Wednesday, December 26, 2007


The story about Gordon MacKenzie really spoke to me and what I do. As teachers of Art we should be doing all that we can to preserve that early artistic belief. I have always told my students that one of the common attributes of professional artist that I know is that they first and foremost believe in themselves.

Originally uploaded by adactio
On page 75 I really realized how much what was once a very specialized segment of design has moved into everyday life. Now type setting and font design are activities done by anyone typing (I guess it should be keyboarding) a letter or e-mail does. When I was in collage I took two semesters of commercial design that focused on the same activities that first graders now do (and are able to do better and faster)
Interestingly enough the photo above is a design element that in the past I would have dome much differently in the past. Before I would have had to create the image my self to avoid copyright problems or bought it from an agency. Now I am able to search Flicker and find an image under the Creative Commons label and use it with out charge only having to give attributions to the creator. So now everyone can add images to their design without cost and at any time.
If you click on the image you will find out where I found it.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Introducing the Six Senses

The first statement “Not just function but also DESIGN” really caught in my mind. When I was in school the mantra seemed to be from earlier in the 20th century of ‘Form follows Function” We studied Wright and other architects and designers who used function as the filter to distill the form. My thinking from this study was often that better design was achieved by removal of the superfluously.

Here is a song about form and function.

I also really liked the idea of play. I try to have fun with the kids in my classroom and see the importance of play in learning. This morning I was watching one of my favorite Saturday morning shows "Beakman's World" This show teaches complex science in a very fun, well manic way. If you haven't seen this show take a look, think about the concept being taught and the fun way it is being presented.

This is an interesting web site that gave students an assignment from this chapter. The videos produced are very creative and fun too.

Here is a song about form and function.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Three... High Concept, High Touch

On reading this chapter the first thought that came to mind is a relationship between Pinks graph of moving from the Agriculture Age to the Conceptual Age and Bloom’s Taxonomy of questioning. As teachers of the arts we must help our students become ready for this “Conceptual Age” by both what we teach and how we make them think through our questioning.

Upon further research I found that even Alan Greenspan the former chairman of the Federal Reserve recognized the need for conceptual workers. In a speech Greenspan gave in 1997 at the University of Connecticut he spoke of “workers who are equipped not simply with technical know-how, but with the ability to create, analyze, and transform information and to interact effectively with others.

Sounds to me that we in the education business need to focus more on EQ rather than IQ. Imagine a school where the school psychologist test children for their EQ and recommend more classes in the arts.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Two, Abundance, Asia, Automation

I have noticed the changes described in this chapter but did not realize the implications. After I graduated in 1983 I worked in an in-house advertising department for a department store. During that time I photographed ads for the domestics department. Now I look at the domestics department in department stores and they are much bigger. I remember one photograph that had examples of every style of towel at that time there were about 20 different styles in the photograph. I bet now it would be 50 or 60 different styles.

Asia, I would suspect that we all have called a customer service number only to have the call answered by an operator with a very thick Indian accent. I think that there use to be a large call center in Tampa I wonder if it moved overseas.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Before We Go The Next Chapter

Hi all,

After reading chapter one and the differences between the left and the right side of our brains I started searching out more references to current thoughts on brains. Found a couple, the first is a blog by Wesley Fryer titled The outboard brain, memory, transfer and learning. In this blog Fryer talks about the way young people are accessing information. It is a very interesting take on a trend that I have noticed in myself. I do keep much information in my pocket on a PDA rather than trying to remember it. I have been gradually moving in this direction for about 10 years. I also know that now I very rarely ask for directions but rather check MapQuest and print out detailed directions.

I am also reading a book “The Primal Teen” about the teen age brain and the changes going on inside their skulls. It confirms my thoughts that kids see the world very differently from adults.

Both of these reads are interesting and make me think about the way we think.

Monday, November 5, 2007

One, Right Brain Rising

Well I guess every book needs to set the stage. Although this chapter was interesting in a technical and historical way I only found a few parts that spoke to me in my classroom.
Page 15 reinforces what I learned from Betty Edwards book "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain".
I also found curious on page 21 that the cultures that I find so foreign in their thoughts do in-fact interpret their languages differently.
Then on page 23 I wondered how this discovery will affect standardize tests that are so the rage.

Now what do you think?

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Start With a Simple Question

Have you started reading "A Whole New Mind"?