Kids love gross things. It’s one of those constants in life that you can depend on like clockwork, like taxes or shoppers behaving like inhuman monsters at Black Friday sales. But Bertschi School in Seattle (also my alma mater) uses this fact to their advantage in their new Living Science Building, which is changing how kids learn about the world they stand to inherit.
Eric Brende began at MIT to understand and deconstruct what media theorist Neil Postman calls our Technopoly, “a way of life that seeks technological answers first before other means, or even before thinking through the questions.” Since the relatively recent introduction of modern technology into our society, Moore’s Law (named appropriately for Intel’s co-founder) dictates that electronic tech grows exponentially: as our tech becomes more sophisticated, it is used in turn to produce even more complex systems. This expansion was a catalyst for Brende; he writes, “What I wanted to discover was a balance between too much machinery and too little, or better yet, how to arrive at it wherever one found oneself.” And so, tired of being surrounded by people who drive their cars to the gym to get exercise, Eric and his new wife decided to experiment with living completely tech-free.