IN THE EYE OF THE HURRICANE
After two months in Barcelona, it starts to appear as though there is not enough time to do everything we wanted. Both students and professors keep active in different ways. For the students, aside from their midterm exams and projects, there has been the chance to explore and experience the city and the country, and professors keep getting involved in their academic fields. Here there are some examples:
| 1 | ARCHITECTURE STUDIO FIRST FINAL REVIEW
Lena, a third year architecture student from University of Colorado Boulder, has been inspired by the unique forms of architecture that Barcelona offers. In her words, “I am known to have some of the wildest ideas.” For the first Studio Project, which was to design “An ordinary Building,” Lena incorporated the curved lines, light and natural inspirations of Gaudí's architecture from the Casa Milà into her design of a modern apartment building. To update the building she added large terraces and curtain walls. We can't wait to see what she comes up with for her second project! See more about Lena's project here.
| 2 | INDEPENDENT TRAVELS IN SPAIN
Students in the AD Program know what study abroad means... and aside from studying, they try to take advantage of the strategic emplacement of Barcelona to be able to explore. Due to its diverse connections by plane, train or bus, it is easy and affordable travel both without Europe and Spain.
This semester, two of our students: Johan, from Carnegie Melon, and Connor, from University Colorado Boulder took this opportunity to visit other cities in the Mediterranean coast and they were surprised by how different and complex a country like Spain can be!
Johan in Valencia. at the top of Torres de Quart, enjoying the sunny view with his mother
Johan said that “before arriving to Spain, I had no idea how divided and different the 'autonomous regions`in the country are.” He visited Valencia, where he enjoyed the architectural focal points of the city, like the historic casco Viejo, which “ is impressive with the original forts still standing that protected the old city” and the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, designed by Calatrava. He also noticed the cultural differences between regions are not only seen through the history and architecture, but in the small things, “like workers at the stores going out of their way to have conversation.”
View of the Mediterranean Sea from the Castillo de Santa Bárbara, in Alicante
Connor, on the other hand, travelled a little bit farther, visiting the southern part of the Mediterranean coast: Murcia and Alicante. He had a friend from high school who was originally from Murcia and he thought it would be a cool trip to take and experience another Spanish city. Helped by the CIEE Cultural Activities department, Connor managed to plan a quick and inexpensive trip. After he experienced the spectacular routes going down the coast, he spent 4 days in his family’s house in Murcia and even had time to visit Alicante where he ventured “around its streets stopping for pinchos and cañas at some great restaurants. And we hiked up the Castillo de Santa Barbara, which was the highlight of the trip.”
| 3 | LECTURES AND CONFERENCES
Rafael Gómez Moriana, during his talk (picture by Danny Wicaksono)
In the lasts months, two of the AD Program professors, Rafael Gómez-Moriana and Judith Urbano took part in conferences. First, Rafael Gómez-Moriana participated in the “Critical Juncture: the Work of Joseph Rykwert, critic and historian”, conference curated by Trevor Boddy (CICA), which took place in the Architectural Association School of Architecture, in London. Rafael Gómez-Moriana, among others: Michael Sorkin, Rowan Moore, or Danny Wicaksono, gave a talk, called “Criticism 2.0: Nobody likes a critic when everyone's a critic,” in which he analyzed how the new digital media (blogs, social networks, etc.) are changing the architectural discourse, a topic he knows deeply due to his regular collaborations in Architecture Journals and his more than interesting and accurate commentaries in his own blog: criticalista.com.
Picture taken during J. Urbano’s conference.
Judith Urbano, PhD, led a conference about her most recent book “Eclecticism and Architecture. August Font i Carreras (1845-1924)", based in her PhD thesis. During the conference, which took place in the historical building housing MUHBA, Judith covered the life and work of this architect, whose main artworks are still interesting and meaningful for the city... such as the neogothic façade of Barcelona Cathedral, the Palau de les Heures or the original Arenas bullring, which has recently been turned into a controversial mall.
Current aspect of the neogothic façade of the Cathedral and Arenas bullring