There has been a lot of recent noise about test scores and knowledge, or lack of, attainment levels within education. Comparisons with certain countries have resulted in the obvious feeling of malaise and a general mood of a second class status within the ‘new’ thrusting world of education. But, is this what the attainment of knowledge should be about - the position within a table of the league of nations. Is education more than a bunch of statistics? At a recent parents evening, I was heartened to hear the overwhelming enthusiasm of a teacher who wanted to teach not via a straight jacket but by an exchange and exploration of ideas and concepts and a true understanding of the world around us.
Some of this is also true at a much broader level. We all encounter or use many products and materials in our daily lives without giving as much as a second glance to their manufacture, production or even their historical context. It was partly with this in mind that we set off on our long journey that has recently come to fruition in the form of the publication of The Alchemy of Galvanizing – Art, architecture and engineering (see article on the left).
Our book aims to explore, explain and celebrate the process that helps protect steel that we find all around us today. We highlight the use of galvanized steel within some of today’s most prominent structures – Leipzig Glass Hall, Cork Civic Offices and Snowdon Visitors’ Centre. But size is not everything, the highly engineered use of galvanizing on a smaller scale can be found within; Benyon Wharf, Catmose Campus and Garsington Opera Pavilion. Throughout the book, art provides an important tread that links the world of architecture and engineering and is highlighted by the extraordinary work of Antony Gormley and Sophie Ryder’s more intricate and abstract use of the process.
Have a browse, I am certain that you will find something of interest to remember and impart.