The studio that I've occupied since 1999 to the present is situated in a magnificent old building in the Mile-End neighborhood of Montreal. The building was formerly known as École Luke-Callaghan (a school). My studio had three walls graced with very charming blackboards and original woodwork.
The use of slate blackboards in North America extends back over 200 hundred years, and the use of black writing tablets and white writing material in schools has been traced back to 11th century India (Alberuni’s India, Dr. Edward C. Sachau, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co. Ltd, Dryden House, Gerhrard Street W., 1910, p. 182).
The probable destiny of the École Luke-Callaghan is that it will be renovated and brought up to present-day building codes. The built-in blackboards will be destroyed (as has already been the case on certain floors of the building), following a trend in the education field where white boards and SMART® boards are increasingly used, and the use of authentic slate blackboards as a pedagogical tool is increasingly uncommon. The ongoing video series “Blackboard Demos with Frank Mulvey” has emerged from a love the blackboard medium, in all of its simplicity and clarity.
Click here for views on the black-board centered classroom by Lewis Buzbee.