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Global AD Prague - Impressions after first two months

 

Name: Jennifer
CIEE Global Architecture+Design, Prague
Semester: Spring 2014
Home School: Portland State UniversityImage00006(Above: Sculpture at the roof terace of Dancing House)

On March 6th our Global AD Prague program had the pleasure of hosting Berlin students. It allowed us to see what both of cities were working on. We began the meeting with presentations of our work consisting of individual Maya morphology studies and seminar tasks. These studies ranged from riverbanks, mangrove systems and bridges. It has been great exploring the capabilities that the Maya software can provide. Our seminar class has also yielded some great research on cities such as Paris, Rome, and Stockholm, which focused on islands, public spaces and program.

The Berlin students presented research and master plan for their site, which included projects such as a boathouse, permaculture building and a restaurant. It has indeed shown how diverse the programs are in each city. Now I am evermore curious as to what is happening in Barcelona. 

Image00001Image00001(Above: View from the Dancing House terace and a tour with building's co-author architect Vlado Milunic) 

The following day, we went on a tour of the city with the Berlin students to see what Prague had to offer. Our itinerary began at the Dancing House. We were lucky enough to have a tour with local architect Vlado Milunic who worked alongside Frank Gehry when they were designing the building. We reached the top of the building and were treated to a majestic view of the city below.

Image00003(Above: Sunset at Zizkov Tower

We continued our tour and headed to the Podolska Water Management station and the CIEE center in Vysehrad. Later we went to Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design and saw the parametric design projects from Imro Vasko’s studio. We ended the tour at the iconic Zizkov Tower just in time to experience the sunset over Prague.

Image00004Image00004(Above: Preparing Midterm presentation with Elisabeth, my project teammate)  

Two weeks after our meeting with Global AD Berlin, we presented our Midterm projects at the Berlin Summit. Buzz and excitement filled the air as the lights dimmed for the presentations. Overall the night introduced us to the eclectic group of the Barcelona GAD Program and the small reunion with our friends from Berlin. Again, reinforcing the diversity of projects that each city has produced.

Image00007(Above: Presentation slide - Physical model study of form and structure in relationship with water inundation) 

The following days after the summit was action packed as we got the opportunity to tour the extremely gigantic city of Berlin through the eyes of the Berlin students. It included a visit to Tempelhof, the largest green space in Berlin, the East Side Gallery and a picturesque boat ride through the river of Spree. We ended the night with Speculative Praxis presentations. I could not believe I was in a room of such ground breaking and innovative architects. The amount of exposure to speculative architecture has truly opened my mind about the architecture of the future. I am excited to share and discuss these ideas with my colleagues back home and I am so glad to have the opportunity to be in this program, as I would probably not have the chance to study somewhere as grand as Prague.  

Image00008Image00009(Above: Berlin Summit with the theme ''Speculative Practice'')

 

Spring 2014, Issue I

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Greetings from Prague, Study Abroad Advisors!

We are back with some information on New Academic Developments of CIEE Study Center in Prague.

Central European Studies (CES)

The Central European Studies Program has grown recently in terms of the number of participating students as well as in a greater variety of offered courses and provision of academics.  The current offer of courses provides a complex understanding of the process and challenges of recreating a democratic government in a former communist country, and brings an insider perspective on its current challenges (including human rights, minority and gender issues, globalization, as well as social, economic, and political challenges connected to the EU). New courses include e.g.: Anthropological Perspective on the Czech and Slovak Roma, Economy of the EU, Journalism in the Facebook Era, 3rd Force Psychology in CE, and many others.

Introduced changes aim also at deep cultural and social immersion within the academic part of the program. All courses offer an in-class part and out-class activities. These include site visits, research projects, and many other activities that allow students to develop their knowledge and academic skills.

