Re: [xmca] paper #3 and thanks

From: Andy Blunden (
Date: Mon Feb 26 2007 - 18:28:17 PST

When I was doing my teaching spaces job at Melbourne Uni., I approached the
Architecture Faculty to see if they knew of anyone who had done any work on
the intersection of architecture with learning theory and cognitive
psychology or epistemology. I just got blank "Are you crazy?" looks, and
was referred to the guy who taught postmodernism. I never did find anyone,
though I did find a working architect or two who really thought about their
work in designing buildings for learning. My own basic principle in what I
did was that the first thing that had to be thought about in designing a
building was "what is the activity this space is intended to support?" and
then try to arrange walls and furniture etc etc to support the mix of
activities and their boundaries. Pretty obvious really, but surprisingly it
was a really novel idea for most architects I ever dealt with. I did some
basic stuff around arrangement of furniture etc in learning spaces thinking
about the sharing of artefacts by learners and teachers. I know a lot more
now than I did then of course about Leontyev and Activity Theory, and I
find it impossible to think of being an Architect without Activity Theory.
:-) If no-one has written a book on the subject, there is a big gap in the
market to be filled there.

At 12:33 PM 26/02/2007 -0800, you wrote:
>Hello XMCA,
>please ignore that last e-mail. that was not meant to be sent to everyone
>(my terrible e-mail skills have just been exposed!). Except perhaps the
>PS. So, I might as well just get out there and ask you all my question:
>I was doing a little searching online to get some details about activity
>theory and its applications, and I ran across some interesting connections
>people were making between architecture and the ideas of Leont'ev and
>Wertsch about activity. I was wondering if other people have run across
>such connections? if so, are there any articles or areas of research
>people can point me to?
>I found a little bit on the AIA website (the american institute of
>architects). But I would also really like to know if people not from the
>U.S. know of similar discussions.
>Thanks so much,
> > Hi Mike,
> >
> > Thank you for letting me take the space I needed to start recovering from
> > last week. I really appreciate your kindness and flexibility. It sure
> > makes getting throug this year so much easier!!
> >
> > I've attached my paper from last week. and as soon as I find time (of
> > just plain make it), I'll be in to bug you about the reading for which I
> > missed class discussion.
> >
> > thanks again,
> > Katrina
> >
> > ps - I have a question I was thinking of posing on xmca (looking at the
> > connection between architecture and theories of activity). is that okay?
> > or would you rather we just add to
> > discussions?_______________________________________________
> > xmca mailing list
> >
> >
> >
>xmca mailing list

Andy Blunden. The Subject -

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