History
(click to enlarge)
The Pig Model
The POLY-POP-AGON
The Lobby Lobby
Lunchtime at the Lobby
W.O.I.K.S. by Bernie Stein
Women's Lib Rally
Feminists at play
Goldberg campaign headquarters day care center
The Children's Mansion
Do-it-yourself day care classroom in the Mansion for McCall's

The loose association of characters known as Schoolworks was born through a rebellious architecture school assignment that turned into a cardboard toy, formed a not-for-profit in the garret of a French Renaissance chateau, broke up and reinvented itself a few times and finds itself today as a one-man design office making places for kids, using the accumulated knowledge and sensibilities of all its history.

Here, in brief, are some highlights from the past:

September 1968

For an Urban Design project at CCNY, Phil, Joe and Sam make a "metaphorical model" depicting a socio-political situation instead of the assigned physical model. We use found objects to represent Harlem's and students' anger concerning Columbia's intrusion into the public park that separates them. Through "the Pig Model", we learn the limits of architecture to solve problems between people and the importance of changing attitudes through the education of children.

November 1969

An exhibit of these ideas in the school corridor leads to the men's room which has been transformed into a backyard using Bernie's drawings of building facades draped over the stall doors. When a professor on the jury starts to burn the geometric, cardboard shapes Phil invented to display our work, Phil pulls out his toy gun and shoots him. Thus end the 60's.

December 1969

Those charred geometric shapes get redesigned into a cardboard toy which folds and pops open when a rubber band is added - the POLY-POP-AGON. This toy becomes a key that opens doors to all kinds of encounters with kids in schools. We manipulate the scale of the poly-pop-agon once more and, without permission, create a cardboard play structure in the foyer of the School of Architecture over the holiday break. We call it "The Lobby Lobby" and invite classes of children from all over the city to play on it and talk to us about their schools, reinforcing our desire to work on changing educational environments. We become W.O.I.K.S. - Winter, Ostrow, Iuviene, Kornhauser and Stein and our project is called the "Give'em Da WOIKS Proposal".

Spring 1970

With only one day's notice, organizers for the first Women's Liberation Rally ask us to set up a temporary day care area in a corner of Union Square. After gathering some New York trash - carpet rolls and old inner tubes - we get a ride from the Mother Truckers and within a half hour kids are playing while their moms raise hell. This leads to an invitation to elaborate on this garbage-to-resource day care theme for the gubernatorial campaign headquarters of Arthur Goldberg. Had he beaten Rockefeller, you may have heard of us a lot sooner.

Fall 1971

We hook up with design instructor, Robert Mangurian and his students, Gary and Paul. After a series of workshops and exhibits of our work at NY teachers colleges, we wander past a buiding with an intriguing sign - 'The Children's Mansion'. We walk in with slide projector in hand and come out with a deal to help them obtain a certficate of occupancy and to design and build their interior in exchange for an office in the garret, lunch included. We spend the next few years growing up with the kids, developing our ideas, spreading the word through magazines like McCall's and Family Circle. We form a not-for-profit organization called SCHOOLWORKS.

That's the history - the rest is this web site.

Profile