Academic MeetingCES and CNMJ students at the “Academic Meeting”: an open house of CIEE courses with professors

At the same time the program keeps its strong thematic accent in art and design, exploring the extraordinary architecture of Prague and other unique sites. Offered courses foster the understanding of the historical context of Central Europe including communism, nazism, the Holocaust and other important periods and figures from Czech and European history.

Last but not least, Eva Janebová, Ph.D., who has been working as the liaison of Charles University in the CIEE Study Center in Prague, has newly become the CES Resident Director overseeing the quality of academics. She provides faculty trainings and individual coaching to the faculty in order to align interactive teaching styles and rigorous academic standards. She has also introduced a new format to the academic meetings and works with individual faculty on responding to the needs of students provided in student feedbacks.

Eva Janebová

Eva Janebová, CES Resident Director

Film Studies (FS)

The Film Studies Program in Prague has been offered since Fall 2008. All classes are taught solely at the Film Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) and core classes are designed specifically for CIEE students so the benefits of mentor-apprentice style of teaching are maintained. FAMU has been awarded the best European (and 7th in the world) film school according to the Hollywood Reporter in 2011. The school, founded in 1946, is one of the oldest in the world (5th).

In 2008, we started with the Production Track in which students develop 5-10 minute-long 16 mm feature film in production groups of 2-3. During the past few semesters, students have occasionally struggled with finding the best way of forming their production teams. The question was whether teams should be formed based on similar perspectives on filmmaking or around specific screenplays. Either way, starting to shape the team within first weeks of classes was rather time consuming. Starting this semester, the FS Academic Advisor Mary Angiolillo and Film Studies Coordinator Ivana Skenderija came up with a new idea. Production students had a couple of meetings during their Czech intensive and pitched their ideas. Students with similar perspectives were matched and the first week of core classes was already dedicated to screenplay development. On Friday, February 28th, they had their official pitch for all the mentors, and they received feedback on their projects. After the pitch, a production meeting on realistic expectations followed.

Pitch students FS students vividly pitching their project proposal

Pitch profsFAMU mentors David JařabJaromír Šofr and Jan Fleischer providing their feedback and tips on improvement

Since Spring 2011, we were able to add the Screenwriting Track to the selection in which students develop a first draft of a half feature-length screenplay  (appx. 60 pages). This track is rather selective as CIEE/FAMU would not accept more than the 6 best applicants. Even though their curriculum strongly emphasizes writing scripts, students from past semesters have been demanding some production experience as well. And since Fall 2013, their requests have been partially fulfilled. Not only are they present at the production pitch and write a reflection with their tips on improvement as a part of their Script Analysis class, but they also partake in the production as actors and crew members. And of course, they will again have their “grand finale” just like the production students have the final screening. Final screenplay presentations are not only just a reading of the script, but also a dialogue presentation by real actors they learn how to direct!

Communication, New Media + Journalism (CNMJ) – New program from Spring 2013!

The Communication, New Media + Journalism (CNMJ) is a new niche program which started in Spring 2013. This program caters to majors of media, journalism, marketing, and communication studies; it focuses on providing students with hands-on experience through media and/or journalism-focused internships and provides students with coursework relevant to their field.

In terms of academics, students are allowed to choose at CIEE from an array of communication, media, and journalism courses taught by local and international media experts and renowned journalists, but they can also choose from specially-selected courses at FAMU and the Institute of Communication and Journalism Studies at Charles University’s Faculty of Social Sciences.

Additionally, with an internship for credit, students polish their professional skills and gain invaluable experience working in a local company or non-profit organization. CIEE helps CNMJ students with the entire process from setting up interviews to placements in prestigious organizations to monitoring students’ progress throughout the semester. Another integral part of the internship program is the internship seminar, where students have a chance to discuss their experiences, to make sense of cultural differences, and to learn how to market these experiences to future employers.

Since this program’s inception in Spring 2013, it has grown significantly. This semester we have 17 participants!

  CNMJ Orientation

Spring 2014 CNMJ students getting ready for their orientation walk with their buddy

Global Architecture and Design (GAD) – Brand new program since Spring 2014!

