Tuesday, 17 October 2017

18 must-haves for an optimum learning facility

We are delighted that Innovate My School have published our article 18 must-haves for an optimum learning facility as part of their Accelerating Creativity output for October 2017.  The article can be accessed on the link above and copied below:

From my adventures running architecture sessions with kids, there is a lot I have learnt about creating the best facilities to support young creative geniuses. Here is a series of recommendations to create and manage an exciting hub of architectural discovery:
Learning Centre Organogram

These include considerations of the space...

1. Acoustics

Classes of 30 children can become quite animated and noisy. This might require supervisors raising their voices to guide and contain the class. High ceilings and deep floor plans can add unwanted echo. Sound transmitted from neighbouring spaces might also be an issue. Ideally, studio spaces should be designed to a reverberation time of 0.4 seconds with acoustic treatment integrated into the design to keep the ambient noise level within 65 dB.

2. Natural light

This is important for everyone’s psychological wellbeing. Natural light is dynamic and always changing. Roof lights can bring more natural light deeper into a floor plan than windows. Encouraging diffused light or north-light into the teaching spaces is ideal because it does not cause glare and is easier to control than direct sunlight.

3. Electric lighting design

Although natural light is free, electric lighting offers close control on how spaces, areas and objects are defined. A well considered, flexible lighting scheme is essential to the success of any teaching space, studio, display space or computer / meeting room.

4. Ventilation, heating and cooling

Ventilation is a key consideration. Workspaces can heat up through solar gain, and 30 enthusiastic children can quickly raise the ambient temperature of a studio classroom. Natural ventilation is often the most cost effective and practical solution. Underfloor heating can be cost-effective in service, with the benefit of releasing the perimeter walls from radiators, allowing more space for display.

5. Colour

Colour can help direct people’s moods and behaviour within a space. It is especially beneficial for children with special needs. A well considered, harmonised colour palette can help make a space feel comfortable, calm and enjoyable to work in.

6. Sensory overload

The design balance of any learning centre should be to allow the spaces, zones and areas to be clearly understood and promote a sense of calmness. Control of noise, light, colour and visual background distractions should be considered. This is especially important for children with Autism or special needs, but it generally helps to keep attention levels up, with minds focused on their creative ideas.

7. Internal and external space

In addition to the internal studio, some external space is excellent for allowing budding young architects to take their ideas, drawings and model prototypes and trial them at full scale outside. This area becomes a launch-pad within which students can see their ideas become reality, and for most kids it is the highlight of any sequence of architecture lesson. The more the better, but if external space is restricted, workshops might split into groups to take turns working outside, or work in teams on a smaller number of full scale installations.
Storage considerations

8. Storage

Storage is an important item, and there never seems to be enough. A combination of racks, shelves, plan chests and storage rooms are options to be considered depending upon the volume, type and size of materials that will be used. Consider which areas of storage can be accessible to children, which need to be out of reach and what needs to be locked away. Storage trolleys on wheels allow materials and resources to be placed with groups quickly, while also helping to avoid excessive traffic across the studio to find materials and tools. Ideally, the storage space should be equivalent to one-third of the studio space.

9. Media

Architecture workshops are something of an adventure. Great ideas lead to other great ideas - the organisers are left to consider different materials and media to develop and improve the learning experience. 3D printers, 3D pens, large format printers, die cutting machines etc might an option. Space for the equipment and materials, power and service requirements should be considered.

10. A sink

A large 1.2m wide art sink plus drainage areas is ideal. In addition to washing and cleaning, a large sink can play an important role in prepping materials which might need to be soaked before use.
Working Wall of study models

11. Display

Wall space is a premium commodity, and it is exciting to see a studio fill up with work as a workshop develops. The 'Working Wall' is a great way to record and display work as it progresses through a workshop or a series of workshops. Pin-up areas can assist with acoustic attenuation, and covering entire walls offers maximum flexibility for display. Floor-to-ceiling shelves should be considered for stacking and keeping 3D work and models-in-progress safe.
Kids with confidence to stand up and present their ideas

12. IT

Technology is developing quickly. Computer stations are fast being replaced by iPads with wifi connection, which is more mobile and versatile. Within a work-group, the iPad allows budding architects to research ideas, record work with drawings, take photos of models, film their project’s development and send all this information to the projection screen. A portfolio of work can be made in a day!

