Friday, October 8, 2010

Help Slate build a better classroom.

Today Slate launched its third “Hive” crowdsourcing project. This one aims to build a better classroom. Think about it: Over the last century, nearly all our institutions have changed in form to match an evolution in function. Yet our children still learn in rectangles filled with desks.

I am leading the project and encourage you to spread the word to anyone—educators, children, architects, your creative uncle—who might be interested in entering the contest. While there is no prize, per se, sponsor Coca-Cola may actually build a classroom based on the winning entries (which isn’t to discourage entries that are completely fantastical). Instructions for entering are at the end of the article linked above.

Maybe you think there is no need for classrooms to change; don’t worry, we’ll address that too.

The project, by the way, will include shorter pieces on related topics throughout October. If you would like to pitch one, contact me.


  1. My quick and dirty opinion is that the classroom needs a log. It would be a reminder of the roots of education at its finest, with people sitting on the log and learning. It also must have a door to the outside, as you mentioned. I was glad to learn from your article that thats what kids ask for. It needs to have a diversity of living things inside, as well as art inside and out. There needs to be enough itcky things so that no child is not grossed out by something living or once-alive, with just enough stink, but not enough to bring down the wrath of administrators.

  2. Check out Prakash Nair's design in this volume: