Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Autodidactic – George Ashdown Audsley

Japanese Design

Ran into the term “autodidact” to describe the lifetime education, self-education of the late George Romney.  Never heard or read the term before.  I am aware of people in earlier times who educated themselves with books such as Franklin, Lincoln, Truman who had little formal education beyond the basics.

World Museum Liverpool

I know that many architects before the term and function got commoditized as a University only taught profession in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century were self-taught.  One example is the British architect George Ashdown Audsley who designed the skyscraper 11 Broadway in 1896 in New York City as well as pursued a self-taught interest in the music of organs and designed the world famous Wanamaker Organ in Philadelphia. 

11 Broadway NYC

Perhaps there is too much official Ivy League type education these days that seems more like a product built in a factory than a pathway to individual pursuits, intellect and common sense design and function.


Autodidacticism (also autodidactism) is self-directed learning. In a sense, autodidacticism is "learning on your own" or "by yourself", and an autodidact is a self-teacher.
Autodidacticism is a contemplative, absorptive procession. Some autodidacts spend a great deal of time reviewing the resources of libraries and educational websites. One may become an autodidact at nearly any point in one's life. While some may have been informed in a conventional manner in a particular field, they may choose to inform themselves in other, often unrelated areas.
Autodidactism is only one facet of learning, and is usually complemented by learning in formal and informal spaces: from classrooms to other social settings. Many autodidacts seek instruction and guidance from experts, friends, teachers, parents, siblings, and community.

Joan of Arc School Harrowgate Philadelphia


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