"It should be recognized that architecture and design are fundamentally pedagogical… architecture and landscapes are a kind of crystallized pedagogy that informs well or badly, but never fails to inform. Design inevitably instructs us about our relationships to nature and people that makes us more or less mindful and more or less ecologically competent. The ultimate object of design is not artifacts, buildings, or landscapes, but human minds." David Orr (2007)
Welcome to the website of the Dickinson College Senior Seminar, Spring 2009! The title of our seminar is: Sustainability: Theory and Practice.
During this seminar, senior Environmental Studies and Environmental Science majors at Dickinson College engaged in a project to lay the foundation for a curriculum that would involve using Kaufman Hall as not just a "place to study" but as an "object of study," that is, as a living laboratory.
Kaufman Hall was purchased by Dickinson College in 2003. Once a crystal factory, employing over 300 people and manufacturing quartz crystals for the electronics industry, Kaufman was decontaminated in 2005 and renovated to be the temporary home of the Environmental Studies, Geology and Psychology departments. As Dickinson strives to make sustainability a distinguishing characteristic of the College, the plan is to renovate Kaufman to house the Environmental Studies and Geology Departments and our new Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education, to incorporate many new green building features, and to utilize the building to inform and enrich our curriculum.
The present occupants of Kaufman have focused on features of the proposed renovation in order to document the current ecological footprint, to determine the feasibility of the new plans, to document current understanding of sustainability and occupant satisfaction and to suggest curriculum or pedagogy that would be building-centered -- all to allow future students to assess the efficacy of the innovations and to use the building in research and course projects.
We would like to give special thanks to the following folks who helped us with their knowledge, skills, ideas, and inspiration: Nick Stamos, Ken Shultes, Dusty Rhoades, Rachel Seigel, Brenda Landis, Hans Pfister, Jinnieth Woodward, Sarah Brylinsky, and Bill Shoemaker.
Senior seminar class at Recycle
Ithaca Bikes (RIBS) in Ithaca, NY
Seniors at Greenstar Cooperative, Ithaca, NY