I’ve heard often that architecture is a love for buildings. For me, it’s always been a love for people. At the end of the day, we design for people – for friends, families, and especially strangers. DSA gives us a chance to experience and learn from people all around the world. The trip to India allowed us to see first hand the impact architecture has on urban living, equity, and health in a bustling and beautiful metropolis. By participating in DSA, we are reminded of who we’re really designing for as it turns strangers into friends.
Ian Dayagbil, 4th year student, Urbanism major, DSA India winter 2017
Directed Studies Abroad (DSA)
Directed Studies Abroad (DSA) is a component of the undergraduate 3rd-year design studios. During the winter break in February, faculty members and students travel to places around the world. The 10 – 12 day itineraries span multiple cities, where students observe and engage in urban situations outside of Canada, visit the offices of internationally renowned architects, and document specific sites that serve as the context for their design project during the semester. In winter 2017, DSA destinations included India, Northern Europe, and Japan.
DSA India comprised a 10-day trip during which a group of 25 students spent time in Delhi, Ahmedabad, and Chandigarh. In addition to visiting significant historical and modern sites in all three cities, the group toured the Kathputli slum in Delhi. As part of the visit, students met with community members and leaders to discuss the imminent demolition and reconstruction of the community, for which the students were designing a cultural centre. In Delhi we joined up with a group of architecture students from Bangalore to compare approaches on the rehabilitation of the Kathputli Colony.
The trip also included a tour to Sangarh, the office of B.V. Doshi in Ahmedabad, visits to several school of architecture, and a day trip to Agra to visit Fatepur Sikri and the Taj Mahal. On the final day of the trip, the group travelled up into the foothills of the Himalayas.
DSA Northern Europe
Sessional Instructor Honorata Pienkowska travelled across Northern Europe with a group of 12 students, making extended stops in Berlin, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam. The itinerary included a side trip to the Bauhaus in Dessau as well as visits to key architectural offices, including OMA. Students compared and contrasted the urban fabric of these cities and approaches taken to rebuilding after WWII. The term project for this studio was a film archives on the banks of the Nieuewe Maas River just under the Erasmusbrug Bridge.
Sessional Instructor Thomas Leung travelled through Japan with a group of 14 students, spending time in Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, and Kanozawa. The students also made an extended side trip to the “art island” of Naoshima. The term project for the studio was a community centre set along a former shipping channel in Tokyo Bay. As is also the case in Rotterdam, a significant number of industrial islands are being converted to residential use as the nature of global shipping transforms.