Author Archives: John Noble

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July 12, 2017, by John Noble

ON PUDDLES AND RIGOR: The Academic and Playful Act of Puddle-Jumping

Imagine a puddle in the courtyard of your school. Then imagine the ways in which it could inspire learning. That is the premise of a pair of short essays found in “The Hundred Languages of Children” (the catalog to an exhibit on Reggio Emilia’s educational philosophy). These essays came to my mind after reading several […]

October 10, 2013, by John Noble

Metaphor and the Generative Idea

“nothing is superfluous, and everything justifies itself by contributing to [a] central generating idea.” E. Fay Jones, “The Generative Idea,” Landscape Architecture, May/June 1983, p. 68. “I’m interested in a concept, an idea that is more meaningful than a formal strategy, though formally distinguished, as I would hope that my work over the years shows… […]

July 23, 2013, by John Noble

Finding Inspiration From The Comfort Of Your Chair

When I was in architecture school I had a professor, Udo Kultermann, who was legendary for his encyclopedic knowledge of world architecture. As one would expect of a resident authority on architectural history, he knew everything about Byzantine, Medieval, Gothic, Greek Revival and all the rest of the significant architectural periods and styles as well […]

April 29, 2013, by John Noble

In Search Of That One Impossible Move

“By incorporating (all the concerns of all the stakeholders, including the site and the society) instead of reducing them to the lowest common denominator, you avoid compromise. Instead of meeting halfway, you oblige yourself to solve everything – to keep looking until you find that impossible move that takes into account ALL of the concerns […]

February 5, 2013, by John Noble

Limits and Boundaries Make Better Projects

In the heat of the moment, while struggling to discover a solution to the latest setback, it is easy to complain about the strictures placed on our creativity. “Our budget is too small”, “our client is VERY traditional”, “the setbacks leave us no room in which to operate”, “it’s hard to meet the design guidelines.” […]