Sam Cassels
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  • Edinburgh
  • United Kingdom
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Sam Cassels posted a blog post

Arbour

The idea of a safe place seems to have been hijacked by the need for secure places. They are not necessarily the same thing. Feeling safe is central to our sense of wellbeing.  So, what makes us feel safe?  As always, the most direct way to answer that question is to ask people.  Whatever their responses, it is likely that it…See More
Sep 1, 2011
Sam Cassels posted a blog post

Slow Cities

At the heart of deliberations about our cities and towns is an assumption about speed.  Whether it’s economists debating the velocity of circulation of money or educationalists the rate of change of technology, the implication is that quicker is better.  Ergo we need to plan for places that can move fast. But speed is not the…See More
Aug 15, 2011
Sam Cassels posted a blog post

Another U-Turn

 “I’ve started so I’ll finish . . . “  seems to be the rule when looking at masterplans – or indeed any Gantt chart laden project. In the context of a project plan this makes a lot of sense. In the context of the real world it can lead to crazy outcomes. So do we cleave to the first idea we all bought into: the one we staked our…See More
Aug 8, 2011
Sam Cassels posted a blog post

Begin Anywhere

We need to change the Place.  But that means we need to change the Silos.  But that means we need to change the Organisation.  But that means we need to change the System. . . . And so it goes. John Cage famously wrote ‘Begin Anywhere’.  In the real world – the one beyond Taylorism and Classicism – that seems like good advice.  At…See More
Aug 1, 2011
Sam Cassels posted a blog post

Valueless

I’ve got used to hearing the statement “We’d get rid of that building but it isn’t worth anything”.  My reaction is always the same: “I’ll take it then”. Certainly, some buildings are falling down, some lend themselves to no obvious purpose, and some are mired in bureaucracy.  But no value at all . . really?  I suspect that this…See More
Jul 29, 2011
Sam Cassels posted a blog post

Media

 Sometimes I get interviewed by journalists.  No matter how carefully you choose your words the feeling persists that in amongst those seemingly reasonable answers to seemingly reasonable questions you have offered an unfortunate quote out of context. So the choice is simple.  Say nothing of any consequence, at length.  Or use the…See More
Jul 20, 2011
Sam Cassels posted a blog post

Hong Kong

From the aircraft window a panorama exploited in a hundred movies.  On the ground a reminder that the English language has a rival. Travel shows us other ways of living and makes us reconsider the things we take for granted.  Design is a way of imagining what those other ways might mean for us and how…See More
Jul 8, 2011
Sam Cassels posted a blog post

Sydney

It’s winter in Sydney.  Torrential rain, ash clouds, and stormy debates about the effectiveness of $16 billion investment in school buildings as a key part of Australia’s Economic Stimulus Plan. It reminds me that what happens in our schools is important not only to our pupils and our communities and to learning – but…See More
Jul 1, 2011
Sam Cassels posted a blog post

Crowds

The roads will be busy this Easter weekend.  And those stuck in traffic will be asking why is everyone else going where I’m going?  However, if the roads were empty the same people would be scanning the radio stations for news of some disaster. We are uneasy when we are alone in our decisions, and we are…See More
Apr 21, 2011
Sam Cassels posted a blog post

Darkness and Light

Popular anecdotes are like popular songs – for a while they seem unavoidable on every conference platform, and then they disappear.  But just because something gets repeated to death doesn’t mean it’s not true. Man walking at night meets someone on his knees under a streetlight looking for his keys.  He offers to help, and…See More
Apr 19, 2011
Sam Cassels posted a blog post

Census

What are the right questions to ask?  Do you ask the types of questions that tend to produce clear answers; the more vague questions with vague responses that perhaps matter the most; or the ones whose answers you suspect will have the most impact? If the aim is to write a clear story that captures peoples’ lives in a way…See More
Apr 8, 2011
Richard Saville-Smith commented on Sam Cassels's blog post 'Today's Word'
"My word of the day is metagogitation as in I like your metacogitation - (thinking about thinking something out carefully?)"
Mar 31, 2011
Sam Cassels posted a blog post

Today's Word

Today’s word is ‘excogitation’ – to think something out carefully. Design is rarely about surges of inspiration and flashes of insight.  It is usually about a lot of hard work and perspiration. The American writer Gene Fowler famously said ”Writing is easy. All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood…See More
Mar 21, 2011
Sam Cassels posted a blog post

Early Yearning

I recently heard someone at a conference refer to “early yearning” – a slip of the tongue for ‘early learning’. But the phrase captures exactly what we need to engender in design projects. Whatever the engagement, the prerequisite for realising better outcomes is the desire for better outcomes. Yes, good design should spring from…See More
Mar 16, 2011
Sam Cassels posted a blog post

The Existence of Good

Whether a learning environment is in a hut or a skyscraper, the senses of place that matter to children are universal.  These include a sense of light and space, a sense of scale, a sense of comfort and a sense of inspiration.  Places that provide these are places that people, of all ages, want to be in.  They are also about a sense…See More
Feb 16, 2011
Sam Cassels posted a blog post

Great Designers

 It seems that we are readily impressed when ‘ordinary people’ strive for Grand Designs – but do our bureaucratic utmost to prevent professional designers chasing the same high aspirations.  This is perverse. In other creative endeavours this doesn’t happen.  Yes, we applaud when an amateur plays The Minute Waltz, but we can…See More
Feb 4, 2011

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Architecture and Design Scotland

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Sam Cassels's Blog

Arbour



The idea of a safe place seems to have been hijacked by the need for secure places. They are not necessarily the same thing.

 

Feeling safe is central to our sense of wellbeing.  So, what makes us feel safe?  As always, the most direct way to answer that question is to ask people.  Whatever their…

Continue

Posted on September 1, 2011 at 16:20

Slow Cities



At the heart of deliberations about our cities and towns is an assumption about speed.  Whether it’s economists debating the velocity of circulation of money or educationalists the rate of change of technology, the implication is that quicker is better.  Ergo we need to plan for places that can move…

Continue

Posted on August 15, 2011 at 10:51

Another U-Turn

 

“I’ve started so I’ll finish . . . “  seems to be the rule when looking at masterplans – or indeed any Gantt chart laden project.

 

In the context of a project plan this makes a lot of sense. In the context of the real world it can lead to crazy outcomes. So do we cleave to the…

Continue

Posted on August 8, 2011 at 14:14

Begin Anywhere

We need to change the Place.  But that means we need to change the Silos.  But that means we need to change the Organisation.  But that means we need to change the System. . . . And so it goes.

 

John Cage famously wrote ‘Begin Anywhere’.  In the real world – the one…

Continue

Posted on August 1, 2011 at 11:55

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At 17:13 on October 3, 2010, Ewan McIntosh said…
Just posted a super long post on my own blog about some of the things I was talking about while in San José - hopefully it's of some interest:

http://edu.blogs.com/edublogs/2010/10/-cefpi-clicks-bricks-when-digital-learning-and-space-met.html

I'm working away again this coming week in the Middle East, and then South Africa. November things calm down and I'd love to catch up over some of the things I'm hoping to start in the US between education, technology and architecture of school builds.

Cheers
Ewan
 
 
 

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The Department of Music at the University of Aberdeen is pleased to announce a PhD fee-waiver scholarship open to home, EU and overseas students who intend to start in October 2014. We are particularly interested in accepting applications from those who show potential in conducting practice-based research through composition, sound installation, and/or creative coding.The proposed research should be in line with the research theme outlined below:Place in Sound, Sound in Place: Technologically…See More
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