Study Abroad Experience

October 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

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When I made the decision to study abroad, I realized that there would be challenges along the way. While I’m pleased to say that I am enjoying my stay so far in Plymouth, England, the process in getting here was much different than I imagined. Based on my experience, the best advice I would give to those considering to study abroad is always research your back up school choices. I originally was accepted into Manchester Metropolitan University but at the very last minute was told there wasn’t a spot in their studio. I had listed back up schools in my study abroad application but didn’t really look into them as much as I should have. At that point I wondered if I should even study abroad at all. It was a really difficult decision to make, but in the end I decided to attend Plymouth University. After learning more about their 3D Design program and school in general, I felt confident in choosing their university. I was lucky that Plymouth ended up working for me, but having extra knowledge in your back up school choices is really beneficial if you end up in a situation like mine.

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Thus far, one of the most obvious things about the city is the mixture of design styles. Right next to the ruins of a cathedral built in 17th century is a contemporary designed shopping center. Plymouth is a beautiful city and seeing all these design styles makes it seems confused as to what the city should be. Rather than try to adapt into the environment, designers seem to put their own design styles first. That being said, Plymouth’s coast is very exiting. The two main areas I’ve visited are called the Hoe and the Barbican.

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The Hoe is an open green space that looks off to the ocean. The two notable landmarks there are the 17thcentury Royal Citadel and Smeaton’s Tower. The Barbican is a marina with tons of sailboats, all different kinds of restaurants, and shops. This last Saturday, I took a boating cruise from one of their many cruise tours located there. Seeing Plymouth from the Barbican, to The Hoe, to where all their naval ships were located was lovely… and very cold. Remember to bring a jacket if you ever decide to go on any boat tour by the sea, because wearing a thin sweater was not smart at all.

The Spatial and Interior Design program’s 3rd year (their final year) project is to design an Exhibition that will eventually be made and placed in their studio by the end of the year to display their work/unique branding.  It also has to be made so that it can travel to a exhibition hall in London. The ultimate desire is that this design is seen as more of an installation than just a exhibition. Refer to the course briefing document for a detailed outline here, XTD307 briefing document 2014. As I’m only there for the semester, I’ve decided to design an exhibition that would promote and represent the Center of Community-Engaged Design (CC-ED). Over the summer, I did my internship there and will be working as a fellow during the spring semester. My exhibition would initially be placed inside the Gatewood Building atrium and eventually be able to travel to different locations. My exhibition will not only demonstrate the work that we’ve accomplished, but will incite curiosity and invite people from the community to learn more.

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I’ve had two classes so far, but the biggest difference in their design process is that they started off by modeling things. We tend to work through sketching and then making sketch models, but their reasoning is that it helps you begin to think about what could be successful in your designs. Mind you, these models weren’t meant to be works of art, nor were they our exhibition designs. They got us to start thinking about the direction our projects will go.

Contributed by Angela Glorio

Picture 5

I’ve had only two classes so far, but the biggest difference in their design process is that they started off by modeling things. We tend to work through sketching and then making sketch models, but their reasoning is that it helps you begin to think about what could be successful in your designs. Mind you, these models weren’t meant to be works of art, nor were they our exhibition designs. They got us to start thinking about the direction our projects will go.

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