Designing for Architecture Communities: Extroverted Design that Influences Learning, Knowledge, and Skill Development for the Future

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Designing for Architecture Communities: Extroverted Design that Influences Learning, Knowledge, and Skill Development for the Future
Fuchs, Ashley
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Academic communities ( jstor )
Active learning ( jstor )
Architectural design ( jstor )
Cities ( jstor )
City blocks ( jstor )
Labor ( jstor )
Learning ( jstor )
Learning motivation ( jstor )
Retirement communities ( jstor )
Schools ( jstor )
New York (State)--New York
Sustainable development
Undergraduate Honors Thesis


Re-Machine, located on one square block in New York City, creates a precedent for a new type of community style living and learning: a community of practice. By allowing inhabitants of the city to drop off their unwanted textiles, plastic bags, tires, and potential recyclable materials of the future, Re-Machine is offering a new outlet for learning and thriving sustainably within the city. By connecting artists, students, employees, residents, and inhabitants of the city, Re-Machine offers a new type of community involvement where learning is defined by the building's physical and social impact on the city. By creating a community where multiple groups interact, knowledge is spread and acquired in a sense never before seen in contemporary architecture, creating a heighten sense of being, awareness, and ability to "do" for the city. ( en )
General Note:
Awarded Bachelor of Design; Graduated May 7, 2013 summa cum laude. Major: Architecture
General Note:
Advisor(s): John Maze
General Note:
College/School: College of Design, Construction and Planning

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University of Florida
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Copyright Ashley Fuchs. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.


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Designing for Architectural Communitie s: Extroverted Design that Influences Learning, Knowledge, and Skill Development for the Future. Ashley Renee Fuchs Honor's Thesis April 19, 2013


"He thinks, yes, but more important, he creates." 1 What happens after the architect has created? What becomes of a building after the design process is completed? These questions pose such an important thought and response because th e design process focuses on form and function, however vast majorities of people are impacted by the external formal qualities of a building. Besides the nominal formal qualities of a building, the real question to ponder then is how can architecture create a social and communal impact on the greatest number of people? The answer comes in a simple phrase: t he doing. "We've been trained to think, to envision and design. The only thing left then is to do." 2 The act of doing not onl y gives purpose and meaning to a building, but at the same time has a direct impact on the community. This impact is not measured in physical quantities but in the intangible gathering of knowledge and understanding also known as a community of practice. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #$%&''$!()*+,-!./01&+! 12&!3&41567%8!92&+&!56&'!/+:2*1&:1)+&!;6!0+6! !"#$% ?$*4@!ABC"BD8! $::&''&5!/E+*4!"FG-!BC"H B ()*+,-!./01&+!12&!3&41567%->! /&+*$4!I&%5&+!60!I& J 3$:2*%&!K+&$1&5!L@!/'24&@!M):2' $%5!3:N&%O*&!P&%1O


. Re Machine, designed in New York City, takes on the challenge of the doing after the creating, by being the support and catalyst for a community of practice. 3 The community envisioned takes advantage of the current issues with waste generation and the need to live sustainably, while positively impacting the most amount of people in a defined region. The main basis behind Re Machine is to create a community in which any persons can come to drop off their unwanted textiles, plastic bags, tires, and poten tial unknown materials of the future. By allowing an area for drop off, the community will !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! H Q1*&%%&!9&%;&+-!I*:2$+5!3:?&+<611-!$%5!9*44*$

knowingly provide material needs for artists, workers, and students to build, create, and display. By coming to the Re Machine pe ople choose to participate in a community event that is greater than them selves, by affecting a larger population in both a physical and intellectual manner. This t ype of doing is referred to as a community of practice, a progressive direction and stance that Re Machine offers for the people of New York City. This type of community style of living doing, learning, and involvement provides architects and buildings al ike to focus not only on the formal gesture, but focus more so on the building' s relation and impact on education and knowledge growth within a city. X2*'!5*$;+$