13. Photo booth

A small and simple photo-booth is very convenient for taking well lit photographs of drawings and models without background interference.
Trapezoidal desks potentially offer greater layout versatility for group working

14. Ergonomics

Desks, tables and chairs should allow adults and young children alike to sit and work comfortably. Work tables should allow flexibility in their arrangement for large and small groups to work. Tables with built-in power sockets built-in make it convenient for the use of glue guns, 3D pens or table lighting during workshops. All work tables and chairs should fold and stack away neatly into the storage area, enabling the studio to operate as an clear space.

15. Waste

Great minds produce great ideas - and a considerable amount of waste, too. Bins are important, and should be sized to manage the type and quantities of materials being used.
Accessible and restricted storage areas

16. Sixteen

There is no sixteen.

17. Safeguarding

All schools need to know the management policy for Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016). It covers a range of items to ensure children are protected in education, including the design of the learning centre itself.

18. Connection supporting facilities

In addition to the key studio spaces, a learning centre should have good, safe access to supporting spaces including WCs, cloak and locker rooms, break-out spaces for lunch / break times, a coffee and sandwich stall and a reception space with a public gallery.
Experiments in Architecture

Kids have incredible enthusiasm, boundless energy and natural creativity. Providing the optimum working environment invariably leads to all the spaces becoming animated with exciting and inspiring work. Their productivity will make the spaces come to life. The success of a learning centre will be proven with the output of quality and magnitude of the results.



Sunday, 1 October 2017

How to be a Creative Genius

Ever wanted to be a creative genius?  It turns out we all were once!  We spend a lot of time educating children but in reality they hold the key to something that a lot of us strive hard to achieve.  What is it that they have that us adults have lost?  In their book Break-Point and Beyond George Land and Beth Jarman ask 'when were you at your most creative?'  The answer normally is when the environment allowed it - there were no boundaries to thinking, there was a collaborative approach to the team, when there was no fear of having a bad idea or that idea not working, and when team members supported and added value to others creativity.

98% of children aged 5 are highly creative.  Only 2% are by their mid twenties - NASA Study
This ad in a BA flight magazine prompted an investigation in to George Land and Beth Jarman. 
Why do we become less creative as we become more educated? 

Kids are naturally intuitive and experimental thinkers.  They can have far-reaching ideas and imagine how to achieve them.  Boundaries to their creativity can be non-existant because experience does not govern.  Adults, by comparison appear to be re-wired to operate within the limits of our experience and 'expertise'.  This in itself can deters us from adventuring beyond our comfort zones.  We develop a fear of the unfamiliar.  Knowing how things go together and work set the patterns in our life.


Buckminster Fuller said All children are born geniuses, but the process of living de-geniuses them.  He also encouraged us to experiment outside their comfort zone, leave our preconceptions behind, dare to be naive, and not to be afraid of mistakes.

We need to shake off what we think we know and find confidence in starting afresh.  In Phil McKinney's innovation workshops one rule is that no one can discredit another's idea until they have offered five reasons why that idea will work.  The environment has to be right for the creative processes to be effective.

Break-Point and Beyond

Break-Point and Beyond examines how our inner creative geniuses can be harnessed in business to enable companies to stay in front of their competitors, adapt ahead of the technology curve, increase market share or even regenerate wholesale to survive and adapt.

From working with kids in architecture workshops, it become quickly apparent how flexible and creative children's minds are when tackling a design task or experimenting with materials or structures etc.  From a design perspective there is a lot that can be learnt from kids and the processes they apply to working individually and in groups.  They have an ability to make connections between seemingly disparate elements of design where I as a grown-up design-professional would not immediately recognise the connections.

How the creative genius of children can be captured and bottled has been a study point from I have taken from these workshops.  George Land and Beth Jarman's book does a lot to explain and quantify how this might be achieved, optimising the creative environments and processes.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Rowan Park Estate

DesignBox Architecture has completed work for the extension of two adjacent terrace houses on the Rowan Park Estate, London SW16.  For each house, the living room and dining rooms were extended to meet the existing back line of the house. 


The Rowan Park Estate was completed in 2014 following the Government's Design for Manufacture Competition.  The estate is an acclaimed example of building to high standards of environmental sustainability.  As an extension project it was not a convention build.  Careful attention needed to be paid to the existing building fabric to ensure properties of air tightness, thermal resistance and acoustic separation were maintained and enhanced.  Building systems and external materials were used to match the original build.


The works added 20m2 to each house and some much needed living space for two growing families. 

Thursday, 28 September 2017

South London Wickers

DesignBox Architecture is proud to be sponsoring Hackney Wick Academy South FC for the 2017-2018 football season.  Hackney Wick South (formerly London Bari) is a community focused semi-professional football academy in South-West London.  Run by volunteers, it ambitiously follows an inclusive approach to football at grassroots level.  The young members in the Academy currently play in the Tandridge Youth Football League.  We wish them all the very best of luck for the season ahead.


Wednesday, 27 September 2017

LDN Group

DesignBox Architecture is pleased to announce the completion of the refurbished Lansdowne Centre in Stockwell, London SW8 for LDN Group.  The newly revitalised building now facilitates specialist and industry-relevant IT courses for a range of age groups starting with 11 year olds.

The Lansdowne Centre includes a new reception with kitchen, three flexible classroom spaces, one-to-one study and interview booths, an IT  suite and administration offices.  All was achieved to a very impressive budget.    LDN Group work to inspire young people to achieve their vocational goals and ambitions and the newly refurbished Lansdowne Centre definitely works to support that.

Reception and kitchen

Booth

Office

Approximately 380m2 / 4100 sqft net area.  DesignBox Architecture was appointed as Architect and Principal Designer under CDM regulations 2015.

Budding Architects

Hampton School have included an article in their School Journal on the year-8 Art and Architecture workshops, with DesignBox Architecture:  https://hamptonschool.org.uk/2017/01/architect/

The series of workshops was very hands-on, working with materials to make models and full size structures from initial design concepts for a shelter.  The class found this engaging and expressed lots of enthusiasm.  Succeeding in the challenge to realise their designs on a large scale became a highlight of the process.  One intention was to demonstrate  the significance of Art based subjects in the support of Maths and Science.  In Architecture most everything is connected.


This was carried out  in conjunction with the RIBA Architecture in Schools Programme.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Feedback

Furzedown Primary School 2017

With this year’s Architecture workshops with Year 5, at Furzedown Primary School, we asked for some feedback to gain some insight in to what the children thought was relevant and engaging.  The results revealed many issues which were important to them. 

The sequence of workshops included experiments with structure, 3d drawing, model making and working with larger kits of materials.  Each workshop was held so that there was a brief introduction to the subject area and a review at the end, leaving as much time as possible for the children to experiment and develop their ideas.  

The tasks given were not too prescriptive, but introduced the children to the basics of a subject area and presented them with a challenge which could be interpreted in many different ways.  The overall focus of the sequence of workshops was to investigate designs for a shelter.  As usual, the creativity and enthusiasm of the children took their work in unexpected directions.

Their feedback is of great value to help understand what they found most engaging and most challenging.  It also highlighted ways in which the workshops might be improved in the future.  We were given some expected and surprising responses:

I made an origami den and a Sun Dome.  I could have improved my Sun Dome Dome by making sure every time I put it up it doesn’t fall down.  – Understanding how materials work and go together, and thinking about how to improve their own creations.

My Favourite part was going outside to make different structures. – When the weather was right, working outside was always a favourite activity.  Working in groups the children were able to make some large structures together.

It taught me how to make mini structures and has inspired me to make some things at home. – We chose materials for the models which were readily available, (and mostly items for recycling).  It is encouraging that they might take their ideas and knowledge home to develop further.

We made structures out of magnets.  I found it quite easy because you didn’t have to plan it, you made it up as you went along. – A great way to experiment: Create first and then assess it later.

My favourite thing was drawing on Axonometric paper.  At first I found it difficult but I caught on soon. -  The ‘light-bulb’ moment when the children realise something new. 

I really enjoyed building structures outside, even when it didn’t work out. – Experiments don’t always lead to success.  When things didn’t work out the  way they expected, there was still just as much to learn.

You taught me that patience is the key to building a structure. 

My favourite bit was when we had to plan our own designs. – Being a designer and in control of their ideas was important to them.

I learnt that not all buildings around the world are made of the same material. – A useful insight in to children’s preconceptions in to the world, which we forget as adults.

