National Building Museum

Educator Workshop: How Design Influences Behavior and the Social Nature of Public Spaces
National Building Museum

Saturday January 30, 2016
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Seating at Milian Park

Interacting with Public Spaces

The design of public places, like parks, has a distinct influence on how people use those spaces. In turn, a region’s social history and culture play strong roles in changing the design of its public spaces over time.

In this interactive workshop teachers will consider the evolution of the National Mall, the most prominent public park in Washington, DC. The National Mall will serve as a case study for how the landscape design of a public space can affect how people interact with and behave in it. Complementing the study of the National Mall will be an on-site visit to a local park near the National Building Museum. An exercise in citizenship and design thinking, this site visit will allow teachers to apply principles of landscape design to a smaller, local setting.

Investigating the National Mall

Teachers will get a “behind the scenes” look at original models of the McMillan Plan from the Museum’s collections. The McMillan Plan was a comprehensive redesign of the National Mall created in the early 20th century. The plan marked a considerable shift in how visitors and residents used the spaces in around Federal Washington for the next 100 years. Following an exploration of the McMillan plan models, teachers will use primary source documents and images to investigate specific events that reveal the changing uses and perceptions of the National Mall over the course of its history.


Citizenship and Design Thinking: Making it Local
In the second half of the workshop, participants will learn to take the principles of landscape design to their classrooms using the design process. We will be joined by Missy Morrison, a DC Urban Fellow for the National Park Service, during an on-site exploration of a local park. After investigating the built environment in and around the park and observing how people interact with the elements of the park, teachers will work to create a conceptual redesign of the space in a lesson that can be transferred directly to their classrooms.

This workshop requires some outdoor walking. Lunch will be provided.

Registration required. Cost: $25 for Museum members; $35 for Non-members.

Time: 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
401 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20010
United States

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