Teaching Materials - Exercise

Name of Artist Educator: Cheung Wai Lok
Level:
Excercise Category: Class Prelude

How many metres is a pedestrian crossing? 10 metres? How many metres is a pavement? 2 metres? ......

Concept / Inspiration:

How many metres is a pedestrian crossing? 10 metres? How many metres is a pavement? 2 metres? Even space could be quantified, sometimes they are no more than some ambiguous concepts. If the city’s facilities for people only use quantified units of measure as design standard, could these facilities satisfy human needs?

In order to feel the city more personally, students used their bodies as measurements for those facilities. Through the experience to feel the space in the perspective of physics, and to explore the relationship between spaces in the city and our bodies.

Goals:

In funny ways, let students explore the relationship between spaces in the city and our bodies, and enhance their curiosity to the spaces in the city where they belong to.

Materials / Equipment:

Camera

Location:

Outside Classroom

Workshop Description:

Part One | Introduction (20 minutes)
Educator explains the relationship between body and space/the city. List examples of public spaces in quantitative measurement. For instance,the standard basketball court size, the standard width of the pavement. After that, educator tries to arouse students’ curiosity of their own bodies, for instance, how wide is your shoulder? How long are your legs? If the width of the pavement is measured using your shoulder width as a unit, how many shoulders would that be?

Part Two | Field study (50 minutes)
Preparation: Students divided into groups. Each group lists several public spaces near the school campus where they feel interested in, and then decides different body parts as units of measurement, and think of a funny measurement pose.
Outing: Students try to measure the selected spaces with their bodies and take photos for record.

Part Three | Group sharing (20 minuters)
Each group selects five photos, print them out and share the photos group by group, so as to enrich students’ learning experiences.

Actual Outcome:

Students could not instantly think of measurable public spaces in classroom, it might require more time for field study. Once they walked into the actual site, their curiosity would be aroused.

When students were measuring the facilities, park security guard came to ask the students what they were doing, after thorough explanation the situation was fixed.

Work:

How many people could stand across the road? How wide was it?

How many people could stand across the basketball court? How wide was it?

How much space was there for the tree to grow?

How long was the climbing frame that we used to play when we were small?

How wide was the pathway in the skateboard court? How many people could stand across it?

Student Feedback:

Some participants said that when they were measuring the width of the pedestrian crossing, they felt embarrassed by enquiring glances from passersby. The educator replied it’s an opportunity to reflect on: As shown in the picture, the participants were occupying the spaces as the wood boards at the back did, but the people’s curious glances were on the participants, not the wood boards.