Reading Victor Papanek’s “Design for the Real World,” a book I wish I had read years ago (but also— right book at the right time, you know?) It’s apparently well known, but I hadn’t heard of it until a month ago. It’s a smart and surprisingly hilarious argument for better and more thoughtful design. These are some notes I took on what Papanek calls “the function complex,” which is the dynamic system of “aspects” that can be used to describe a design’s function.
My relationship to grades is complicated. I’ve never been satisfied with the way grades worked in my classroom. It always felt arbitrary. You know: why was a particular quiz question worth 10 points and not, say, 6? And where does this concept of “worth” come from? What qualities in a student assignment confer “worth” or value? I’d like to think it’s complexity of thought, but really I just made it up. I found myself weighting certain components of an assignment to encourage student attention or to compel compliance (“No-name papers get an automatic point deduction” or whatever).
Charlie Huette is a public school teacher who also keeps a notebook. He dreams about making school just a little less terrible. Many of the posts you find here are based on notebook entries. You can learn more about Charlie by visiting the about page.