this text was originally written for common circular 4 – public school (for architecture) fall 2009.
if the public school (for architecture) new york is to be considered as a forum for learning, then it is worth reflecting on what was learned and by whom during the fall term 2009.
as an educational model, the public school (for architecture) does not apply to a traditional set of values related to success and failure. as such the outcome of any of the school’s events (classes, meetings, discussions) is not necessarily an indicator of achievement, where the expected roles of the student, teacher and administrator are based on predictable patterns of interaction. at the public school (for architecture) the event is fundamental. results are secondary, meaning is then acquired through the varied engagement of participants.
in this case we might ask who participates, because it is the participants who confirm each event and determine the quality and types of interactions that occur. the school’s premise is that the participants are the general public. the curriculum and schedule are proposed by this general public through an open access web interface. in practice, however, it seems that the general public for an educational model like the public school (for architecture) is not pre-existing. a public for the school and for architecture must be created, or create itself, by engaging in the potential for self-organization that the school offers. the school website is programed to identify, re-group and interconnect the interests of individual school members throughout the public school network. as new communities are recognized in this manner the body of participants becomes simultaneously more diverse and more productive. for instance, a diverse group of interests was represented at the public school (for architecture) class entitled “education as artistic practice – at what cost, who pays?” participants from this class followed up with an online discussion and the organization of subsequent classes that led to the formation of an expanded public school committee.