In schools we all negotiate the limits of calendar and class period, except for schools like Riverpoint Academy in Spokane Washington where math is the only pull out class in otherwise full day project based classrooms. The rest of us struggle to fit the real world into 40, 60 or 80 minute pieces. Similarly, projects outside of school often don’t match the school calendar. Our Designing Change class has landed on an amazing design challenge for our local library that’s happening right when we’re ready for it.
After starting with designing for physical problems in the school building like doorstops and lockers, and then redesigning the tutorial period in our new schedule, we were looking for a community based issue for our final project. We figured local politicians hear about plenty of problems and invited a city and district council members to speak to our class about what they’re hearing from the neighborhood. They raised some problems, but also reminded us how progressive St. Paul is by focusing on bikeways and the sharable cities project. While I hope we can come back to the shareable cities idea, Councilmember Tolbert also told us about a local library remodel.
A couple calls later, the architects were here presenting their plan for the library and asking us to help them design the new Teen Space for the building. Our charge- design a 28x34 foot space that brings young people to the library. We launched a design cycle today asking, ‘What do we need to know?’ Students will start research this weekend.