The Media Center of Tama Art University
The Flying Media
for the foundation of the MEDIA
CENTER at TAMA ART UNIVERSITY
A classroom turns into on- the- spot
inspections, this is a phrase by Erich Kastner
in his famous children's book, Das Fliegende Klassenzimmer, The
Flying Classroom. This sentence gives me an unforgettable impression,
together with memories of the various characters in the book such as Beck;
a hermit, non- smoking teacher; poor, proud and clever Martin;
always- hungry Mathias; little Jury; sarcastic Sebastian;
aspiring writer Johnny in a German high school.
Being a liberal as well as a pacifist, Kastner was banned from publishing
by the Nazis during the Hitler regime and his books and poetry were burnt
in public except for his children books, including The Flying Classroom.
In The Flying Classroom is an episode where the boys are rehearsing
for a Christmas play at the school. In the play, the class flies to various
places in the world by plane and the pupils learn geography, science,
etc on the spot.For example, they receive a lecture on volcanic activity
beside the crater of Vesuvio, learn about the architecture of Ra's graveyard
near Giza's Pyramid, witness the leaning of the earth's axis at the North
pole and transmit a photograph to a hometown newspaper. They see and experience
movements, phenomena and events real- time, making the best use of vehicles
and media. Amidst the troublesome and violent era, Kastner cast a possible
prediction of how a school might be run in the future through Martin and
the other boys' life and play at the school.
The Flying Classroom may become a reality in a new form in the
age of multimedia and networking. Furthermore, the challenge to schools
at present is not only to give the opportunity of on- the- spot inspections
but also to offer a new space for creativity and transformation of oneself.
vision and direction for the foundation of the MEDIA CENTER at TAU should
address such demands. The primary purpose of the MEDIA CENTER is to foster
creative minds in students through artistic, technical and conceptual
on site training using various media.For this purpose, the MEDIA
CENTER at TAU needs to develop into a new venue for inspiring dialogue
and imagination rather than spoon feeding students with one way teaching.
The original meaning of the word media is things that transmit
information.The function of media is to store information over time and
to transport it in space. In this sense, human being's bodies and languages
can also be recognized as media just like the internet or
First of all, we need to see ourselves, existing here and now as the minimum
unit of media, and then to make the best use of our media capacities through
creating, collecting, editing, and transmitting information repeatedly.
With this perspective, we may need to relearn the idea of warp and woof
in fabric weaving, using various
other media surrounding us. The MEDIA CENTER of TAU has made its first
step to provide such a venue.