My time in Copenhagen taught me that human experience and interaction is a learning tool that has no substitute or alternative. A person-to-person approach should never be ignored or overlooked while designing in any aspect of life. I learned first hand the impact design can have on various communities – and in turn – how communities can influence how design is implemented.
(Below are images of my first scale model construction process) (scale 1:200)
By immersing myself into the cityscape I strengthened my contextual awareness and knowledge based on my cultural surroundings. Scandinavia allowed me to physically experience buildings and environments which most students in America experience through textbook case studies and other forms of media.
Through conversations with local Danes I was able to acquire contextual understanding of what worked and what did not while designing a presentation proposal for our assigned real world site. Acquiring digital information could never match the insight that I gathered from the conversations I initiated with local Danes. I incorporated their ideas and translated opinions into a tangible scale and digital model. My comprehension to the Danish culture was well received by our guest critics. Additionally, the guest feedback humbled me and confirmed for me my ability to design in a context outside of my own understanding.
There is no substitute to have the opportunity to experience these sites in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark first hand. I learned it is possible to forget what you hear and see in a classroom environment, but you remember what you experience – and I am truly blessed and grateful to have been given the opportunity to have such a transformative experience. I plan to implement what I have learned in Scandinavia this past summer into my design practice toward strengthening my communities’ quality of life.
Special Thanks to:
Danish Institute for Study Abroad, Denmark
(Faculty & Staff)
Penny Stamps School of Art & Design, University of Michigan
(Faculty, Staff, Donor & Study Abroad Advisor)
LSA Barger Leadership Institute, University of Michigan
(Staff & Donor)
Office of Financial Aid, University of Michigan
(Staff & Donor)
My wife, for continued support in my academic endeavors