Constructing our Reality

Last week I got to talk with a group of 60+ architecture students and faculty about design thinking, student development theory, and my Fulbright research… as well as how they connect to what we do in our department at Hampton University.  Moments like these help us reflect on what we are.  I hope they will also encourage my compatriots to explore ideas about what we want to become.

My current research is situated in the constructivist paradigm.  What does that mean?

Well, my research ideas and techniques are founded on the principle that we humans construct the world around us — including the things we see and touch, how we know, and what we know — and that we are able to generate new knowledge.

By discussing such topics, and considering collectively what it means to “design” and to “know” and to “learn,” we can become more international, purposeful, and effective in the things we do each day.

One of our students, Rhama Mohammed, snapped some photos during the talk and loaded them into our Facebook page (I’m posting copies here).  This provides a little glimpse of our department’s reality… surrounded by teachers (unfortunately, we don’t have images of any students in the crowd)… and a highly animated presenter.

Faculty Lunch at Home

I returned to the US just in time to attend the Hampton University Department of Architecture faculty holiday luncheon.  This year the Chair of our Department, Mr. Robert Easter, hosted it. (Thanks, Robert!!!)

We dined at No Frill Bar and Grill off Colley Avenue in Norfolk.  (This was a fabulous selection of places to eat!  Many thanks to prof. Mason Andrews for the idea — I have missed this restaurant.)

The luncheon flew by so fast that I only caught the briefest glimpse of what’s been going on at HU.  It looks like the department has been doing just fine without me, though, which is very good to know!  🙂

Here are some of the characters I spend my workdays with back home: