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robertogreco : austin   22

Catapult | The Case Against Making a City “Beautiful” | Bryan Washington
"On finding beauty in Houston amidst the ugliness, and what the city stands to lose from increasing gentrification."

"A few years back, my buddy Sam called Houston one big strip mall. He’d flown in from Hong Kong to study at a local university, hoping to stay a few years longer for a gig in medicine. Sam never had a reliable ride, and Uber was out of his budget, so another friend of mine named Jon and I were always driving him around town. We’d made a point of showing him what we thought there was to see in the city, barreling our way out of the downtown plaza we worked at for the more open, absurdly crowded pastures constantly clogging Houston’s highways.

Sometimes, we found Indian food out in Sugarland, pausing for antacids at the CVS whenever the curried goat and Tsingtao overtook us. Once, we drank our way up and down Washington, just to end up sleeping in Jon’s car, in this drunken huddle, burrowed around a busted radiator while proggy ’80s rock crooned from the bar beside us. This time, we were driving down Bellaire Boulevard, taking note of strip mall after strip mall after strip mall. And Sam pointed out, in a still-elastic English, that Houston was actually pretty fucking ugly, wasn’t it?

I looked at Jon. Jon told me to look at the fucking road (which was fair: on the best of days, I’m not the smoothest driver). Sam stretched in the back seat, where he’d set up something like an impromptu photo studio—everywhere he went, he took photos, which he’d send to his folks back home. And this particular stretch of road in Chinatown was hardly noteworthy, hardly different from the avenues surrounding, hardly meriting a portrait worth painting for the Louvre.

But before I could start in on one of my usual rants—about how there is beauty in ugliness, how the city’s residents had made an oasis out of the bayou, blah blah—Sam laughed. He said it was nice. This was different. It worked.

Jon laughed, too. Sam kept taking pictures. The three of us kept driving. I thought then that it was funny how someone who’d only been in the city for a few months had gotten at the heart of the thing—he’d figured it out exactly, succinctly."
bryanwashinton  houston  ugliness  urbanplanning  urbanism  zoning  design  urban  2018  austin  texas  gentification  sripmalls 
december 2018 by robertogreco
long-view micro school
"Imagine . . .

a school that speaks up and not down to the intellects of children. A school that communicates to students that understanding derives from activity -- making, doing, creating -- and encourages kids to think like producers, not consumers.

Imagine a school that doesn't close the doors after students enter but instead seeks to be open and networked, connecting students to their community and the world. A school that takes "the long view" by prioritizing construction of meaning, asking good questions, seeking connections, and considering multiple perspectives, over consumption of information, rote practice, and shallow skill coverage.

Education Re-Imagined.

For the Long-View."

"If you are a parent seeking an education focused on strong academics, you know the problem:
Your child is not challenged and there is a great deal of lost learning time. Additionally, the areas you may be most concerned about -- math and science -- are not taught very deeply or thoughtfully in elementary school.

At Long-View, all that changes.

We focus on long-term, transferable skills and they all add up to a love of learning.

Our curriculum is founded on deep learning. Our vision is to ensure we are looking ahead, and making sure we are keeping the long term, transferrable skills foremost in our curriculum. We have high expectations for our students, support them as they stretch and grow, and we don't waste our kids' time.

We seek to inculcate certain habits of mind that begin fundamentally with a love of learning for its own sake."

"We don't adhere to a rigid schedule of 45-minute subject increments at Long-View. And we don't have grade levels.

Our students learn in blocks of time that are typically 90 minutes to 2 hours long, as blocks promote deeper thinking and persistence with an idea or concept. Blocks help us learn "more seriously."

And we consistently push ahead, leaving the grade levels that so often restrict learning behind. Our kids are on an upwards trajectory and multi-age cohorts promote stronger learning.

Long-View doesn't look like your ordinary school. Our classrooms are radically different than most, so it is hard for us to even use the word "classroom."

What's different? Everything moves. There are no chairs. And we write on the walls (among other things). The "classroom" belongs to the kids and it is flexible, creative, and transparent."