In order to understand how Re Machine's logic and idea of communal learning and interaction becomes such a precedent, it is first important to understand the learning process. A vague definition of learning according to Annie Murphy Paul, in her article The Real Learning Curve is "the process of mov ing information from out there from a textbook, a company report, a musical score into here, inside our heads, and making that knowledge our own." 4 But for most people learning doesn't come as easy as transferring information into the brain. Even more so a fter this, the ability to repeat and remember this information becomes the most difficult part. As a result, researches became intrigued by how the brain really le arns, and their findings come at a huge surprise to the scientific community. "The brain has its own set of rues by which it learns best and they look nothing like what we imagined." 5 One of the most important discoveries that pertain to the learning process is that fact that our knowledge is not determined by our IQ, but by the effectiveness of o ur learning process. 6 Paul concludes in her article that the world needs a learning revolution: in schools, home, and in the workplace. Re Machine becomes a learning revolution within one city block of New York City by providing a set of experiences and interactions in which people must physically take part in. This physical interaction is associated with the idea of pr e existing knowledge, active learning, as well as learning context A ll three concepts of learning play a pivotal role in the idea of a community of practice, which facilities learning, understanding, and memory in a way not yet seen by architecture. Pre existing knowledge is, "a range of prior knowledge, skills, beliefs, and concepts that significant ly influence what they notice about the environment and how they organize !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! W /%%*&!3)+E2@!V)$4-!.X2&!I&$4!P&$+%*%;!K)+T&G>!X*<&!Z5&$'!ABC""D8!$::&''&5!/E+*4!"[-!BC"H-! \ V$)4-!.X2&!I&$4!P&$+%*%;-> ] V$)4-!.X2&!I&$4!P&$+%*%;->


and interpret it. This, in turn, affects their abilities to remember, reason, solve problems, and acquire new knowledge." 7 In this instance Re Machine takes advantage of pre existing knowledge by recognizing the need for sustainable living. It's not a secret that people are exposed to information regarding waste generation, energy usage, and water pollution. Although people have this prior knowledge of issues with sustainability, they have no real practical application on how they can take part in reducing waste generation. By recognizing that new knowledge must be constructed from existing knowledge, Re Machine builds on these ideas and beliefs that people hold true, in a way that hel ps each inhabitant and visitor have a more mature understanding of the topic at hand. 8 This happens in Re Machine's basic underling principle: textile waste management that can be controlled, alerted, and reused in a single block. Active learning is the next step in the learning process that Re Machine incorporates into i ts community of practice. "Science of learning also emphasizes the importance of helping people take control of their own learning. People must learn to recognize when they understand and when they need more information." 9 This type of active learning was termed metacognition 10 which refers to people's abilities to predict the ir performances on various tasks It translates even further by allowing people to monitor their current levels of mastery and understanding of a subject. Teaching practices take approaches such as self assessment and reflection on improvements. Metacognition has been proven to, "increase the degree to which students transfer their learning to new !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ^ _62%!?!U+$%'06+ 5 -!/%%$!PG!U+67%-!$%5!I65%&@!IG!K6:,*%;-! 6/7%41/8(1%91,"-:%;",*-5%<*-=5% >?81"*1-#15%,-=%@#$//( A9$'2*%;16%!?GKG8!`$1*6%$4!/:$5&<@!V+&''-!BCCWD-!B" J H^ F U+$%'06+ 5 -!U+67%-!$%5!K6:,*%;-! 41/8(1%91,"-!B" [ U+$%'06+ 5 -!U+67%-!$%5!K6:,*%;-! 41/8(1%91,"-!B H "C U+$%'06+ 5 -!U+67%-!$%5!K6:,*%;-! 41/8(1%91,"-!B H


