NY Times Magazine Goes Back to School with Stephen Doyle, Robert Storr, and Zaha Hadid


Stick-to-it-iveness Tape installations by Stephen Doyle at KIPP Infinity middle school in Manhattan. (Photographs by Stephen Wilkes for The New York Times.)

Did you manage to resist the doodle-covered, David LaChapelle-pink cover of yesterday’s education-themed issue of The New York Times Magazine, awash in charming sticker illustrations by Dan Cassaro? Allow us to extract the key lessons while you rummage in your neighbors’ recycling bin. For Paul Tough‘s cover story, “The Character Test,” on rethinking how students should be taught and evaluated, the magazine dispatched Stephen Doyle to Manhattan’s Kipp Infinity middle school, where he created massive masking-tape word art that was photographed to eye-popping effect by Bryan Liscinsky. And among the famous figures telling tales out of school for a feature on “The Educational Experiences That Change a Life” was Robert Storr. The artist and critic pointed to an influential encounter with Bruno Bettelheim, who advised his senior high school class to dabble with confidence. “He told us to beware of committing to anything until we knew for sure what we wanted to be, but recommended that we set out to become dedicated ABD (all-but degree) students of everything that excited our minds,” noted Storr. Meanwhile, Zaha Hadid discussed her unique early education in 1960s Baghdad, when confidence was high for building a new Arab state. She recalled, “One reason I became so interested in architecture is that I remember being taken to an exhibition—I was only six or seven years old, but I remember seeing models and things—of Frank Lloyd Wright‘s plan for Baghdad.”