"Long-View's schedule is more balanced.
Our 4-day schedule means Fridays are a time for families, for sports or music lessons, for trips to the museum with friends, for projects based on a kid's passions, or some needed free time playing outside on a pretty day.

From 9:00 - 2:30, Mondays-Thursdays, we are working hard at Long-View. Unlike many schools, we don't waste time or spend our academic minutes on busy work. Kids are working hard, thinking hard. Homework is minimal and focused on daily independent reading or finishing up a research quest.

Long-View's focus is on math, reading, writing, science, and computer science. The focused academic footprint means parents have the opportunity to customize the rest of their child's education. There's time for a specialized art class, a violin lesson, a favorite sport, or parkour. You know your child and his or her passions. With academics taken care of by Long-View, you can add in the right art, music, theater, or sports experiences in the afternoons and on Fridays and keep your child's week more balanced."

"The micro school opportunity lies in the fact that we have:
Small Learning Communities
Multi-Age Cohorts
Lower Operation Complexity
Personal Connections
Rapid Idea Iteration
Teacher Empowerment
Unique Curriculum

Perhaps the best way to think of us is to compare us to the restaurant industry. Think of a big, standardized, chain restaurant with a menu as big as an encyclopedia. Now think of your favorite neighborhood, farm-to-table restaurant that serves a few spectacular dishes made from the best ingredients.

We are Farm-to-Table for schools.

One of the opportunities of the micro-school model lies in controlling costs and ensuring tuition doesn't become accessible only to a minority of families.

With a focused academic footprint (i.e. Long-View does not strive to deliver on breadth and instead focuses on quality), simple facilities, and low operation complexity, we can deliver high-quality academics at a price point that is accessible to a larger range of families.

Additionally, because we are a small school community and because our facilities are not major drivers in our tuition model, Long-View families enjoy a more stable annual tuition over years."
schools  microschools  sfsh  lcproject  openstudioproject  education  children  learning  austin  texas  math  mathematics 
november 2017 by robertogreco
"Education should be a liberating experience that allows people to lead remarkable lives so they can positively impact society and improve the human condition.

In order to prepare young people to do the remarkable, Abrome provides young people with a non-coercive, psychologically safe learning space that allows them to identify and engage in deep, meaningful, and enduring learning experiences. Our focus on well-being, self-directed learning, and a supportive learning community allows Abrome Learners to embrace the present while building a future of lifelong inquiry and learning, academic and career excellence, and emotional and social wellness.

Abrome is an alternative to school where young people get the opportunity to lead remarkable lives. Abrome is Emancipated Learning."
education  unschooling  deschooling  learning  austin 
may 2017 by robertogreco
Low Design Office
"This house weaves green building and contemporary design into the context of its Austin, Texas neighborhood -- on a budget."
lowdesignoffice  architecture  texas  austin  design  houses  homes 
december 2012 by robertogreco
Low Design Office [LOWDO]
"…is an architecture studio that realizes high design through low cost, low energy technologies and solutions.

Our goal is more with less: Achieve high impact results with low environmental impact, low carbon/material footprints, and low maintenance energetics. We contend that meaningful aesthetics and design innovation emerge from bottom-up responses to low supply: In the search for new socioeconomic and environmental equilibria in society today, low is the new minimalism. We believe that humans and ecologies perform best at low stress levels, and that by optimizing efficiency we can both maximize the transformational power of built environments and inspire reflection on the contemporary world and our roles within it. As a low design office we work to construct buildings and create places that amplify opportunities for all people, regardless of class and culture.


Our process is design/build. Because we understand both construction and design sides of making buildings…"
environment  sustainability  lowenergy  lowcost  ghana  texas  austin  design  architecture 
december 2012 by robertogreco
W. Tucker
"I am inspired by those things in our environment that have become worn or distressed by nature or human intervention - such as the billboard that has been partially stripped away, a wall that is peeling away layers, or a metal utility phone box plastered with paper. These visual encounters remind me of the nature, beauty and simplicity of the process of aging, the process of change.

In a subtle way, my work mirrors these steps – building and stripping away – engaging in and allowing a process of change to be a part of the work.

