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Prescribe, Spontaneous Ritual

The title Prescribed, Spontaneous ritual speaks to the notion that each school day is unique. Despite certain fixed points in students’ schedules, no two days are the same. Through the studio’s topic of kinetic analysis, the project analyzes the Chinese tea ceremony, extracting ideas about the importance of order between vessels and unpredictability even in highly controlled ceremonial rituals. The result is a curriculum that both recognizes the importance of a structured, foundational knowledge base, as well as independent, project based learning. Younger students experience classes as a series of pods, each with repetitive form yet unique organization specialized for specific topics or methods of teaching. Students’ schedules and journeys through these pods are reorganized weekly, reaffirming the multitude of ways to experience the school. For older students in 7th and 8th grade, these same pods dissolve into library and workshop spaces that may help students develop their projects. For these students, the spontaneity of school comes from the discoveries in their research, different ways they approach their work, or unexpected results of collaboration. Rather than determine any particular schedule, the school acknowledges the productive nature of irregularity and offers a framework to celebrate the uniqueness of each day.