We have been thinking a lot lately about people and space. Ecologies and inhabitants. The Curve continues to buzz and bustle with learning. More and more teachers and students have found their way to this unusual space on the 4th floor of our new Academic Center. Sometimes by accident and sometimes by recommendation, we have more and more people exploring and enlivening the space. Even after more than a year of use, we learn new things about The Curve almost every time people come here to learn. As we think about the continued evolution of the space, we have been reminded of how important it is for us to remember and share the various elements of the origin stories we associate with The Curve.
“I want it to be Sgt. Pepper’s meets Pet Sounds.”
Glyn Cowlishaw, our Head of School, said those words months before The Curve opened. We knew most of what The Curve would look like from architectural blue prints, and we had some hunches about how we might use the space for teacher and student learning. Dr. Cowlishaw’s provocative prompt helped us to start thinking about how The Curve and The PDS Center would be expected to empower the continued evolution of teaching and learning at Providence Day.
The PDS Center is not The Curve, and The Curve is not The PDS Center. Yet, we knew the two (one a space and the other an innovation engine of people) would be related. When Dr. Cowlishaw made his statement about a mash-up of albums inspiring what would happen in the space, we took him seriously. We knew he was talking about The Curve and The PDS Center.
We started listening to both albums on repeat and learned more about the history surrounding both the Beach Boys’ breakthrough experimental album and the Beatles’ infamous Abby Road creation. Both bands had established reputations by the time they produced this new kind of rock album. Both efforts pushed to and beyond the limits of what recording studios and technology could manage. Each band generated new ideas and methods that they applied to these seminal works.
We like to think that Providence Day School has an established reputation, and The Curve gives us a place where we can push at the art and science of teaching and learning. We need people and places to produce meaningful growth and evolution for and with every member of our community. We can only hope that our continued experimentation and innovation will yield learning as rad as either of the rock albums we continue to use as an origin for our inspiration.