Integrated design thinking is a creative and productive way to teach children how to think for themselves and to participate in their education with hands-on applied learning skills that are both two and three dimensional. At bBlooom, we involve students in the design process used in the architectural design studio. Our Design Thinking program teaches the interrelatedness of all things in our universe. Students gain knowledge about the principles and laws that govern the built, natural and cultural environment.
Through a series of design experiences, students learn the grammar of architecture and are able to identify and use the organizing principles of design, draw items in plan, elevation and perspective views and make models transforming their ‘thoughts into things”. Teaching and learning that demonstrates the interrelationship of ideas is the way the mind operates rather than factionalized subject matter areas. The mind recognizes an interrelated composite of ideas that are related through principles and laws that represent the order in the universe in both form and function.
From Art to Math
Architecture is a multidisciplinary learning subject! From art to mathematics, it crosses the boundaries of traditional subject lines by integrating topics like:
- Shapes and spatial relationships
- Color combination
- Fabric and texture combination
- Scale and size
Imagine the ‘light bulbs’ that turn on when a child learns that their math lesson relates so closely (and usefully!) to their art project!
The vocabulary of architecture brings about new ideas. We talk about things like space, perspective, scale, form, function, and more. These are not typically the words children learn in reading and writing classes at school. They are more than a list of new words to memorize; they induce a specific way of thinking.
It’s been shown again and again (for example studies and work conducted by Johnson O’Connor and E.D. Hirsch, Jr.) that students who can draw upon a wider variety of words become better at almost anything they do. Being able to articulate your thoughts clearly invades every part of your life: relationships, careers, understanding.
Vocabulary bridges the gap between being able to accept, and being able to receive another’s thoughts. It allows for showing, and not just telling.
And so, at bBlooom, we introduce new vocabulary relevant to the architectural project we’re working on during every lesson. Our instructors keep on using the newly-introduced words throughout the program. We also encourage children to use the words they’ve learned through application.
Developing Soft Skills
Soft skills can be overlooked in favour of hard skills like Mathematics or other STEAM subjects kids learn in school. However, the soft skills that can arise as a result of learning architecture help develop a child’s personality and workmanship later in life. It can develop their character, making them fit for multiple work environments, regardless of career choice.
The bBlooom curriculum focuses on the development of soft skills in children in the areas of:
- Problem solving
- Ability to receive feedback without perceiving it as criticism
- Team work
- Leadership traits
By developing children’s soft skills, we’re helping them to communicate effectively, collaborate with others and thrive in environments that require flexibility and perseverance.