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Study Abroad (ArchSt 4411)

This course aims to discover, through a guided tour of timeless cities and places, the primary achievements in architecture and the built environment. The creation of architecture demands a passionate concern for, and knowledge of places. To achieve this knowledge and this concern, one must learn to observe, and in doing so, to learn. Clearly, experiencing historic architecture in person assists design students to develop appreciation and respect for the great building achievements of the past, and simultaneously creates an active love and dedication for developing inspiring architecture for our time. Goethe had written about the villas of Andrea Palladio: "You have to see these buildings with your own eyes to realize how good they are." Accordingly, one of the central goals of this course is helping students to learn to observe, to see with more than their eyes, and to see beyond the surface of appearance. The rationale behind this goal is that one can appreciate architecture in relation to its period, the given circumstances of human’s artistic aspirations, the technical means that existed in the time when the buildings were built, and the social-political conditions of the time, and drew inspiration to create masterpieces for the time in which one builds.

Experiencing building is not the same as looking at a slide presentation in a dark classroom or like looking at a painting in a museum. Paintings are meant to be looked at; architecture should be lived in. Buildings reveal themselves slowly; they must be seen at different times of the day and under different conditions, in sunlight and darkness, in fog and rain. But above all architecture should not be experienced from one static point of view, but rather through movement through it. Another characteristic of great architecture is the balance in the constant relationship between the single parts and the whole. This represents a desire for synthesis, which seeks decorative values not so much through ornamentation as in the interplay of volumes and surfaces, by emphasizing structure and constructive aspirations. The devices in civic design, which can be experienced only by walking through the three-dimensional architecture of traditional cities, derives chiefly from the notion that the space in between the buildings is as important as the buildings themselves.

Contact your advisor for more information.