Yesterday was a good day for exploring.
We shared aloud our experiences of observing the landscape after reading the “Streets” chapter from George’s Perec’s Species of Spaces and excerpts from David Byrne’s Bicycle Diaries, Rebecca Solnit’s Wanderlust, and John Stilgoe’s Outside Lies Magic.
Everyone made varied, excellent observations, ranging from people-watching in Peninsula Park to tracking the dissipated light on the sidewalk in Northwest Portland, to one student’s search for a place completely absent of all typography. (Spoiler: he couldn’t find one in the city.)
I gave the class a walking tour of the remnants of South Portland, the historic neighborhood that existed on the site of PSU before urban renewal and the highway arrived. We crossed the highway and talked about the South Auditorium Urban Renewal District and Lawrence Halprin’s work on the Lovejoy Fountain. We kicked it in Lair Hill at the current Waldorf School/former Neighborhood House, saw the little Carnegie Library, old carriage houses, and Portland’s first synagogue (now a church).
Someone said, “Man, art classes are way more fun than finance classes.” True. But why? We decided that’s because art classes are more about asking questions than finding answers.
This week was all about design and process, and I’d like to think we engaged in a number of different kinds of creative processes (Experimental documentation over the weekend, Post-It brainstorming on Monday, neighborhood ramble on Wednesday).
And then, because it was July 11, we all got free Slurpees at 7-11.
Go Design Thinking!