Monthly Archives: June 2016

Decoding Education

How do we trade knowledge? If you look around, I am sure you will have a sense of being part of a culture where images have a very important role in our lives. Our eyes consume a lot of visual information, and images are elements that artists use to encode messages to tell stories about the world in which we live. As an artist, I like dissecting the sources I have available to create a free exchange in my head that nourishes my creativity. I am now a teacher of art and my “dissection” process is oriented towards decoding the field of art education. How can I help students use art to generate new stories about culture, community and citizenship? How can we use the world and its visual resources to nurture creative thinking? I am also interested in mapping the hidden curriculum—what is learned but not openly intended such as the transmission of norms, values, and beliefs conveyed in the classroom and social environments. In this work I experimented with the shapes of QR codes, which are used to track most of the products and services bought and sold in stores today. A QR code opens an immediate connection to information online, whereas RFID codes (Radio frequency identification) identify and track tags attached to objects. I invite you to explore these paths—to experience connection and disconnection—in relation to questions about art, creativity, and knowledge.

“Praxis” Art Education Exhibition. NYU (2016) 

“Praxis” Catalogue


“Decoding Education”. Letizia Balzi. 2016.



“Praxis” Exhibition

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“Praxis” Catalogue

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United States of America National Curriculum
Grade: 5
Time: 12 sessions

The purpose of this lesson is to design a new governmental building. The project will be based on democratic principles such as inclusion. During 5th grade, students from New York City public elementary schools study “how geography determines culture and how issues of power, wealth and morality influence exploration and colonization”(US National Social Science Standards). The central focus and purpose of this learning segment is to teach students how power is expressed in architecture. Students will analyze and compare examples from architectural works from Frank Gehry to government buildings from different historical epochs spanning Ancient Middle Eastern Architecture to the White House. The standards and learning objectives in my lesson unit help students to create and respond to visual art by incorporating form and structure, production, art context and personal perspective. They analyze different types of forms such as geometric and organic. Students develop their abilities to create and respond to visual art concepts by applying the technique of perspective, bird-eye’s view in order to structure their building design project.


Students from 5th. Grade discuss about what democracy means and compare it to monarchy. They design a non-democratic governmental building as a first step of this lesson.


Students analyze the work of contemporary architect Frank Gehry. They fold a paper to create a form in order to design a democratic governmental building.

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Finished scale model of a contemporary design project for The White House.



Students learn the technique of perspective.