Archive for August, 2014

From Chalkboards to Smartboards…

a classroom thesis




My son brought home his first night of 5th grade homework the other night; he flipped open his District- issued personal laptop and logged on to his teacher’s YOU TUBE channel and got to work.

Somehow, despite my knowledge of the changing 21st century classroom (in my mind, I think I viewed these changes as the “Higher Education” setting, more so than the K12 realm), I sat amazed. He still had paper and pencil, but only to show and record his work. The teacher poises the question/problem via the video, students pause and complete the problem, and then resume the video to hear the answer, as well as the teacher explains the reasoning and method of reaching the answer. Such a simple concept, yet I was impressed with the brilliance of its simplicity. Isn’t the sole purpose of homework to reinforce concepts introduced during the school day, not just busy work, as generations of children have bemoaned?

This is just a small example of how technology has impacted education. Not only is the way “we” teach changing, but the environments our teachers are teaching in and our students are learning in, have also evolved based on how technology has infiltrated our lives.

Teknion has recently partnered with Gensler on a study about technology in the classroom (, which reveals some telling trends and considerations for not only our society in whole, but gives vendors and manufacturers tangible data to forecast and proactively engineer products/goods to meet those changing needs.    “Active learning, collaboration, reinforcing concepts through hyper-connectedness and ease of access,” are just a few of the trends associated with the 21st Century Classroom. How will (has) the physical classroom environment changed in light of this paradigm shift?  What are your thoughts on the changing face of Education, driven by our tech-savvy, hyper connected world?

Colors, Constants & Vowels, Adverbs…What Do They Say About You?

Are you blue? Maybe an ISTJ?  Or do you prefer to refer to yourself as a, “Realist?”  If you’re racking your brain to figure out just what I am talking about, perhaps you’ve never been asked to participate in a personality “test,” but chances are, if you’ve been in the job market sometime over the past decade, you’ve taken some type of personality and skills assessment prior to being offered a position with a company.

For me, I love this stuff.  I eat it up, in fact. What Psychology major, ENFJ, “Connector,” wouldn’t?  These “tests” are all about who you are, what drives and excites you and what environments you function optimally in, as well as what areas are more taxing for you, as they aren’t part of your natural personality. I honestly find the topic endlessly fascinating, but not everyone does. Perhaps you should give it at least a little credence as Personality and Skill assessments are part and parcel of the vetting /recruitment process anymore, but what do these results really tell us- or moreso, our prospective or current employers?

Research says it depends. Skill assessments are very telling and verify that the “best indicator of future performance/habits, is past performance,” but with personality “tests” – the outcomes aren’t reliable measures of one’s success. Skills, habits and practices are, not “personality traits.”  You could be seemingly a “natural’  salesperson personality, but not succeed in sales for a multitude of reasons, the lest of these being; work ethic, resources and good old knowledge about what you do and how to do it better/more efficiently/ less costly…i.e., skills.

The true benefit in any personality assessment is what you do with the results, both personally and as an organization as a whole. Simply identifying what personality traits exist in a group is nothing more than a semi-interesting water cooler conversation. After all, you work with these people for the majority of your daily life, chances are, you could have given a tangible, educated guess as to what personality traits your co workers exemplify.  What’s of benefit is sharing that information, noting how the different traits may impact communication, office culture and how well one group of employees’ “jives” with another.  Armed with this information you can align similar or divergent personality types, along with the skill sets required to theoretically comprise your “dream team” on any given project or task.

How has your organization used personality test results to impact overall organizational success?

The Dichotomy of Design

Tick Fabrics

Tick 3 Tick 2 Tick portrait textiles

“Opposites attract,” is a common phrase regarding relationships. One partner’s extroverted, the other an introvert. Or one partner a night owl, the other a “up at the crack of dawn.” These opposing characteristics often creates the drama or “draw” for each person to the other. The same is said of good design. The stark difference between light and dark, the blending and melding of hard versus soft surfaces, or the juxtaposition of an antique with the clean lines of an uber modern piece.  These are the very things that makes a space (or outfit/landscape) so appealing to one’s senses….the dichotomy of the pairing.

In Suzanne Tick’s new textile line for Teknion, she celebrates the relationships between the hard materials in architecture and the soft materials in weaving.  She states its the form and structure being the parallel relationship across the two; leaving no surprise that her new line is in fact called, “Form + Structure.”

A little more about the line

Tick shared that her textile designs have often been inspired by architecture and the textural qualities it posses by way of pattern, sheen, and shape. She likens the process of weaving to that of building a structure; she creates her textiles through weaving frameworks that morph and evolve with the addition of color and materials.

“Form + Structure” is offered in 9 styles; 5 upholstery and 4 panel fabrics.

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