To improve I think you could have more materials to make the projects. – Having a good range of materials is important and children have a good appetite to experiment with as many as possible.  Originally we though that limiting the range of materials might focus minds, but the children wanted more to experiment with.

I enjoyed using the 3D pens to create a building. – Looking at different ways of thinking and creating in three dimensions was important.

You could make the lessons more fun by making the slideshow shorter because we really wanted to get on with the fun of the work you planned. – Great advice.  Children pick up information quickly, process it in their own way and their enthusiasm generated lots of creative energy.

I would make it better by explaining more about the slides shown to us. – A counter-argument to the above.  Every child is different.

It was really fun. – To me this might be the most important quality to capture in the workshops.

My favourite bit was drawing 3D shapes.  My shapes turned in to a building picture called the Crystal Flats. – The children engaged with the process that a thought can be captured in a drawing, developed with one or several media and become a conceptual building design.  The media helping to inform the possibilities of the idea.

I enjoyed doing the construction kits. – At both model full scale we had a number of kits for making different structures, enclosures, shelters and dens.  They were great for getting the children started with a construction concept, but their creative energy quickly took over and made a whole lot more out of the kits, often combining them to create more even adventurous designs.

I learnt that Architecture isn’t as boring as it seems and doesn’t take up much of your time. – Oh dear! I'm not sure where this came from.  Poor kids, they'll learn.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

What every Learning Centre needs

From our adventures running Architecture workshops with kids, there is a lot we have learnt about creating the best facilities to support young creative geniuses.  Here is our tool-kit of recommendations to create and manage an exciting hub of Architectural discovery:  

Learning Centre Organogram

These include considerations of the space...

Acoustics:  
Classes of 30 children can become quite animated and noisy.  This might require supervisors raising their voices to guide and contain the class.  High ceilings and deep floor plans can add unwanted echo.  Sound transmitted from neighbouring spaces might also be an issue.  Ideally studio spaces should be designed to a reverberation time of 0.4 seconds with acoustic treatment integrated in to the design to keep the ambient noise level within 65 dB.


Natural light:  
This is important for everyone’s psychological well being.  Natural light is dynamic and always changing.  Roof lights can bring more natural light deeper in to a floor plan than windows.  Encouraging diffused light or north-light in to the teaching spaces is ideal because it does not cause glare and is easier to control than direct sunlight.

Electric lighting design:  
Although natural light is free, electric lighting offers close control on how spaces, areas and objects are defined.  A well considered, flexible lighting scheme is essential to the success of any teaching space, studio, display space or computer / meeting room.   

Ventilation, heating and cooling:  
Ventilation is a key consideration.  Work spaces can heat up through solar gain, and 30 enthusiastic children can quickly raise the ambient temperature of a studio classroom.  Natural ventilation is often the most cost effective and practical solution.  Underfloor heating can be cost effective in service, with the benefit of releasing the perimeter walls from radiators, allowing more space for display.

Colour:  
Colour can help direct people’s moods and behaviour within a space.  It is especially beneficial for children with special needs.  A well considered, harmonised colour palette can help make a space feel comfortable, calm and enjoyable to work in.  


Sensory overload:  
The design balance of any learning centre should be to allow the spaces, zones and areas to be clearly understood and promote a sense of calmness.  Control of noise, light, colour and visual background distractions should be considered.  This is especially important for children with Autism or special needs, but it generally helps to keep attention levels up, with minds focused on their creative ideas.

Internal and external space:
In addition to the internal studio, some external space is excellent to allow budding young architects to take their ideas, drawings and model prototypes and trial them at full scale outside.  This area becomes a launch-pad within which students can see their ideas become reality and for most kids it is the highlight of any sequence of Architectural workshops.  The more the better, but if external space is restricted, workshops might split in to groups to take turns working outside, or work in teams on a smaller number of full scale installations.

Storage considerations

Considerations of the facilities...

Storage:  
Storage is an important item, and there never seems to be enough. A combination of racks, shelves, plan chests and storage rooms are options to be considered depending upon the volume, type and size of materials that will be used.  Consider which areas of storage can be accessible to children, which need to be out of reach and what needs to be locked away.  Storage trolleys on wheels allow materials and resources to be placed with work-groups quickly and help avoid excessive traffic across the studio to find materials and tools.  Ideally the storage space should be equivalent to one-third of the studio space.


