What excited me most about working on If You Lived Here Houses of the World was the opportunity to show and describe not only various types of domestic architecture, but also their locations, their builders and the people and animals who inhabit them. Different landscapes offer their own choices for building materials: logs from the forest, clay from a desert, stone from a mountain quarry, felt from the wool of a yak. These give the houses their own unique style. Likewise a school can be influenced by its location. Students are influenced by their own landscape: mountain, desert, rainforest, urban, suburban, or rural. I’ve spent time in many of these house types and I often think about how much fun (if not practical) it would be to live in a different house type from time to time.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if kids could attend a different school each week and see how others learn? I guess that is what you are trying to say in If You Learned Here.
Once in in a small village called Monforte de Lemos in northern Spain I visited a school that was housed in a 15th century monastery. The children had playtime in the courtyard surrounded by Renaissance sculptures and had lunch in the same vast dining hall that has been used for hundreds of years.
In a school in Athens, students are able to see and walk to the Parthenon for a hands-on study of classical architecture. On the island of Tybee, in coastal Georgia, kids can walk to the beach to observe sea birds and find interesting shells to identify.