James K.A. Smith in Practices Making Community at Judson’s Didier Symposium

The Judson University Department of Architecture and the Association for Christians in Architecture will host the fifth annual James Didier Symposium On Christ & Architecture Sept. 15-16. …. This year’s symposium will include an impressive roster of featured guest speakers who will take on challenging and relevant topics: • “Places of the Heart: How We Learn to Love” at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15. Calvin College professor of philosophy and author James K.A. Smith will address the Judson community, including architecture students and faculty, visiting architects, arts professionals, as well as place-based and home schooling educators. He will explain what…

CAA News | College Art Association » Blog Archive » The Role of Contextual Studies in Art School Education in Scotland | CAA

Since 1962–63, university level art and design education in the UK has included an “academic” element, which was originally referred to as the History of Art and Design and Complementary Studies and is now better known as Critical and Contextual Studies (CCS). This element was introduced to give “degree equivalence” to what was initially a quite technically focused diploma by providing context to studio practices and developing a broader range of skills in students. Topics taught under this rubric include histories of art and design, film and media histories, critical theory, aesthetics, and, more recently, curatorial and art writing practices….

Thinking Critically about Critical Thinking | First Things

When it comes to the intellectual life in our day, the fear of error—believing things as true when they are in fact false—far outweighs a desire for truth. Whether it’s the big questions of religion and morality, or even those concerning history and literature, we have developed an intellectual culture of exaggerated circumspection in which large, long-standing truths are questioned and only small, fashionable truths affirmed. “Critical thinking” has taken on a new meaning in recent decades, one more associated with critique than constructive criticism, and it has become an end-in-itself for many educators. We put a great deal of…

How to Rebuild Architecture – NYTimes.com

IN architecture, everyone’s a critic. One of us, Steven, was recently driving down Elliott Avenue in Charlottesville, Va., his hometown, with his 88-year-old mother. They passed a house designed and built by architecture students at the University of Virginia. To Steven, an architect, this model for affordable housing — a tough pair of stacked boxes, sheathed in corrugated metal — was a bold design statement. But to his mother’s eye, the house was a blight on the landscape, an insult to its historic neighbors. “It looks like somebody piled a couple of boxcars on top of each other, then covered…

Prof. Carroll William Westfall–American Architecture and the American Civil Order: the Shared Foundations • James Wilson Institute on Natural Rights and the American Founding

Please join us for a lecture on American architecture and the American civil order with Prof. Carroll William Westfall. Prof. Westfall has taught for nearly 50 years architecture and architectural history at the University of Notre Dame, University of Virginia, and Amherst College. A central theme of all of his studies has been the history of the city with particular attention to the reciprocity between the political life and the urban and architectural elements that serve the needs of citizens. His emphasis is on the usefulness of knowledge of history to practicing architects. This, rather than a stylistically based interpretation…

This Is Your Brain. This Is Your Brain On Music : NPR

Musical training doesn’t just improve your ear for music — it also helps your ear for speech. That’s the takeaway from an unusual new study published in The Journal of Neuroscience. Researchers found that kids who took music lessons for two years didn’t just get better at playing the trombone or violin; they found that playing music also helped kids’ brains process language. Why The Improvement? It goes back to pitch, timing and timbre. Kraus argues that learning music improves the brains ability to process all three, which helps kids pick up language, too. Consonants and vowels become clearer, and the…

The Humanities and Us by Heather Mac Donald, City Journal Winter 2014

[I expect that UCLA’s students will learn deconstruction; but from where will another generation’s authors come whose words will stir us with their beauty?  Many would say that architecture schools long ago traded away beauty for so-called critical thinking.  But not all have done so: there is talk again of beauty and these bend their efforts to making beautiful buildings and places.] In 2011, the University of California at Los Angeles decimated its English major. Such a development may seem insignificant, compared with, say, the federal takeover of health care. It is not. What happened at UCLA is part of…

A Liberal Education by Miguel Monjardino – City Journal

[excerpt] This June, I spent a week reading and listening to many conversations about Homer’s Iliad at St. John’s College, Annapolis. The rules of a Summer Classics seminar are simple, explained the legendary tutor Ms. Eva Brann (instructors are addressed formally at the school). To start with, one should have read the book being discussed. Then it’s important not to speak too much—listening carefully to what others have to say is encouraged. Finally, too much expertise impedes the conversation. Guided by Ms. Brann and another tutor, Ms. Lise Van Boxel, we had a superb seminar, full of new insights about…

An Artful Conversation with Marilyn Chandler McEntyre | Comment Magazine | Cardus

Comment: You see that in our culture more broadly. We\’re very careful about disagreeing with people. What does that mean for people who are no longer in the English classroom? MCM: Those of us who are in any position of leadership need to assume some leadership in creating conversational spaces where disagreement is welcomed and shepherded in such a way that it doesn\’t just polarize. At some point I have to admit that there are limits to my own reading and that I have my own slant. I think you can do that with integrity. You can be vigorous and…