Form Follows Function

1

April 1, 2014 by Angel Pricer

 

Image courtesy of:  Marilyn Klein, The Londonderry School

Image courtesy of: Marilyn Klein, The Londonderry School

I was present.  Bright colors on crisp pages, grasped and shared by small, expressive hands.  The delicate murmur of children narrating the story behind the scenes.  In a busy classroom, I was listening. 

Connecting with these children, eye to eye, heart to heart, I felt them. Their desires.  Their frustrations.  Their aspirations.  Their fears. 

I met them at the crossroads, right there in the classroom, and together we created a structure. 

Their desires were the floor
aspirations, the walls
There was no ceiling
Fears formed building blocks
Frustration, fuel
They shone,
Oh, so brightly
They shone

I woke from this dream feeling joyful, hopeful, with the imprint of these words in my mind:

Form
Follows
Function

Yes, it was a dream.  The birthplace of most of my creations. 

I rose to meet a new day considering the need for structure in life; specifically as it relates to children and education. To that end, I believe structure is a helpful tool.

But what kind?  And who decides?

 

Image courtesy of:  http://www.kumiyamashita.com/portfolio/building-blocks/ 1997 H230, W400, D5cm Wood, single light source, shadow Collection of Boise Art Museum, Idaho USA

Image courtesy of: Kumi Yamashita

Form follows function is most frequently considered in the context of architecture, in that “the principle is that the shape of a building or object should be primarily based upon its intended function or purpose.” (Wikipedia)  I believe this same principle can be applied to many aspects of life.

This dream enlivened in me the growing possibility that the formalized structure of education can be crafted around the individual needs of the child.  And more than that, to do so feels good, hopeful, joyful.

When you consider education, what do you see?  Is there more hope and joy than despair and dysfunction in the educational settings with which you are associated?

If not, then perhaps it is time to change the form.  Yes, it starts with you.  By meeting children where they are, mindfully in the moment, we can tap into what lights them up and raise a structure that truly supports them.  An environment within which they may shine.

 

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One thought on “Form Follows Function

  1. […] amok by individuals who lack self control and respect for fellow humanity. As indicated in my post, Form Follows Function, I believe that many of the methods employed to teach self control and respect at best are not […]

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