I used the open source network assignment as an opportunity to understand the curriculum within the OSLA. In order for anyone to critique my project as a learning academy, they have to understand the learning philosophy I’m working with.
The understanding of the learning philosophy is traces the progression of each students development. From the individual to the 150 student cohort. With this body of 150, and four focus areas it became an issue of numbers, subdividing each cohort within the four categories equally into smaller more manageable groups. Initially, all students that enter the OSLA will have the same exposure to all four focus areas. This way, the students can pick and choose which areas appeal to them, they can potentially pick a major and a minor, similar to a university curriculum. As they progress throughout the academy they pursue their focuses in great depth while also gaining some exposure to the other three. At the same time, the curriculum is focused on integrating all the four focuses through the Project Based Learning System. Each cohort will take on a project that draws from all the disciplines to create a cohort identity. With a team of entrepreneurs, designers, fabricators, graphic artists, there is a vast horizon of possibilities that a cohort can accomplish with these team members.
The diagram [or infographic] on the left is meant to breakdown and synthesize the information from the individual, the cohort, the focuses and the integration into a clear readable manner. It’s a purely curricular based diagram but the only hint of scale comes from the “spectrum between the individual and the cohort” where certain learning groups are defined in terms of populous. 1, 5, 15, 45, 150. The diagram on the left is meant to integrate my understanding of the OSLA curriculum with the physical massing studies. It’s a rather literal approach to layout the different focus areas within the spaces generated. The main idea behind the diagram is that the social hub/atrium space along with the courtyard becomes the intersection between OSLA and fundamental learning. The crossroads between these two learning styles furnishes a sensory interaction as the programs from culinary and graphic become transparent to the rest of the school. By breaking the explicit boundary and only using implicit boundaries, transparency, light, senses to create the transition from the learning space to the atrium. Smells from the food cooked in culinary will waft into the social space and the graphic artists can also visually showcase their work from the second floor of the atrium.
So what do I have here so far? I have a general building massing with some idea of programmatic distribution of the four focus areas. I have an Open Source Learning Academy separated from the fundamental learning through the atrium/courtyard/social spaces. With the next set of iterations I will take a different approach to design a more integrated school, where the different learning styles are more unified through the architecture. In previous iterations, I would create one part of the school [OSLA] and the fundamental learning area and work my way into the social atrium core. Instead, I’ll look the other way, starting with the atrium core, the source of interaction and work my way out to the rest of the program.