Thursday, September 1, 2011

Barcelona: Day 9 : The Studies Begin .

So today we had our orientation session with the professors in addition to walking to our studio space for the first time. It's quite close, it's really only about 10 or 15 minutes away tops; I suppose in some ways that sort of depends on how busy La Rambla is when you have to cross it. It's in a basement of some building, and on the way over, our main foreign supervisor, Kathrin, pointed out some other design schools and print facilities along the way.

I think that part of the surprise that came along with the realization that those things were all intermixed with the regular buildings of the city is the fact that I did not grow up in a city environment, and most certainly Clemson is not comparable to any sort of city setting. If anything, it detracts from my knowledge of city living.

However, during the first little studio session that we had, one of our studio instructors (Miguél) was explaining that almost every building in Barcelona has multiple components. Many, if not not all, have sections of space divvied out for office space, residential areas, and commercial stores and shops. In fact, I realized the other day that our very own apartment building actually has that. The ground floor is only partially underneath the entirety of the building. Along some of the streets, there are a great number of shops and mercados. These are things I hadn't even noticed existed underneath us...

I was tired this morning, especially since we have been on this summer schedule of going to be at 1, 2, 3, and even sometimes 4. Welcome to Spain, where the party doesn't start until 1am. They sometimes even party until the sun comes up... it's true insanity. It was tough making it through class for sure, and this wasn't even a full day. We're definitely going to have to work to push back our schedules a bit to ensure that we'll be alive...

I had a glorious nap today as well, probably somewhere between 4 and 6 hours. I know right? Almost a full night's sleep. It was hot... but luckily the fans keep it pretty bearable in the room. I'm hoping it doesn't feel too sticky tomorrow. Either way, we're hittin' the beach in the morning. Stoked, as per the usual. I can't get enough of it, and I plan to soak up as much as I can until it starts getting cool!

Also, they apparently lied to us and instead of having design studio on Tuesdays and Thursdays they are on Mondays and Thursdays -- and here I was thinking that we were going to have regular 4-day weekends. Oh how heading back into real class environments is depressing... but hey, this is what I'm here for right? The projects actually sound interesting and I'm interested to hear about how the city functions as a cohesive unit, and how the old part has merged into the new. Cities are just interesting because you only have so much space. Barcelona has 4 natural immovable barriers: 2 rivers, the Mediterranean, and a mountain range. They have no more space. Thus, the density increases. Manhattan is the same way, so I can relate a bit to that. I'm also interested to hear about the processes and programs that are depicted here, and how that affects the way architects and the field of architecture functions.

Reading some of my Spanish book and peacin' out for the night!

Ps, I have an address now for myself at RESA so if you want it I can email it. Also, remember to leave your address or get it to me somehow if you'd like a postcard!

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