“The Edgeless School: Design for Learning,” an eight-month exhibition at the Center for Architecture, presented nineteen innovative, recently built elementary and high schools in the United States. Sage and Coombe conceived of the exhibition design and installation, which required the conceptual and practical placement of architectural models, photographs, text, and videos. The design needed to address the ways in which physical spaces embody pedagogical philosophies and shape the learning experiences of students, as well as the effect of new technology and contemporary approaches to pedagogy on school design.
To respond to the assignment, Sage and Coombe suspended nine elementary school desks from the 1960s in the double-height storefront. The evocative installation conjured up the traditional classroom while alluding to the ways in which history casts a shadow over contemporary conversation about school and classroom design. Examples of current classroom furniture were staged directly below the floating desks as counterpoints.
On the mezzanine, white Plexiglas silhouettes of heads, each containing a small screen, played videos of various thinkers expounding on education. Above these “talking heads” were photographs of pedagogical leaders and luminaries, including Maria Montessori and Jean Piaget, and text explaining their educational philosophies.
Project images and drawings from the nineteen schools included in the exhibition were printed on Mylar and hung in front of painted walls, blurring the fixed edges of the exhibition space itself. Wall text wrapped and folded across the corners of walls and around model bases in another visual expression of the exhibition’s theme.
Each of the side walls featured enlarged images—one representing teaching and the other, the concept of edgeless architecture—composed of 2-inch round pixels, each one of which was sourced from the nineteen projects on display. Echoing this circular motif was another wall graphic: a larger-than-life Scantron exam form filled in with number two pencil, at the entry to the lower level.
- Center for Architecture
- New York, NY
AIANY Honor Award
The American Architecture Award, The Chicago Athenaeum, Museum of Architecture and Design
Global Design Award, SEGD (Society of Environmental and Graphic Designer)
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