Architecture professor to publish chapter on renowned educational theorist
Professor of architecture and interior design John Reynolds will advance his research and writing in his chapter, “Off the Grid: Insight into Design’s Inner and Outer Landscapes” to be published in “The Bloomsbury Handbook to Friedrich Froebel.”
On November 30, professor of architecture and interior design John Reynolds will advance his research and writing in his chapter, “Off the Grid: Insight into Design’s Inner and Outer Landscapes” to be published in “The Bloomsbury Handbook to Friedrich Froebel,” the most comprehensive anthology yet on the educational theories developed by the ‘Father of Kindergarten.’
“Off the Grid: Insight into Design’s Inner and Outer Landscapes” is one of 48 contributions from top Froebel scholars from around the world.
Reynolds works with undergraduate and graduate architecture students in Miami University’s Fallingwater + Westcott House Design-Build Studio, transforming the Froebel method including Froebel’s principles of learning.
The chapter explores design thinking and creativity through the lens of a revised approach to Froebel methodology in terms of the deployment of Gift Sets 3-6 through a transformation of Froebel’s Forms of Life, Beauty, and Knowledge as Forms of Emotion (analog), Order (arrangement) and Nature (pattern). As a process of inductive or analogical learning combined with a hands-on approach to design through ‘Making’, this revised method advances new insight into inductive, multi-disciplinary design thinking and creative activity while exploring its design process potential in the field of architectural design.
“This empowers students to better interpret the world around them,” Reynolds said. “I want students to reconnect with physical material using the hands and body.”
His Froebel research has been presented and at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) Annual Meeting, The International Design Principles and Practices Conference, The National Conference on the Beginning Design Student and The Annual Froebel USA International Conference, where his presentations and workshops on Froebel have been the highest rated presentations there for each of the last four conferences. He also recently published a chapter, “Rediscovering Froebel: Discovering Architecture’s DNA,” in “T-Squared-Theories & Tactics in Architecture and Design.”
“I had studied Froebel and wanted him to be useful in my work as a design educator,” Reynolds said.
His research is also featured in “The Garden of Children”, a film series on Froebel produced by Match Frame Creative and pitched to PBS and Netflix. Anyone can access the project at this link with the password ‘Fratus’ and Reynolds appears mainly within the 36:10 to 41:25 time marks, as do interviews with his students.
Reynolds thanks members of the Froebel research community, his Department of Architecture
and Interior Design faculty colleagues and woodshop manager and anthology coauthors for their support.