and youth with nature. "
A copy of the report is here.  To steal from one of the greats......... 'S wonderful, 'S marvelous.......

Friday, September 21, 2012

When facts change fast, what should our kids be learning?

Really interesting article over at Forbes.

"What is the role of teachers when they are no longer the sources of basic knowledge about the world? ............................................ More than ever, teachers are facilitators of learning, who must provide opportunities for students to develop and apply critical thinking, problem-solving and analytic skills in the context of a rapidly changing world."

David Chambon

Wow, wow and wow.....

David Chambon's macro photographs are stunning.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Education Outrage

The name of this blog alone got my attention. Then I read the last couple of posts and I was

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Project Wild Thing

Fantastic idea, fantastic website and loads of fantastic links.
"The Wild Thing Manifesto:

For 2 million years the idea of being separate from nature did not even occur to humans. We were nature, and nature was us. But recently we’ve turned our backs on nature. Thanks to technology and the comforts it has provided we are now the safest, fattest and most indoor human beings ever. And it is getting worse every day."

Pledge today, I did and seriously plan to get outside more. Hopefully my kids will follow.....

Monday, September 3, 2012

Carlos Amorales

Black Cloud is a stunning installation by a Mexican artist, Carlos Amorales.

It's such a powerful image when there are so many of them... and that they are indoors when they really live outside.

Maybe something like this could work outdoors?

Imagine thousands of small or life-size paper or cardboard cutout children pinned to all areas of the urban environment, highlighting how they are quickly disappearing from the outdoors......

100 Wild Huts

Kevin Langan has set himself a challenge to build 100 small survival shelters and sleep rough for one night in each one.

Love it.