The Global Architecture and Design program connects in its concept three beautiful European cities: Barcelona, Berlin and Prague.

The program concentrates not only on history and culture of the host city, but also explores current and future social, economic, and technological trends. Cities today offer a unique setting for resources, people, opportunities, and ideas to converge and spur new paths of innovation, technology, and thought. The program´s curriculum includes wide range of technologies from BIPV (building integrated photovoltaic) skyscrapers, personalized public transportation systems, sustainable green spaces, to sewage and water treatment and reclamation infrastructure.

The Global Architecture and Design program is focused on “Future Cities” and addresses the emerging discipline of global ”urbaneering” by assembling a faculty of innovators from fields as diverse as architecture, material science, urban design, civil and environmental engineering. Using each city as a laboratory, the program´s goal is to rethink what is salubrious about the city, in both its forms and its life. The Global Architecture and Design program explores the effects of technological interventions that can have profound impacts on the planet as a whole.

It was decided that this youngest program will have a theme unifying all three cities - Water and the City. This focus is apparent throughout the whole semester including academic trips that will take students to the Berlin Summit, Moldau Cascades and other significant sites.

The program gears towards advanced students with at least two to three semesters of design studio and overall GPA at least 2.75. Students enroll directly in courses focusing on architecture and design at ARCHIP, the first international Architectural Institute in the Czech Republic and also have the option of enrolling in courses at CIEE. Students take part in projects and create presentations related to their field of study and incorporate it in the local context.

GAD studi space
Studio space at ARCHIP

GAD Moldau cascades
GAD and ARCHIP students visiting Moldau Cascades and its dams

Working model and plan projected at scale in a multimedia group working session

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Gasometer Excursion with Dr. Michael LaFond

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Global AD - Six weeks into the program

Name: Ryan 
CIEE Global Architecture+Design, Prague
Semester: Spring 2014
Home School: Tulane University, Louisiana 

We are entering our sixth week in Prague. Each week brings with it new opportunities to learn and explore the city. Our core studio and seminar classes have began and allow us to settle into our studies. The first few weeks were filled with class excursions, an intensive czech language course, and acclimation to a new city. These core classes dictate a new pace after settling in.

Last week, our studio course featured an introduction to the software package, Maya. Adam, our studio coordinator, has extensive experience modeling in Maya, and brought us up to speed with the basics very quickly. The following week, Allessio Erioli, a researcher/professor at Universita di Bologna and co-founder of Co-de-it, led an intensive 3-day workshop covering the Rhino Plug-in, Grasshopper. Knowledge of this software will be essential this semester, as the studio is modeled around computational and parametric design. It was exciting to use these programs for the first time.Maya(Above: Learning Autodesk Maya at the Global AD Future Cities Design Studio)

Having been in the same school of architecture in the US for seven semesters, I have developed certain interests. I believe that it is important to foster a large knowledge base. Applying this belief to my architecture studies, studying abroad seemed like a great way to do that. Much like experiencing and learning a new city, my colleagues and I will be challenged to develop an understanding to practice architecture in a way that is largely new to all of us.Rhino(Above: Global AD Environmental Sensibilities Workshop)

This past weekend, two friends from Global AD and myself were able to take a day trip to Dresden, Germany. The two hour train ride cut through picturesque Bohemia. Upon arrival, we had no scheduled activities, so we decided to visit Dresden’s Military History Museum, designed by Daniel Libeskind. Our studio project is a museum extension, so Libeskind’s 2011 project seemed like an appropriate place to visit. With little knowledge of its location, we decided to simply ride around on a tram until we found it. As haphazard of a decision that may seem, we soon realized it wasn’t an easy building to miss. At the center of 135 year old structure sits a five story, 200 ton wedge of steel, concrete, and glass. For 3 euros each, we were able to explore the collection and take in the unique spaces within. It was an enjoyable trip, and hopefully a taste of more travels to come.Libeskind(Above: Military History Museum, Dresden, Germany)

Global AD Prague - First Impressions

Name: Elisabeth 
CIEE Global Architecture+Design, Prague
Semester: Spring 2014
Home School: University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Global AD Prague - Blog Post 2-2(Above: Winter light seen from Prague's Castle) 

Although we have only been in Prague for a month, a number of my expectations have already been surpassed. These recent weeks have been extremely eventful as my peers and I have explored the city and we've acquainted ourselves with each other and our beautiful surroundings. Summarizing all that has happened will be difficult but in the simplest terms it has been incredible.

