Going to school in Urbino, Italy is such a different experience than San Antonio, Texas. Our student dormitory is located near the main Piazza in Urbino, Piazza Della Repubblica which is placed in the middle of the city. Studios are located outside the city which is about a 20 to 30-minute walk. The university of Urbino was designed by one of my favorite architects Giancarlo De Carlo. It is literally a city within the city. The route to get to school is so amazing and full many beautiful views, I mean everywhere you look in this city you see amazing hills.
We started classes a week after we arrived here, I am taking three classes; Architectural design, Sketching class, and an Italian history class. Architectural design class is the most time consuming one out of the three, it is because of design we get to have the luxury to spend all nighters working. Sketching class is an ongoing class; we sketch in class, on field trips, also while drinking coffee. As my professor says it is always sketch time! The Italian history class is extremely interesting for me. Not only do we learn about Italia as a country, we learn about the food, how to interact with people, places to visit, and more about the Italian culture as well.
Every semester in architectural design studio we get assigned a site to build and design a project on. This semester’s project is unique. It focused on engaging us students in exploring spatial variety found in Urbino and analyze the element that make up particular places within the city. Once we completed that stage we got to design a set of elements to be located within the places that we chose. We had three different interventions to develop in each place, the interventions are, a place to look, to talk, and to think. The challenge was to complement the existing qualities of each place with an architectural intervention serving a specific purpose.
The three places my group and I had picked were an indication of our daily life experience here in Urbino as UTSA students. The places we had picked were the dormitories, the cafeteria, and the alleyway that connects the two. Since all utsa student experience this route on the daily basses we thought it would be a great idea to redesign it and give back to the people.
Over all the experience of studying in Urbino is beyond amazing, I had never thought that studying abroad would benefit me in such a way. It has been a month and I can not wait to spend the next two months here exploring the city, sketching it and getting to know more people.
Ciao Ragazzi !!