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Maya Angelou School Design Concept

Process—————30 July 2012

In less than ten months, the building that is now known as the Bruce Evans School will be teeming with construction activity. As construction ramps up, more than a hundred workers will pass in and out of its doors each day. Tools in hand, they will arrive early in the morning and leave late in the evening. As the summer months advance, the speed of activities will accelerate and at times the conveyance of construction materials will cause the site to resemble a river delta of construction detritus.

Transformative construction activity will lead to a transformative renovation. Far more than hanging doors, framing walls, and applying paint, the work of everyone involved in the project is to alter the nature of the building. Lucky for us, we need look no further than the autobiographies of the school’s namesake, Dr. Maya Angelou, for inspiration.

The Maya Angelou school building will be a symbol of transforming life through education. With a brave love for literature and the arts and a desire to experience the greater world beyond the immediate confines of her day to day life, Marguerite Johnson became Dr. Maya Angelou, an artist of influence and legacy. Dr. Angelou is a woman who counts U.S. Presidents, artists, and civil rights leaders as friends and confidants. Dr. Angelou’s remarkable achievements came not by changing who she was, but through relaying the experiences of her life, no matter if the nature of those experiences was inspiring, mundane, or brutal.

The design for the new Maya Angelou School will illustrate the life of Maya Angelou herself to students and the community. More than a renovation, the Maya Angelou school will illustrate a threshold to a greater world.

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