Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Gaudi's Doodle: Arts Education... again!

Antoni Gaudi Google doodle

Today Google celebrates the 161th birthday of Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi with a colorful, stylized Doodle, snippets of six of Gaudi’s iconic modernist buildings or mosaics spell out .

Gaudí was born June 25, 1852, in Reus, a small town south of Barcelona, and he died in a street accident in 1926. 

The intellectual context towards the end of the 19th century in Catalonia was marked by Modernism, a movement that extended from around 1880 to the First World War, parallel to currents such as Naturalism, Arts and Crafts, and Art Nouveau. It was motivated by return to traditions as an expression of national identity, as well as by the introduction of modern techniques and materials. 

Modernism differed from the other movements by becoming important for popular cultural identity. You do remember The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky, antoher modern artiist.

Some important notes about Gaudi:

"Those who look for the laws of Nature as a support for their new works collaborate with the creator."

Antoni Gaudi

Known as "God's architect", Gaudí's work represents the genius of the architect, expressing particular spatial qualities and plasticity in the undulating lines and harmonies of colours and materials in architectural surfaces and sculpted features.

This is the reason of seven of his designs, in and around Barcelona, have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Those works build in or near Barcelona testify to Gaudí’s exceptional creative contribution to the development of architecture and building technology in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 

"These monuments represent an eclectic, as well as a very personal, style which was given free reign in the design of gardens, sculpture and all decorative arts, as well as architecture."

The seven buildings are: Parque Güell; Palacio Güell; Casa Mila; Casa Vicens; Gaudí’s work on the Nativity façade and Crypt of La Sagrada Familia; Casa Batlló; Crypt in Colonia Güell.

Sagrada Familia

Gaudi never managed to finish his masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia church, as he was struck and killed by a tram in Barcelona in 1926. The church is one of the largest in the world, and remains one of the most visited sights in Barcelona to this day.


All my readers konw how I defend Arts Education in school curricula. You know my thoughts about the importance of Arts in School Education, no matter the art fields: Music, Dance, Literature, Painting, Architecture, and other, all of them are essential to a complete and better education.

Love Google doodles! They can be introduced in any curriculum as I already wrote. And I write a lot about Google doodles, my readers know it. Doodles combine creativity, digital culture and motivation to fantastic school lessons. You must think about it.

Here, a good motivation to one or two lessons about Arts, Modernism, and Architecture. 

Level: All levels including Vocational Education.

Curricula: Arts; cross-curricula (Literature, Arts, Music).

Of course each teacher must prepare and adapt the activities to the level they are teaching.

If you are lucky and you teach in Brussels or near Brussels, don't loose the possibility to prepare a visit with your students next September at an exhibition about Gaudí's innovative art held in Brussels. 

The exhibition “Gaudí, an architecture of anticipation” is open to the public in the Catalunya Europa space in the offices of the Catalan Government Delegation in Brussels and will be on show until the end of this year. 

The exhibition presents the art and the creative genius of the Catalan architect and has a space reserved for the Sagrada Família, with a model and an information panel with pictures and texts. 

There is an interesting digital resource that you can use in the classroom. A film Antoni Gaufi by Hiroshi Teshigahara. His camera takes us over, under, around, and into buildings and a park designed by Antonio Gaudí.

Of course, ICT and social media in the classroom are important tools to tackle the world's toughest problems creating bridges and establish a truly intercultural world, where diversity can be celebrated, a world where different cultures not only coexist but value each other for their contributions and potential.

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”
Edgar Degas


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