Disruptive Technologies

‘Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.’ Steve Jobs.


There is no doubt that the prospect of building a new school attracts a lot of attention and can present unique opportunities. You never know when a conversation might take place which results in an idea passing through a chain of people to lead to unforeseen outcomes. It’s an example of chaos theory and in this case a conversation outside school led to a group of three graduate students of architecture coming in and working with pupils in Art, CDT, Computing, Home Economics and Music, from January to May 2011.


The university students brought a completely different experience into the classroom. Their interest was in changing perceptions and making people think more about their surroundings. It was about sharing and developing ideas with the pupils in partnership. There is no doubt that the pupils of Portobello helped the students to develop their ideas and that the students provoked a lot of thought from the pupils.


This interaction was not about passing exams, but about sharing a learning experience where pupils and students looked for connections. Praise is due to the teachers who were prepared to take a risk and support the students, and the school plans to continue this link in the new year.


This video gives an insight into the collaborative work which took place between the school and the University of Edinburgh led by Professor Remo Pedreschi, Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange, School of Arts, Culture and Environment, University of Edinburgh.