Friday, 9 November 2007

Creativity, ingenuity, and flexible working spaces

(Pictured from l to r: Trung Le of owP/p, with Craig Goodman and Maureen O"Shaughhnessy of CS&P Architects Inc.)
Ingenuity, creative thinking, conversations, sharing ideas, collaboration and discussion happen wherever like minded people find themselves together - they are rarely restricted by the lack of formal meeting venues. Often, these spontaneous interactions between colleagues can result in really high quality creative thinking and ideas. It usually takes little effort to find a small space that has the flexibility to let motivated people work - wherever they are.

Informally meeting up in the departure lounge of Owen Roberts International Airport, Grand Cayman, our architects from two different countries, working on separate education projects, waiting to fly in different directions just started talking and sharing thoughts, ideas and plans - we were really working in one sense.

The whole point though, is that it is no use us knowing how people like to work, unless we ensure we incorporate these types of flexible learning spaces into our new schools. Students are no different from adults - they WANT to work in a variety of ways - they keep telling us that. The design of "cells" or boxes" as learning spaces in new schools really does inhibit indivdual ways of working - we know that also. The challenge is not in the fact we know we need well thought out learning spaces (although they must be designed "very right"), but to challenge teachers to "be brave enough" (my usual quote) to adapt and learn news ways of encouraging students to learn the way they want to. Students will adapt to new style spaces and working styles extremely swiftly - their agility must be matched by the staff! We know that this just has to be the way forward!

I just love working with the motivation and creativity of these highly talented and committed professionals, - they are really just fantastic people and genuinely enthused about the world wide interest and excitement concerning the unique holistic approach to the Cayman Islands education transition plan.

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