I am not conscious of representing a specific story or idea as I work. The exact meaning of a piece in many instances eludes me. In the end I am more often struck by an emotional response to what I paint and draw."
texas  austin  artists  art  wtucker  via:lizettegreco 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Austin Bat Cave
"Austin Bat Cave is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides children and teenagers (ages 6-18) with opportunities to develop their creative and expository writing skills. We connect a diverse population of young writers and learners with a vibrant community of adult volunteers in Austin. All of our programs are free.

At ABC, we understand that public school teachers are the hardest-working people in town. With all our programs, we strive to be a resource, mobilizing volunteers to help teachers accomplish what they might not be able to accomplish on their own."
writing  reading  kids  826  nonprofit  austin  texas  lcproject  austinbatcave  teaching  learning  mentoring  nonprofits 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Austin Center for Design | An educational institution in Austin, Texas, teaching Interaction Design and Social Entrepreneurship
"Austin Center for Design exists to transform society through design and design education. This transformation occurs through the development of design knowledge directed towards all forms of social and humanitarian problems.

AC4D offers a one year program - held on site (on nights and weekends) in Austin, Texas - emphasizing creative problem solving related to human behavior, through the use of advanced technology and novel approaches to business strategy.

The program is ideal for designers, artists, business professionals and technologists with 2-5 years experience doing professional work, or for more seasoned professionals looking to change the trajectory of their careers.

Our curriculum includes instruction in ethnography, prototyping, service design, theory, usability testing, and financial company structures."
education  design  teaching  schools  highereducation  alternative  highered  jonkolko  austin  texas  lcproject  incubator  designthinking  human  behavior  business  technology  humanitarian  humanitariandesign  socialentrepreneurship  entrepreneurship  prototyping  servicedesign 
july 2011 by robertogreco
"Welcome to HourSchool! We make small informal classes happen. To request a new class just type it into the box below, or browse our existing classes."

"Traditional classrooms facilitate one-way knowledge transfer, where students passively consume. We believe learning should be social, where students learn from, and with, each other.
Everyone has knowledge to share and the ability to share it. HourSchool facilitates friend-led knowledge sharing, in a fun, easy, and social way. Learn from your friends, one hour at a time."

[via: ]
austin  education  learning  cooperative  exchange  peertopeer  p2p  networks  social  hourschool  deschooling  learningexchange  unschooling  sharing  small  informal  schoolofeverything 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Southwest by South - Ta-Nehisi Coates - Personal - The Atlantic
"My friend schooled me on the best running path. And we talked about architecture, Austin, and the horror and beauty of the South. (Everything is a problem.) In large measure, I'm missing out on the whole festival. I did a panel on distraction and the internet. I went to a party where Diplodocus was spinning (I decline to abbreviate, because "Diplodocus" is too awesome of a word. I insist on taking every opportunity to employ it.) But there's a gang-bang element here, one you tend to find at all festivals, but one I generally dislike all the same. So I revel in the small moments, margherita pizza and red wine. A chance to greet a fellow Commie."
introverts  ta-nehisicoates  sxsw  texas  slavery  2011  austin  janeausten  diplodocus  parenthood  distraction  attention  relationships 
march 2011 by robertogreco
How Does It Feel To Be A Problem? - Culture - The Atlantic
"Man listen--Negroes like Atlanta. Negroes like Chicago. Negroes like Houston. Negroes like Raleigh-Durham (another area that doesn't make the cut, for some reason.) Negroes like Oakland. Negroes have the right to like where they live, independent of Massa, for their own particular, native, independent reasons (family? great barbecue? housing stock?) Just like Jewish-Americans have the right to like New York--or not. Just like Japanese-Americans have the right to like Cali--or not.

This particular Negro loves Denver--and Chicago too. But the notion that black people are pawns on a chess-board, which conservatives and liberals move around in order to one-up each each other, has got to go. Sometimes--just sometimes--a black dude isn't a problem. He's just a dude trying to marry a beautiful woman, raise a decent kid, retire to an tropical island, smoke some good herb, and drink some good rum.