Recently, a transition took place as we began our core Global AD classes at Archip. At the start of the week, I was both anxious and excited to start the next chapter of our studies. The highlight of the week was our two day excursion that exposed us to the southern Bohemian Region and five dams along the Vltava River. This directly relates to our semester project, which will concentrate of the Vltava because it runs through the heart of Prague.

We began our trip at sunrise and arrived at our destination, the Lipno I dam, by noon. Our tour there, and at every other stop along the way, was extremely interesting and educational. Our guide brought us deep into the dam, beyond where the general public is allowed, to see the tunnels, turbines, and energy systems. It was amazing to learn about a topic I knew nothing about in such a hands-on way and it was extremely valuable to learn about the larger context of our project’s site.

In addition to the trip being highly educational, it was also a fun time of bonding between ourselves and the four students joining us from Archip. In the evening, we stayed in a beautiful hotel in the small and quaint town of Hluboká Nad Vltavou. All the students grabbed dinner together and then later joined our faculty and the mayor of the town, who we had met at the Czech Senate the previous week, at another restaurant. Unlike my school in the US, this program has made an exceptional effort to establish strong foundational relationships between the students and the faculty. We have had multiple opportunities to talk with our professors and the leaders of both Archip and CIEE in relaxed settings, which has helped us all feel more comfortable with and excited about our work here.

The next day we toured three more dams and followed the river back to Prague. All in all, the trip was extremely helpful because it has exposed us to the greater river systems and controls that will impact our project site. The balance between education and recreation ensured that our time was both memorable and relevant to our course.

Global AD Prague - Blog Post 2-3(Above: Most reliable way to move around the city: Prague's tram)

The morning after we returned we had our first all-day seminar. I was apprehensive about what the extended period of time would entail, but found it to be an incredibly productive and informative class. We had a brief lecture discussing islands – physical, fictional, and conceptual. After, we split up into groups and began investigating islands in other cities across the world. To gain an understanding of their form and function, we made silhouettes of them in Rhino software so that their sizes and programs could be easily compared with others. Later this week we will have the opportunity to present our observations from our city and, as a result, learn the ways in which the islands of Prague are different and similar to those of other cities.

As we get ready for the next week, I’ve enjoyed reflecting on all that we have accomplished individually and as a group thus far. On a personal level, I have pushed myself to become much more independent and to immerse myself fully in the culture. I’ve enjoyed getting to know my peers and the gorgeous city that I am so grateful to be experiencing. As a group, we have started to understand and work with each other at a deeper level, allowing us to learn and grow as a unit as well. Let the adventure continue!

Global AD Prague - Blog Post 2(Above: Group photo with Marcos, Eric and Ryan)

 

First excursion for Global AD Prague

3rd of February was a semester kick-off Monday for Global AD Prague, and already on following day the studio went for overnight excursion. Before reading the trip report, it is important to know that the brief is revolved around relationship between Prague and its river Vltava in urban scale, and Museum Kampa sitting on the edge of the same river in architectural scale. Therefore, for the purpose of understanding river's morphology and behaviour, the team traveled to South Bohemia, almost to the border with Austria, and returned to Prague whilst visiting most important dams on Vltava on the way back.

