Kristine Ericson

Schoolhouse Dock: Astronomy

This thesis seeks to answer the question: Could there be a system of education that exists by deliberate design that falls outside of the typical, goal-oriented pipeline of traditional schools? Imagine a space between childhood and adulthood that allows for a high-level of physical and intellectual exploration, where students reorient without the pressure to directly apply their learning to the advancement of their career or educational goals. Imagine a place where learning and the spaces of learning are “defamiliarized” and rendered anew.

This proposal uses the Norwegian Folk High School system as a testing ground for an evolving network of learning spaces that de-familiarizes subject matter in a “separate world,” a diffusion of ship-based learning units that can be freely reconfigured to construct new relationships and meanings through their many possible interfaces with one another and with existing schools.

Moving between existing Folk High Schools along the coast of the Trondheim fjord in central coastal Norway, it takes advantage of the region’s identity as the university hub of Norway and as a world leader in marine technology research, with history, economy, culture, and ecology closely tied to the sea.

The result is a curriculum defined not in words but through architecture—placing subjects within discordant spaces, with grounded things floating, high-tech demonstrations in timber sheds, pieces of schools disappearing and returning and merging with one another, and new stages formed and dissolved.

About The Designer

Kristine Ericson received her M.Arch I from the Harvard GSD (2015) and her B.A., summa cum laude, from Williams College (2010).