Let Portland be Portland. And let black folks be themselves. We're getting along fine."
cities  race  ta-nehisicoates  portland  atlanta  nyc  houston  dallas  progressive  urban  diversity  chicago  seattle  austin  minneapolis  denver  oregon  losangeles  raleigh  2009  gentrification  politics  policy 
may 2010 by robertogreco
The Nobelity Project - What you do, where you are, matters. -Desmond Tutu
"What We Do

The smartest minds. Solutions that work. Reliable information that can lead
to a better world for all our children.

The biggest hearts. Showing the impact one person can have on the world.

A better way. Take the first step on an issue you care about.

Our feature and short films address some of the world’s biggest challenges,
and show how each of us can make a difference, One Peace at a Time."
education  nonprofit  disruption  philanthropy  green  activism  environment  aid  poverty  global  energy  humanitarian  enlightenment  power  film  future  international  austin  nonprofits 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Race and the new urbanism « Snarkmarket
"This is some­thing I think about a lot, not least because I’m an aspir­ing col­lege pro­fes­sor mar­ried to an urban plan­ning stu­dent who is also a black lady. Who doesn’t drive. And we have kids."

[references: ]
race  cities  progressive  progressivism  us  portland  seattle  austin  minneapolis  sanfrancisco  snarkmarket  politics  urban  urbanism  planning  society  comparison  diversity  boston  nyc 
october 2009 by robertogreco
David Byrne Journal: 10.02.09: Bikes and Cities So Far
"The events in some towns, like Portland, well known for being bicycle- and public transportation-friendly cities (despite the frequent rain), were almost like little rallies; whereas LA, like Austin in a way, is so spread out that it has more obstacles to overcome."
bikes  biking  davidbyrne  losangeles  sanfrancisco  portland  oregon  austin 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Sorry, Portland | GOOD
"In any list of the best biking cities on the continent, Portland, Oregon, would certainly come out on top (with some cries of foul from San Francisco cyclists). But there are plenty of other North American cities where people move on pedal power. And in the wake of the 2008 spike in gas prices and boom in bike sales, municipal governments are attempting to make things easier for riders. We’ve measured everything from the League of American Bicyclists’ comprehensive Bicycle Friendly Community ratings to the frequency of informal street races to bring you snapshots of seven places where the gears are turning. (A glossary of terms–including the dangerous races called alley cats—is listed at the end of this article.)"
bikes  cities  portland  sanfrancisco  biking  culture  albuquerque  austin  miami  minneapolis  montreal  pittsburgh  saltlakecity 
may 2009 by robertogreco
Salvage Love: The Story - Dwell Blog -
"With family and friends, I wasn’t that short on hands. I knew there was never a problem that didn’t have a fix. But my pockets were pretty shallow. I had a small construction loan and a couple of credit cards to work with. I knew I wanted the house to be modern and exciting, but I also wanted it to rely on recycled materials to help it feel warm and familiar. I didn’t want my grandma to feel like an astronaut when she visits. I used building materials that could feel at home, and probably had even called home, in a house in the 40’s, 50’s, or 60’s. All of the doors were bought cheap at a local Habitat for Humanity ReStore or reused from the old house, much of the flooring was made by milling what had been the old roof decking, old framing lumber was salvaged and reused where possible, ebay was a resource, light fixtures were often made and not bought. In the end, construction costs were around $45 a sqft."
homes  design  architecture  diy  glvo  housing  austin  texas  salvage  recycling  make 
august 2008 by robertogreco
"mission is to promote growth and appreciation of contemporary art & artists in Texas. Through its exhibitions & programs in Austin and statewide, Arthouse helps nurture artists' careers and deepen public understanding of contemporary art."
art  austin  galleries  glvo  texas 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Jelly! - Casual coworking is awesome. wiki - The password is "j311y" (J-...
"What’s Jelly? Jelly’s our attempt to formalize this weekly work-together. We invite you to come work at our home. You bring your laptop and some work, and we’ll provide wifi, a chair, and hopefully some smart people."
nyc  coworking  jelly  austin  dc  washingtondc  portland  cities  place  space  work  networks  collaboration  collaborative  crosspollination  entrepreneurship  business  productivity  socialnetworking  telecommuting  freelancing  networking  community  social 
october 2007 by robertogreco

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