?*$;+$<'!&YE46+&!12&!5+6E!600!O6%&'!$%5!12&*+!$L*4*1@!16! $::6<<65$1&! E+&'&%1!$%5!0)1)+&!7$'1&!+&:@:4*%;G! K+&$1&5!L@!/'24&@!M):2'!$%5!3:N&%O*&!P&%1OG settings and events. 11 By giving an entire community a space to drop off their recyclable goods, they begin to have a visual connection and understanding of their actions. Re Machine offers this by becoming a storage center for usable goods as well as a living center for peop le to interact and display these goods all within one city block. The circular process of drop off, sorting, storing, building, and displaying allows the community to visually and physically monitor the unique recycling process this building offers. Active learning thus becomes a pivotal step in understanding the issues behind living sustainably, but also how a single building can help to manage this issue within a confined area. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "" U+$%'06+ 5 -!U+67%-!$%5!K6:, *%;-! 41/8(1%91,"-!B H


Learning context is the last point that Re Machine implements into its design. By creating a community where artists, students, and employees congregate to work, live, and build, Re Machine is offering a fundamental context in which people learn. "A community centered approach requires the development of norms for the outside world, that support core learning values." 12 By designing a sense of community Re Machine will help people solve problems by allowing each individual to build upon each other's knowledge. This will happen th rough the interaction of artists, students employee s, and inhabitant, through the asking of questions and actions that move a group towards a final goal. The most important aspect is developing a community, "with a sense of comfort with questioning rather than knowing the answer." 13 The most important word in this statement is questioning. Re Machine offers the community of practice to continue to expa nd by allowing a double storage tower system as well as a double drop off pit that can be accommodated to fit anything that needs to potentially be recycled in the future. One day plastic bags might be obsolete but the need to reduce and reuse materials wi ll never end. As a result artists, students, and workers will constantly be questioning what's next, what's new, and what can they do to create a more efficient working community. A community of practice is the result of Re Machine's carefully crafted learning system. A community of practice can be defined as, "Groups of people who share a concern, a set of problems, or a passion about a topic and who deepen their knowledge and expe rtise in this area by interacting on an ongoing basis." 14 By establishing a community of practice, Re Machine creates knowledge on the subject solely based on its !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "B U+$%'06+ 5 -!U+67%-!$%5!K6:,*%;-! 41/8(1%91,"-!H] "H U+$%'06+ 5 -!U+67%-!$%5!K6:,*%;-! 41/8(1%91,"-!H] "W 9&%;&+-!3:?&+<611-!$%5! R%@5&+ -! &'()*+,)*-.% &/00'-*)*125% W!


being and steps listed above. The people who participate in the community of practice don't necessarily work together on a day to day basis however they meet because they find values in their interactions and conversations. Their words lead to shared information, insight, and advice, overall helping one another to solve problems. Communities of practice are not a new concept, however the need for organizations to become more intentional and systematic about managing knowledge has. 15 This is the reason Re Machine has created and develop ed such a successful community of practice. By allowing artists, students, employees, and inhabitants of New York City, to have a congregational space where they can come together to live and work, provides a community that is close nit while also providi ng a sense of privacy and publicity all at the same time !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "\ 9&%;&+-!3:?&+<611-!$%5! R%@5&+ -! &'()*+,)*-.% &/00'-*)*125% ] ?*$;+$<'!60!*%1&+$:1*6%'!7*12!$+1*'1*:!:+&$1*6%'!0+6

These people, who live and interact within one city block, create new conversations and provide a new management of knowledge that is re defined. In this instance people have access to personal insight, vis ual connections, and local involvement, which all contribute to an updated definition of community. Further evaluating the idea of the community, it has been found that, "the most used and useful knowledge bases were integrated into the work of one or more communities." 16 The fact that artists, students, residents, and employees all live and work within the Re Machine allows for a general sense of community with small er divisions of groups allows for better knowledge integration. By participating in thes e communities, the Re Machine is creating scientific knowledge that is not static, but "serves as a living respiratory for that knowledge." 17 The Re Machine is not only a building with interesting formal qualities but it is a catalyst to the spreading of i nformation and knowledge within a community and a city. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "] 9&%;&+-!3:?&+<611-!$%5! R%@5&+ -! &'()*+,)*-.% &/00'-*)*125% ] "^ 9&%;&+-!3:?&+<611-!$%5! R%@5&+ -! &'()*+,)*-.% &/00'-*)*125% ^