Besides beautiful landscapes and picturesque, medieval towns we have seen:

Lipno Dam
Hluboka Nad Vltavou Floodgates
Hnevkovice Dam
Orlik Dam
andSlapy Dam
One Lab Prague - Lipno01
One Lab Prague - Lipno01
One Lab Prague - Lipno01
(Above: Lipno Dam)
 
Vltava has 9 dams altogether mainly in use to regulate water levels - slowing down the stream, generate electricity and prevent larger scale flooding in the capital city and the region. There are locks incorporated within few dams, elevating small size boats up or down the stream. The idea is to make almost entire river navigable for ships, however this vision requires large capital investments and the date of completion is not clearly set. Some of the reservoirs held by dams, are used for boosting local industry and recreational activities while one particular artificial lake is supporting Temelin - Czech's biggest nuclear power plant. These Gravitational Dams were built around mid 20th century and very a lot in scale and capacity, however all of them have gave us an insight into engineering point of their function and understanding of their role in flood protection system for Prague.
One Lab Prague - Hnevkovice03
One Lab Prague - Hnevkovice03(Above: Hnevkovice Dam)

The studio has learned that floodgates of each dam have to be released once the water levels reach their critical point and the pressure to the giant concrete wall reaches its highest values. This means that in heavy-rain periods, when reservoirs become full, the gates are releasing water to lower section of the river. However, this is producing a chain reaction and eventually, every next dam has make the same step and procedure. Nevertheless, before the tidal wave is gradually being let flow through Prague, the dams are closed and river's stream fully stopped, until the city erects its demountable barriers (metal walls) along most crucial lines of the embankment - the period which takes 3 days. Inevitably, the inundating wave goes through Prague leaving some areas safe from damages, while other neighborhoods are left under water and heavily destroyed.

One Lab Prague - Orlik03
One Lab Prague - Orlik03(Above: Orlik Dam)

 

It is perhaps hard to understand the whole process in detail, but from economical point of view, this option seams to be most cost efficient. Apparently, it is impossible to create more reservoirs which would be purposely flooded during critical raining periods, thus taking some load from existing lakes. It is also impossible to dig canals through or around Prague in order to lower down water level, due to the region's hilly topography. The excursion and experienced gained on it, has left us with one conclusion: Flooding in Prague will happen again and most likely it will happen more often than we think. Whatever new building structure or landscape emerges in future on the banks of river Vltava, it will have to respond or react to upcoming inundation.
One Lab Prague - Slapy01(Above: Slapy Dam)

 

For the end, a very special thanks to Jiri Simice, ARCHIP's Executive Director and Petra Uvirova, CIEE Global AD program coordinator, for organizing this amazing trip, and to Regina Loukotova, Dean of Architectural Institute in Prague for giving us simultaneous translation during our visits to dams. Global AD Prague is now left with obligation to respond to the brief and deliver solutions which change the way we think about future of amphibious cities and architecture. 

One Lab Prague - Lipno Group Photo

(Above: One Lab Prague crew)

For entire photo album please visit CIEE Global AD Facebook Page

Report by: Adam Vukmanov, Global AD Academic Coordinator and Future Cities - Design Studio Leader

 

GLOBAL ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN PROGRAMS OFF TO A GREAT START!

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Great comments from the Prague students!

http://studynews.ciee.org/2014/01/global-architecture-and-design-programs-off-to-a-great-start.html

Global AD Students in Barcelona participate in WINGS 2014

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IAAC WINGS 2014 workshop at IAAC and the Valldaura Self Sufficent Labs campuses.

http://www.iaacblog.com/blog/2014/wings-2014-materializing-data-through-landscape/

WINGS stands for Workshop in Intensive Networking Games and Strategies, and aims to deal with the process of architecture with a ludicrous approach, using games to generate architecture.

 

Maria Aiolova Lecture: The Art of Urbaneering at IaaC in Barcelona

My Lecture

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Maria Aiolova, the CIEE Academic Director for Global Architecture and Design, opened the Winter Lecture Series at IaaC.

http://www.iaac.net/lectures?id=246

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