Architecture Workshop in California

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For this summer, I accepted the funding from the Principal’s Go Abroad Fund to attended the summer workshop in UC Berkeley, CA, USA. It was a pleasant experience. The workshop is named as ADV [In]Arch Institution. Basically, it’s a 6 weeks summer advanced architecture institution offered by college of environment design, UC Berkeley. Beside this one, there are also other opinions such as [In]City, [In]Land and [In]Arch. The difference between advanced one and others are people have to hold an architecture degree or as a senior student in architectural field. This fact offers a high start point for us. I’m quite interesting in architectural design, and i’m considering about apply for another degree in that field, which is the main reason why I chose this program. Generally, the program including lectures, seminars, field trips and studio work. But what make it unique are a number of experience tutors. In normal days, we 16 students work with 3 tutors. In presentation days, at least 5 more part time tutors will come from different studios in Bay area and have discusses with us. A wide range of critical thinking help us develop our projects further. I attended the course as a landscape architecture student, we also have colleagues from urban planning and other relative fields. I was worried about the education background before I entered. While the mixed background and nationality created unique circulations in the studio. About the study path, we started from abstract art design, trying to develop a logical describing way form several basic sketches. We also use paper, wood and tension model to discussed. Then, we follow the logic we studied and turned it into a surface model. All these things was finished in 3 weeks. Models I made during these time full of my desk! For the rest time of the course, we turned into site, which located at the northern land end of San Francisco city. Site study topics including topography, history, foggy, species etc. The final step is use our design concept and super surface system to propose an institution station for researchers who may used on the cliff there. The key point is how we use our system to fit the nature in the site. Without any doubt, considering about the back ground and time limited, it’s quite a challenging for me. Honestly, I’ve been lost for a quite while during the process. The last week was the hardest one. Both me and my colleagues almost spent days and nights in the studio. The coolest thing is because of the studio is on the top of the building of campus, we enjoyed the impressive sunrise and sunset every single day from the balcony. It’s clearly that the six weeks is too short for a architectural design. However, it does made a good start for all of us. During the process, I was struggle with the reality of the design. However, from the final review, the most important part I learnt from the program was keeping your own mind. The life we live in is not 100% perfect and one of the duty for modern architects is educating public in a new way.

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