Not Signed-In
Which clippings match 'Jerry-built' keyword pg.1 of 1
16 NOVEMBER 2014

The school which encourages risk-taking through open-ended play

"It sounds like a child's dream and a parent's nightmare – a school with no rules. But at Swanson School in Auckland, New Zealand, a blind eye is turned at break time while the kids run amok outside. Dani Isdale joins the children as they climb trees, skid around on bikes and fire makeshift weapons – it's all allowed and even encouraged.

'The need to wrap up our kids in cotton wool and not give them an opportunity to hurt themselves – you are actually taking away a lot of learning opportunities,' says principal Bruce McLachlan. When playtime ends, serious learning begins and he says the children are much more receptive, confident and cooperative after their 'free range' play. But he does admit to Dani that there is just one rule – the kids aren't allowed to kill each other. They love it, but do parents think he's gone too far?"

(Dani Isdale, 21 October 2014, SBS Dateline)

[Bruce McLachlan, the principal of Swanson School in Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand believes that 'wrapping children in cotton wool' is more risky in the long–term than giving them the freedom to set their own rules in the playground]




Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) • ad-hocagency of access and engagementanarchic freedomAotearoa New ZealandAuckland • breaktime • Bruce McLachlan • climbing trees • cobbled togetherexploration of unfolding possibilitiesexposure to riskfree range play • Grant Schofield • health and safety cultureimpromptu playimprovisationjerry-builtjunk playgroundlearning by doingmake-do playgroundsmakeshift • makeshift weapons • no rules • open spacesopen-ended play spacesparticipatory processpersonal responsibilityplace for childrenplay spacesplayscapesplaytimerisk-taking • SBS • SBS Dateline • school principal • scriptible spacessmooth phenomenal spacesocial constructionismspaces for children • Swanson School • turning a blind eye • universal no-fault personal accident injury scheme • wrapping children in cotton woo


Simon Perkins
25 JUNE 2010

The Open City: The Closed System and The Brittle City

"The idea of an open city is not my own: credit for it belongs to the great urbanist Jane Jacobs in the course of arguing against the urban vision of Le Corbusier. She tried to understand what results when places become both dense and diverse, as in packed streets or squares, their functions both public and private; out of such conditions comes the unexpected encounter, the chance discovery, the innovation. Her view, reflected in the bon mot of William Empson, was that 'the arts result from over–crowding'. Jacobs sought to define particular strategies for urban development, once a city is freed of the constraints of either equilibrium or integration. These include encouraging quirky, jerry–built adaptations or additions to existing buildings; encouraging uses of public spaces which don't fit neatly together, such as putting an AIDS hospice square in the middle of a shopping street. In her view, big capitalism and powerful developers tend to favour homogeneity: determinate, predictable, and balanced in form. The role of the radical planner therefore is to champion dissonance. In her famous declaration: 'if density and diversity give life, the life they breed is disorderly'. The open city feels like Naples, the closed city feels like Frankfurt."

(Richard Sennett, 2006)

Fig.1 Busy street in Naples,
Fig.2 Paris, Les Olympiades, 1969–1974, Thierry Bézecourt in 2005
[3] Sennett, R. (2006). The Open City: The Closed System and The Brittle City. Urban Age.




Simon Perkins
03 JANUARY 2004

Ad-Hoc Design: Frank Gehry's Familian Residence

"Adhering to the spirit of ad–hocism... Frank Gehry's own [Familian Residence] house in Los Angeles is rather a collision of parts, built to stay but with a deliberately unfinished, ordinary builderlike sensibility of parts. An existing and very pedestrian two–story gambrel–roofed clapboard residence had much of its interior removed and walls stripped back to their original two–by– four stud frame, beams, and rafters. It was then expanded by wrapping the old house with a metal slipcover creating a new set of spaces around its perimeter. The antirefinement type enclosure is built of the most mundane materials, corrugated aluminum metal siding, plywood, glass and chain–link fencing, and deliberately has randomly slanted lines and angled protrusions. Although the house retains a certain minimalist sense, the effort here is cluttered expressionistic and the sensibility is freely intended as artistically intuitive, of accident not resolved. The palette is anti–high–tech in preference for a visual presence that is off–the–shelf and ordinary 'cheap tech.' Gehry considers buildings as sculpture with the freedom from restraint that this might imply, hence it is not surprising that his work has an affinity to the collages of Robert Rauschenberg, especially in the artist's ripped cardboard assemblage period of the 1970s. (Gehry himself designed a line of corrugated cardboard furniture.)"With the original house almost intact formwise, Gehry, in effect, lifted back the skin to reveal the building as layers, with new forms breaking out and tilting away from the original, to create a forerunner of the Deconstructionist spirit of the eighties. It is almost an idea of 'wrapping' à la Christo, but where Christo seeks through a veil to transform the original to a new sense of being and meaning, Gehry rather produces a discontinuous juxtaposition where one system collides with another resulting in, to quote Bernard Tschumi, a 'super position or disjunctive disassociation.' Where Johansen assembles technological–like elements freely seeding dialogue through the combination, Gehry, through collaging, also basically (but with a different aesthetic) derives an approach to design from the methodology and respect for construction and its architectonic potential as a form maker and space generator."
(Paul Heyer, p.228–230)

Paul Heyer (1993). 'American Architecture: Ideas and Ideologies in the Late Twentieth Century'. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1993. ISBN 0–442–01328–0. LC 92–18415. NA2750.H48 1993. discussion p228–230. exterior photo, p229.



1978accidentad-hoc designarchitectonicBernard Tschumi • Christo • collage • collide • collisionconstructiondialogue • discontinuous • disjunctive disassociation • Familian Residence • Frank Gehryhaphazard • Heyer • houseimprovised methodjerry-built • Johansen • juxtapositionlayerminimalism • off-the-shelf • randomRobert Rauschenbergspace

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