Mr. Courtney Robinson, Dean of Students at Facing History High School, has established male-oriented programs in New York that teach models of maleness, change the way men think about their masculinity. He connects with highschoolers through questions and debate, but also by going over plain everyday occurrences. Natascha Yogachandra reports in The Atlantic:
“Robinson listens intently to the students’ problems and responds with short suggestions for nonviolent solutions. It’s a male place, a haven for these high-school boys to talk about the things they ordinarily would find difficult to air in public.
“The purpose of these programs is to give boys the chance to rethink maleness, and to change the way men treat women and each other. Moore, the one who always brings up basketball, says that the group isn’t for the weak-minded. ‘This is for people who got strong minds; who are willing to step up to the plate and really become a young man.'”
Mr. Robinson is also undeniably committed to his students. Despite an offer for a supervisory position, he chose to stay at Facing History High because, in his words,
“[m]e seeing y’all and being here to support you all [to] graduate and move forward and be able to deal with your problems, and help you all make it through and give you all advice means more to me than whatever dollar amount they were going to give me.”
Kudos. Because there shouldn’t be only one way to be a man. Because diversity is where our strength lies as a species.
Artist Peter Erskine incorporates laser-cut prisms into existing spaces. He is interested in exploring the interplay of light, space, and architecture. So far Erskine’s work has appeared in and on both modern and historical spaces, with equal success.
Great Trajanic Hall, Rome, Italy. Peter Erskine.
Milan Central Station, Milan, Italy. Peter Erskine.
Because light and color can draw the eye into unexpected details and reveal new ways of looking at your surroundings. Because different points of view are what makes the humanity so amazing.
Nine-year-old Rebecca Ryan from Seattle thought the summer of 2014 was pretty and warm, not rainy and cold like the reputation of her home town implies. She came up with a craft project to track the daily temperatures in the form of a knitted scarf. She assigned a color to a given temperature range and asked her mother to knit a stripe each day in the correct color.
One of Finnish photographer Minna Koponen’s projects involves the unlikely combination of street art, snow and bunnies. During winters 2012 and 2015, Ms. Koponen created these adorable, cartoony outlines of face-plant bunnies out of snow and plastered them on trees, buildings and other public spaces.
Ms. Koponen calls her creations Crash Test Bunnies, and aims to create good cheer and to bring something surprisingandrefreshing tothe urban environment. There are more photos on her site.
Because art need not be stuffy nor elitistic! (And bunnies rule!)
At 90, Barbara Beskind, after a career in the military and years of design work from toys to inflatable devices that help children with balance issues, is still going strong – and designing away. Ms. Beskind is currently working on solutions that improve the quality of life for older adults.
Photo: Nicolas Zurcher, courtesy of IDEO; found via NPR.
For Ms. Beskind, being a designer is a boon because “[i]t makes aging more tolerable, more enjoyable… I enjoy the age I’m in. I think it’s one of the best chapters of my life,” says she in an NPR interview by Laura Sydell.