Media: 
Architecture workshops are something of an adventure.  Great ideas lead to other great ideas and the organisers are left to consider different materials and media to develop and improve the learning experience.  3D printers, 3D pens, large format printers, die cutting machines etc., might be or become considerations.  Space for the equipment and materials, power and service requirements should be considered.


A sink: 
Preferably a large 1.2m wide Art sink plus drainage areas is ideal.  In addition to washing and cleaning a large sink can play an important role in prepping materials which might need to be soaked before use.  

Working Wall of study models

Display:  
Wall space is a premium commodity and it is exciting to see a studio fill up with work as a workshop develops.  The 'Working Wall' is a great way to record and display work as it progresses through a workshop or a series of workshops.  Pin up areas can assist with acoustic attenuation, and covering entire walls offers maximum flexibility for display.  Floor to ceiling shelves should be considered for stacking and keeping safe 3D work and models in progress.  

Kids with confidence to stand up and present their ideas

Projector, white board and screen are a must.

IT:  

Technology is developing quickly.  Computer stations are fast being replaced by iPads with Wi-Fi connection, which is more mobile and versatile.  Within a work-group, the iPad allows budding Architects to research ideas, record work with drawings, take photos of models, film their projects development and send all this information to the projection screen.  A portfolio of work made in a day!

Photo booth:  
A small and simple photo-booth is very convenient for taking well lit photographs of drawings and models without background interference.

Trapezoidal desks potentially offer greater layout versatility for group working

Ergonomics:  

Desks, tables and chairs should allow adults and young children alike to sit and work comfortably.  Work tables should allow flexibility in their arrangement for large and small groups to work.  Tables with power sockets built-in, connecting to floor boxes make it convenient for the use of glue guns, 3D pens or table lighting etc., during workshops.  All work tables and chairs should fold and stack away neatly in to the store to enable the studio to operate as an clear space.

Waste:
Great minds produce great ideas and a considerable amount of waste too.  Bins are important and should be sized to manage the type and quantities of materials being used.

Accessible and restricted storage areas

And management considerations…

Safeguarding:
This is the management policy for Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016).  It covers a range of items to ensure children are protected in education, including the design of the learning centre itself.  


Connection supporting facilities:
In addition to the key studio spaces, a learning centre should have good, safe access to supporting spaces including WCs, cloak and locker rooms, break-out spaces for lunch and break times, coffee and sandwich stall and a reception space with public gallery etc.   

Experiments in Architecture

Kids have incredible enthusiasm, boundless energy and natural creativity.  Providing the optimum working environment invariably leads to all the spaces becoming animated with exciting and inspiring work.  Their productivity will make the spaces come to life.  The success of a learning centre will be proven with the output of quality and magnitude of the results.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Art and Architecture

Shelter is one of the basic human requirements but appears as any number of solutions in the built environment.  At Hampton School's Art Department, with the RIBA Schools Programme, we thought it would be fun to explore this subject with a Year 8 Class and give them a brief to design and build their own personal shelter.

Examples of shelters
A shelters could be anything, to meet any purpose.  The class was introduced to this idea and we discussed different examples in relation to how they might approach a design of their own.  It became evident to the students that an Architectural solution would draw upon their knowledge of Art, Maths and Science based subjects.


Some ideas of how materials in sheets can make fixed and flexible structures
Before they began the design process, we experimented with card and paper, making different types of structures to see how structure and form could be created.  Several examples were tabled to explore, including folded and slotted structures, bolted panel structures, modular origami, box nets and transforming polyhedra etc.

Exploring how a sheet of card can be turned in to a structure, a sculpture, a 3D form etc.
Children are diverse thinkers and their creativity is not as restricted to the preconceptions we have as adults, which results from years of our own experience and learning.  The connections they made with the ideas given to them was very creative.  It was great fun to work with the class and be part of the 'light bulb' moments when they realise their designs and how to construct them.  Because the shelters were to their individual requirements, they had a variety of very imaginative and personal functions including: A garden sun trap, a paintball hide, a reading nook, a star-gazing shelter, a lunar pod and a gaming pod etc.

