Experiencing global architecture

By Megan Fowler

A graphic reading "Architecture in Rome: Megan Fowler - Italy + Turkey" with images of a basilica and ancient ruins

As I completed my study abroad trip in Rome, a smaller group of classmates and I chose to continue our time abroad, traveling to Istanbul Turkey for three weeks. During this time we completed a short design workshop with a Turkish University, allowing us to meet and interact with other architecture students. In addition to the workshop, we explored Istanbul and embarked on a one-week-long trip down the Aegean Coast of Turkey. 

Continuing my time abroad in Turkey was something I did not regret, as I learned and experienced new things, whether this was from traveling and experiencing culture, or learning from fellow architecture students. Interacting with these students, who were also upperclassmen in their school of architecture, allowed me to learn new methods and techniques when it comes to designing. It was also interesting to learn about the process of their architecture school and the professional experience they may have through internships. We were all interested in learning what each other was doing, either educationally or professionally. This interaction formed new friendships and expanded our creativity and knowledge as architects. Having this chance to work directly with Turkish students also helped us get acquired with the city of Istanbul, learning more about the culture and architectural landscape of the city. During the one-week workshop, we would take time for group meals, as they would introduce us to various Turkish cuisine. 

Similar to my experience in Rome, the most significant experience I gained through my time in Turkey was knowledge about their culture. Culture affects architecture in many ways and can influence an architect’s design process and purpose. Learning different design criteria, fabrication methods, and general ways architecture is developed and managed in other countries, such as Turkey, has widened my perspective as an architect. This new information is something I can directly apply to future educational and professional endeavors. I now also have unforgettable memories and friendships with other architecture students.