Walk Around the Block / Learning to See
Just for the asking we will share the WAB curricula with you. This tool has a proven record of improving awareness of our built environment. Architecture, history, engineering, construction technology, politics, religion, economics, landscape, cityscape all come together in a unique and local field experience. Some of the cool tools in WAB include developing a knowledge base, observing the environmental context, how to use a camera, sketching, writing, math, science, art, law & more.
Planning for a WAB session or series requires some time in developing a map or area that is to be studied. Landmarks should be identified. They can range from street names, to buildings, to landscape [such as a famous tree] to historic markers. Mapping and scale [what is your step and pace while walking?] development is important in knowing how far one can travel within a certain time.
When looking at buildings or other structures such as bridges or towers, it is important to see how structures work. Post and beam construction is basic, but so are trusses and bearing wall technologies.
Next is developing a sense of how land is used. Streets and rights-of-way for transportation and distribution of utilities [water, sewer, power, gas, communication, green space] build a network of blocks in our cities. With each block or area we have government, industry, commercial, religious, educational, recreational, residential and agricultural uses of the land. Generally, the distribution of these uses is regulated by zoning laws and societal needs.
Walking and recording or surveying the block is next. What do you see? How do you record it? What stories can be told? These are the exciting elements of the WAB experience.