A selection of the Class' design solutions.  All very achievable on a larger scale
The final works were to be constructed from 8' by 4' Correx sheets, so the class was encouraged to think how their full-size designs might relate to this:  How big would the final piece be, what size of components can be achieved from the sheets, and how many sheets would be required?  Their design ideas were set out in drawings with notes on how they would be fabricated and assembled.

Setting out their design ideas in drawings
(Photos by Paul Cochrane)
From the designs we scaled up the components with templates to cut them out in Correx which were bolted together.  It was exciting to see the enthusiasm of the class to fabricate and construct their full size shelters and they worked efficiently, setting themselves up in to teams to achieve their goals.

Making the full-size shelters
(Photos by Paul Cochrane)
The shelters, architectural studies and design process formed part of an Art Exhibition at the School in December 2016, held for the parents.  Architecture is an interesting subject because it can be a very individual pursuit with very public result like Art, but can also require a rationality and a social responsibility to its users, which relate to more objective subject areas.  Its a fusion of many subjects including Art, Sculpture, Geometry, Materials, Maths and Science, which to me makes them all intrinsically linked and equally relevant.

The Exhibition
I thought the class did exceptionally well and I am glad they enjoyed the process.  I hope it will encourage them to look at their academic subjects and explore other opportunities where Art, Maths and Science might connect.  

Thanks again to Hampton School's Art Department and the RIBA's Schools Programme.

Friday, 13 January 2017

The Importance of Art and Culture Subjects in Schools

Thank you to Innovate My School for publishing this article exploring Architecture in the classroom.  We have had a lot of fun experimenting with structures, materials, forms and spaces.  Children's creativity appears to be without limits and it is encouraging when they see the workshops as opportunities for self expression.  Their reinterpretations of their set brief can be hugely imaginative and demonstrates how much they engage with the subject.  We also look at where the work draws on their knowledge from different and academic subjects.  Architecture is good for showing that subjects are not isolated from each other, particularly the Arts and Sciences.  They are all mutually relevant and finding the connections can be fun, especially when you are building something...

Innovate My School: The Importance of Art and Culture Subjects in Schools:


Architectural Design is not a subject normally taught in schools. Because it presents something of a novelty to children, it often produces some very creative and exciting results. Furzedown Primary School in South West London regularly hold a sequence of lessons in its summer term focusing on this with a Year 5 class. The process starts looking at structure and continues with spacial design, materials, drawing techniques followed by model making. The children are normally given a brief and asked to design a pavilion. To conclude the sequence of lessons, a selection of projects is chosen to build full scale.
Because the subject is seen as a novelty, it gives an opportunity to experiment and play with ideas, while still addressing many relevant areas of the National Curriculum and the school’s targets for child development. The architecture lessons draw connections between the artistic and cultural-based subjects, and technically-oriented subjects such as Maths and Science. The children apply their knowledge of these implicitly to their ideas and creations, and combine them into a single focus.
In this respect, where the process really takes off is when individual children see opportunities to achieve a goal which is very personal to them. Working outdoors, one exercise involved garden canes made up with eyelets at the ends so they could be connected with cable ties to make structures. The children investigated the different structures, enclosures and dens they could make with this system combined with sheets and boards. They looked at the pros and cons of different shapes and the structural benefit of triangles. One child came from a large family who all shared a small house. She saw an opportunity to create her own personal space in her back garden and took the entire kit home with her. I understand she spent a lot of the Summer out there. The experiments in the school courtyard were her prototype, combining technical issues of structure, material selection and shelter with cultural issues of spacial design and personal aesthetics.
With a selection of larger scale installations under construction, another child saw the opportunity to design and create a bench, which could be installed in each. It was important for him to be able to lie down and experience the environment of each pavilion, while being able to chill-out and observe the passing clouds. The bench design required the application of structural, material, aesthetic, and ergonomic considerations.
These experiments and lessons do demonstrate tangible and important links between Arts and technical subjects by application. Simply by identifying the differences, the relationships are highlighted and the children enjoyed making the connections, especially in the focus of a personal goal. Technical academic subjects might be objective, but life throws up many subjective variables. Building bridges in this way allows art and cultural subjects to support Technical subjects and fortify their importance in the National Curriculum. For those who consider themselves to be particularly technically minded, this process allows the student the opportunity to engage with their creative selves in ways they might never have known.