Similar to the way that our culture influences how we interpret the world, the way that we sit in a chair and the type of chair that we are in positions what we see and how we are seen. Environmental cues communicate information through which we establish context and define a situation (Rapoport, 1982, p. 56). In this paper I examined the ways in which chairs (defined as that which is underneath us when "sitting") and sitting (defined as the infinite ways that we sustain our bodies in a bent position ranging from squatting, kneeling, reclining, or the lotus position) reflect cultural values and influence what we learn, through disempowering or empowering us.. Based on this examination, I collaborated with poet, Amy Klauke, to develop a multicultural environmental art unit that promotes understanding of the diverse ways that people organize space, time, meaning, and communication. The art unit described in the second half of this paper could serve as a curriculum model in which other objects of material culture (i.e., entrances, eating paraphernalia. etc.) are experientially deconstructed to reveal culturally constructed meanings.


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