According to a 2013 Gallup poll, 45% of students in grade levels 5–12 are disengaged at school, and nearly 70% of K–12 teachers are not engaged in their work. Long-range studies however demonstrate that a student’s motivation is a better predictor of later success than his or her IQ. The significance of motivation and the reported lack of it at schools inspired Perkins+Will to dedicate our February SPARK event to the topic of student engagement.
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The Arid Lands Institute (ALI) is an education, research, and outreach organization dedicated to design innovation in water-stressed environments. For a site adjacent to the LA River, architects from Perkins+Will offices around the world were asked to address the functional and expressive potentials of designing within a parched climate. The program they were given: “House of Retention,” a new 40,000-square-foot home for the Arid Lands Institute, designed to capture, store, recycle, treat, and infiltrate every drop of water on this heavily urbanized site.
A discussion with urban farmer and founder of EVO Farm, David Rosenstein. EVO Farm is a company focused on sustainable food production using aquaponics. David is the Chair of the Aquaponics Association Western Region. He also chairs the committee on Urban Agriculture for the Los Angeles Food Policy Council. He talked about his research, his travels, and how we came about rethinking what we eat, how we produce that food, and how we access it.
Alissa Walker writes about design, architecture, cities, transportation, and walking for publications like Dwell, Fast Company, GOOD, Wired, Details, LA Weekly, and the Los Angeles Times, and is an associate producer for the KCRW public radio show DnA: Design and Architecture. Alissa’s favorite story she did in 2012 happens to be Nobody Walks in LA, a piece for the radio show Studio 360. She shared that piece with the audience and had a conversation about the topic of walking (or the perception of not-walking) in LA!
Greg Goldin and Sam Lubell are the co-curators of the 2013 exhibit Never Built: Los Angeles which took place at the A+D Museum. Never Built explored the “what ifs” of Los Angeles. The exhibition investigated the values and untapped potential of a city that still, is in search of itself. A thorough compendium of projects that only saw the drawing board, the discussion posed the question: Why is Los Angeles a mecca for great architects, yet so lacking in urban innovation? Greg and Sam gave unique insights into the projects and shared their processes for curating the show.