September 2013, Volume 17, Number 3


Exploring the Architectural Wonders of the World

Fifteen MDC architecture students recently lived the opportunity of a lifetime visiting 11 cities in eight countries as part of an exciting 36-day Summer Study Abroad Program offered by Miami Dade College’s School of Architecture. With MDC Professor Mario F. Ortega at the helm for a fourth-year running, this popular program focused on Asia this summer.

Departing from Miami to New York and then Dubai, students explored the architectural marvels of the United Arab Emirates, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Shanghai in China before returning to the United States by way of San Francisco.

Theories Come to Life

“This summer program was an unforgettable experience,” said MDC student Melanie Mejía. “The knowledge I’ve acquired in my architecture design courses was truly evident on this trip. I feel honored and privileged to have had this opportunity.”

While learning valuable lessons in architecture, history and culture, the students also mastered the techniques needed to digitally document their experience by working with various types of photographic and graphic software. The impressive end result of their work will be a printed edition of their entire study abroad program.

A Stunning Remembrance

In previous years, the beautiful publications created by students who went on the programs have focused on the renowned architecture of Moscow, Istanbul, Cairo, Rome, Berlin, Paris and many other architecturally stunning cities, including Athens, Greece. This year’s captivating Asian locations proved to be the most ambitious ones yet to be explored during a summer program directed by Ortega, whose exceptional teaching led to his receiving an Endowed Teaching Chair in 2010.

“Architecture is the creation of meaningful space,” Ortega explained. “To have been able to travel around the world in six weeks and experience the significance of meaningful space within multiple cultures was an achievement of a lifetime, not just for the students as future architects and me as an educator, but also for all of us together as global citizens.”

— Staff Report

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