In her Transformationscourse, Assistant Professor of Architecture Megan Panzano uses architectural design methods and concepts, and a workshop approach for giving feedback, to engage undergraduates from a wide range of concentrations. When students translate abstract ideas into physical form through a variety of materials and fabrication techniques (see photos below), they confront limits, question assumptions, and expand their problem-solving capacity.
Out of appreciation for Professor Shultz’s commitment to flexibility in artistic expression, this issue of Into Practice employs a slightly modified format.
Nora Schultz, Assistant Professor of Visual and Environmental Studies, encourages experimentation and a diversity of readings for her courses Shape Shifting Your Realityand Object Matter of Jelly Fish: Sculpture Course. Her goal is to create a “structure that gives students the awareness and 'space' to develop their unique creative processes.” One assignment, for example, involves students visiting “The Onion” sculpture by Alexander Calder outside of Harvard’s Pusey Library and then creating a short dialogue between the sculpture and its surrounding buildings. Schultz also encourages students to add to the course reading list and has found that student-provided readings can significantly shift the discourse.
In K. Michael Hays’s HarvardX course, The Architectural Imagination, learners explore fundamental architectural concepts through various “making-as-learning” activities, like building a cardboard model of Aldo Rossi’s Cuneo Memorial and designing a pied-à-terre in the style of Le Corbusier.
Elena Kramer, Bussey Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and Noel Michele Holbrook, Charles Bullard Professor of Forestry, co-teach General Education course OEB 52: Biology of Plants through lectures, labs, field trips, and weekly quizzes that students use to combine concepts into a creative project at the end of the semester. The prompt, “Trace the rise of the sporophyte,” results in the production of resources like videos, art pieces, fashion magazines, original songs, poems, and children’s books that students present in an arts festival during the final class.
Vincent Brown, Charles Warren Professor of American History and Professor of African and African American Studies, trains students to interpret history through various media including graphics, data visualizations, videos, and art installations.
A comparative case study of three diverse makerspaces (defined as informal sites for creative production) surfaced key themes in practices and the kinds of learning they support. Makerspaces are multidisciplinary in both approach and the work produced, blend formal learning environments with informal communities of practice, and focus on learning as production rather than as mastery of a composite set of skills.... Read more about Research: Learning in the Making: A Comparative Case Study of Three Makerspaces
Gojko Barjamovic, Lecturer on Assyriology, increases student learning in ANE 103 Ancient Lives by designing activities to engage students’ full range of senses. “To convince people to commit a semester of study to ancient history, you have to make it meaningful.”