ReMaking a School, Part II

Following up on my previous post, my quest for architectural drawings of Guelph Central Public School has come up zero. Plan B involves finding a creative individual to work from the photographs, written descriptions and site plan to create something that can be rendered on a 3D printer.

After a bit of searching, I found someone who could work with the source material. Within 5 days, this arrived in my inbox:

school08_-2

Excited, I hurried down to the library and queued up a print job that matched the 2 hour time limit (read: standard quality, small size):

rough_print_170119010443

Not too bad? Now, to find a way to produce something larger and prettier.

 

New Pet Project: ReMaking a School

One of my resolutions for 2017 is to figure out why 3D printing excites me. I figure this new interest/obsession is linked to my days building set models for my undergrad and my grad research into placefullness and community identity. Admittedly, this may also have something to do with one of my all-time favourite movie scenes. But I go on.

I’ve been spending a good amount of time at the Guelph Public Library, taking workshops on Meshmixer, TinkerCAD and Autodesk 123D. I’ve also reading up on additive fabrication technology, and what how 3D printing will rock the world. Totally geeky, I know. There’s also a good documentary on Netflix – Print the Legend.

So, I needed a project to print so that I could figure some stuff out. Enter Guelph Central Public School:

2009321599

The building has an interesting history, summarized nicely by Cameron Shelley (Guelph in Postcards). It opened in 1875, and was torn down in 1968. Oh the 60s…not very nice to architecture in Guelph. Central has recently been in the news as local citizens have expressed concerns over a proposed development of the adjacent lot. The issue is currently with the Ontario Municipal Board.

I thought it would be neat to 3D print a model of the old building. They could have a miniature model to display in their library/maker-space. The kids could look at it, and maybe be inspired to learn more about 3D printing, local history, architecture, and such. Maybe the school could print copies of the model, and sell them to raise money to buy their own 3D printer? Maybe.

It shouldn’t be difficult to find architectural drawings of a public building. I thought the school might have a record (nope), or the school board (nope), perhaps the public library (zero), or the museum (negative). I also contacted Archives Ontario, Land Registry Office and the local University. No luck. There was a significant fire in the school offices in the 1940s. I’m guessing that the drawings may have gone up in smoke.

Along the way, I collected a number of quality photographs, written descriptions, and a site plan. Maybe this is enough to run with.

Stay tuned.

My take on the Digital Credentials Landscape

For a client I’m working with, I’m putting together a presentation focused on credentials. I’m folding in some of the great work @dajbelshaw put together on dml central. Thanks Doug! My slides are coming together ok, but my diagram is shaping up to look something like this:

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 11.14.31 AM

Does this make sense to you?

On to new adventures!

After 13 great and rewarding years as a staff member at the University of Guelph, effective today, I’m moving on to other adventures. Thanks to all my colleagues at the UofG for all their dedication, guidance, and friendship.

What’s next? Time to finish my graduate work, regroup, and consider next steps. (Ideas welcome!)

Best to reach me at kyle.mackie@gmail.com

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kyle's masters

Considering the implications of how we communicate and how we are communicated to is key to our understanding of the world around us. Alan Shapiro suggests that our key task, both as philosophers and educators is to be on the lookout for and to identify bullshit, and to educate our students in such a manner that they might do the same. In Bullshit and the Art of Crap-detection (1969) Neil Postman suggests,

“As I see it, the best things schools can do for kids is to help them learn how to distinguish useful talk from bullshit. I will ask only that you agree that every day in almost every way people are exposed to more bullshit than it is healthy for them to endure, and that if we can help them to recognize this fact, they might turn away from it and toward language that might do them some earthly…

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