Cameron Sinclair, a representation of Architecture for Humanity stated, "If you focus on design you can call yourself a designer. If you focus on the implementation of your design you can ca ll yourself an architect." In this case the focus of Re Machine was not only to provide a unique design standpoint, but to provide a sense of doing within the community far after the architect's job is over. This idea of doing comes from the influence of the design decisions laid out by the architect. "Design decisions influence people's behavior." 18 By allowing Re Machine's drop off points to be centrally located at street level, people are influenced to come and participate in the overall recycling proc ess that Re Machine offers. This in turn allows people to partake in a community wide event that connects them back to something tangible. Re Machine's idea of a community of practice established through differen t levels of learning is new in regards to t he materials that it uses and how the people participate and interact with this building. The idea of extroverted design and its impact on learning is not a new concept however as Yazdani Studio's Price Center East demonstrates. "An extroverted approach, one which encourages a certain permeability with the community beyond the school, one that draws students and members of a community into the school just as it encourages students to interface outward, is also being increasingly necessary in today's conne cted world." 19 The basic premises for the school? Design to add cultural vale to the community, cognizant to the fact that a child's learning is affected greatly by their family, society, and culture. By encouraging students to interact outward ly the scho ol easily became a symbol of learning and community spirit. By allowing students to take ownership of their education and community, Yazdani !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "F _)4*&!?*+,'&%-! A12*.-%3/"%$/7%41/8(1%91,"-% AU&+,&4&@8!`&7!I*5&+'-!BC"BD-!" J H[ "[ #$%&''$!()*+,-!. &/00'-*)B C D"*1-)1=%!"#$*)1#) '"1%*-%@#$// (2:%6/7%E>?)"/+1")1=F % A12*.-%&,-%*08,#)% 91,"-*-.%,-=%&$,-.1%)$1%G/"(=% /+:2!?$*4@>!ABC"BD8!/::&''&5!/E+*4!"[ -! BC"H


hopes that this school will help them break free from the cycle of poverty. Re Machine's basic idea is no different to inspire a community through recycling, learning, and interacting, to hopefully break the linear process of waste. It is time for architecture to begin to respond and interact with the needs of its community, while also incorporating a strong design sense that will influence pe ople to take part in a community wide process. In doing so not only will the population of New York City have a building that is aesthetically pleasing, people would now be interacting, learning, and educating the community abou t practices in sustainability. Without a doubt the most important aspect to learning is the motivation of the learner as well as the physical relationship between knowledge and learner. Re Machine offers a new sense of community that tries to utilize three different tactics of learning to help the community become more responsive to certain issues at hand. Not only does this architecture create a physical response to its environment but it's "doing" provides ample insight and knowledge for the community to build upon for years to come.


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Bibliography Bransford John D, Brown, Anna L and Cocking, Rodney R. How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School (Washington D.C.: National Academy Press, 2004), 21 37 Dirksen Julie Design for how People Learn (Berkeley: New Riders, 2012), 1 39 Pual Annie Murphy "The Real Learning Curve." Time Ideas (2011): accessed April 19, 2013, Quirk Vanessa "After th e Meltdown: Where does Architecture go from here?," Arch Daily (2012): accessed April 18., 2013 Quirk Vanessa Community Oriented Architecture in Schools: How Extroverted' Design Can impact Learning and Change the World Arch Daily" (2012): Accessed April 19 2013 Wenger Etienne Richard McDermott, and William M. Snyder, Cultivating Communities of Practice, (Harvard Business School Press, 2002), 4