Learning Together

Morning break at the World Teacher’s Conference at the Goetheanum: In the packed foyer of the Goetheanum I meet Peter Büchi, who has been giving courses and lectures on form drawing for 40 years.

«There’s a wave of English going through the Goetheanum here!» he says about the hustle and bustle while telling me about his course: «I’m getting simpler in my approach to forms: bowl and umbrella,» he says, drawing two arcs in the air. «I talk less and do more, and not at the blackboard, because there you show your back, and that’s violence.» He sits down and shows me what he means: «You have a blackboard on your knees, and everyone sits in a circle and draws. It’s about learning together.» He then explains that drawing shapes is not just a child’s game: «In the weekly class in Hombrechtikon, a 96-year-old woman once said to me, ‹This is exhausting, I have to take my jacket off!›» He explains that he changed the name of the course because ‹Form Drawing› sometimes arouses fear. Now the course is called ‹Forming and Experiencing Forms›. He continues with a sentence about the ‹Faust› production: «I’ve seen you venturing on, always something new, yes: not like this» – he draws a vertical line in the air – «but, like this.» – he draws a line away from himself to the conference guests walking past us.

The short conversation brought the energy of the conference into view – ‹bringing it into picture›, this is ‹form drawing›.

Translation Eliza Rozeboom
Photo Xue Li

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