The Department of Architecture offers an array of foreign study options in locations such as Australia, Japan, Mexico City, Rome and Scandinavia. Programs range in length from quarter long to short term study during university breaks and may be faculty led or based on an individual student exchange. International programs offer students an opportunity to directly experience architecture, urbanism, and other cultures gaining exposure to local-global and historical as well as the contemporary aspects of architecture.
UW students can also find additional foreign study options at the UW Study Abroad Office in 459 Schmitz Hall.
The Murcutt|AUSTRALIA Studio is an undergraduate/graduate studio open to all architecture students who will be entering Arch 402, Arch 502 or Arch 504 in spring quarter. Glenn Murcutt and a UW faculty member co-teach the studio. A trip to Australia will comprise the first 2 1/2 weeks of the course. The studio convenes in Sydney. The first two days involve travel with Glenn to visit a number of his projects, including the Boyd Center and the Simpson-Lee House, returning to Sydney in the evenings. The Murcutt farm (the Marie Short House) near Crescent Head, New South Wales, is where the studio will engage in an intensive two-week design charrette.
The charrette will be divided into two five-day sessions, using the Murcutt guest house as the studio. Living on the Murcutt farm will allow students to develop a sensitive understanding of site/building relationships and how the geology, geomorphology, topography, ecology, climate and history of a site can have a critical impact upon design decisions. Preparing food, cooking and sharing communal meals will provide the occasion for conversations with Glenn during the evening. A weekend interval for visits to the Wilson River Primitive Reserve and to the coastal beaches near Crescent Head will allow students to experience the rich variety of Australia’s ecozones and ecotones. The Australia portion of the studio will conclude with a final review at the farm before the drive back to Sydney on the following day.
Upon returning to Seattle, the studio will continue to refine the projects they conceived in Australia. Large-scale models and further site development will allow the students to refine their design explorations. The final two weeks of the quarter will be devoted to the production of a permanent record of the studio, including a mounted exhibition of the work and a printed document.
This Spring Quarter program is offered every other year under the guidance of Professor Ken Tadashi Oshima. Students travel during Spring Break to Japan exploring both traditional and modern architecture visiting cities such as Tokyo, Sendai, Nara, and Kyoto. Studio coursework is completed back in Seattle during the Spring Quarter. The details of the most recent offering are as follows:
This vertical graduate/undergraduate architecture studio investigated Japan at the Crossroads of Time and Space from pre-modern times to the present through a study tour to Japan during spring break 2015. Traveling from Seattle to the contemporary Japanese capital of Tokyo and historic cities of Hida Takayama and Kanazawa, students analyzed the evolution of buildings, material assemblies, and spatial concepts in relationship to their environmental and cultural contexts. This served as the basis for the spring studio to be conducted in Seattle to transform the Kubota Gardens as a global/local complex integrating building/landscape and Japanese precepts bridging past/present/future within the Pacific Rim.
The UW Department of Architecture offers a study program in Mexico. Students live and work in downtown Mexico City, with the studio workspace in Luis Barragan’s studio located within the Museo Casa Barragan. The program of study has addressed the geography, history, urban design, housing, and architecture of Mexico. Site tours have been diverse to cover the broad historical, cultural, and economical range that constitutes the metropolis of Mexico City, and included excursions outside of the city as well as office visits to numerous architectural firms. Local architects Javier Sanchez, Mauricio Rocha, Gabriela Carrillo, Felix Sanchez, Diego Ricalde, Francisco Pardo, Paloma Vera, Victor Alcerrica, Laura Jenka, and Tatiana Bilbao have served as studio critics and assisted in leading site visits.
The Architecture in Rome program, offered in Autumn Quarter is based in the Palazzo Pio at the UW Rome Center. Students experience in depth the richness of Rome’s architecture and urban design. The AIR program is open to undergraduate and graduate students in architecture and related disciplines. Classroom lecture/discussion sessions address the many facets of the cultural development of Rome and Italy, including geography, history, urban design and architecture. Courses in history of Italian architecture, architectural graphics, architectural design as well as in Italian language are integral to the program.
The Scan|Design Architecture Internship Program provides graduate students in the Department of Architecture with the opportunity to work for six months in the office of a Danish architecture firm. Up to three students are selected to participate in the program each year. Previous interns have worked for many of Denmark’s most influential and innovative architects, including BIG, Henning Larsen Architects, Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter, COBE and EFFEKT Architects.
Architecture in Scandinavia Program
This two-month summer program based in Stockholm includes extensive travel throughout Scandinavia, exploring the architecture of Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. Held periodically, the program was last offered in 2016. The course combines numerous site visits with lectures, drawing exercises, building research and urban analysis.
Exchange Program in Copenhagen, Denmark: Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts
Open to College of Built Environments graduate students for one or two semesters of study at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Students who apply for this exchange and are US Citizens are also eligible to apply for the Scan|Design Fellowship which provides substantial funding to support your studies in Denmark.
Valle Scholarship Program
This graduate student option offers scholarship funding to study in Scandinavia and the Baltic States for 3-9 months. Apply through the Valle Program in the School of Engineering.
From a Cold War island between East and West, Berlin has transformed into the real and symbolic capital of German reunification and a nexus of European integration. We will engage Berlin as a stage of heterogeneous, often conflicting scenarios, a stage of the stories, strategies, and struggles of global urbanization. We will discuss the city as a site where the past is a set of histories, the present a plurality of events, and the future a multiplicity of possibilities to be addressed in meetings with city officials, professionals, artists, and urban activists. To explore their spatial implications, we will visit the past and present symbols of geopolitical projection, the airports, the governmental buildings, and World Heritage Sites of museums, the contested sites of marginalized and gentrifying neighborhoods, the experimental sites of Berlin’s creative industries, informal housing, and urban gardening.
The program is organized as a course-trilogy of “stories,” “strategies,” and “struggles,” consisting, of a seminar and a design studio, as well as independent study and guest lectures. The partnership with Humboldt University and collaborations with peers from Berlin’s other universities will allow the development of “comparative urban pedagogies” (Jane M. Jacobs), a spectrum of different approaches to and methods of global urbanism.
Philippines Bamboo Workshop
In the past, bamboo was integral to the lives of Filipinos, and the plant played a significant role in the county’s history and building traditions. Under colonial rule, the preference for bamboo gradually shifted to other more ‘durable’ materials, such as stone and masonry; this trend accelerated during the 1950s and 60s as rapid urbanization introduced large-scale development dependent on imported resources. Over the past decade, however, concerns about the environment and economic pressures have led the Filipino government and local industry to reevaluate bamboo as an important resource, and the Philippines is now one of the largest producers of bamboo in the world.
Bamboo–previously regarded as ‘old’ and outdated–is now considered by many to be current and progressive, offering a strong and sustainable alternative to conventional building materials. Our program will focus on bamboo’s potential–not only as a building material–but also as a cultural signifier and economic catalyst for developing countries. We will study these possibilities through hands-on bamboo workshops, a community design charrette, and independent research. We will also consider the material’s role in urbanization and disaster mitigation for the Philippines.
The class will convene in Manila where we will spend four days touring significant sites and visiting local architecture firms. We will then travel to the program base in Dumaguete City. Workshops and a design charrette–offered in conjunction with the Bambusa Collabo and Foundation University–will be supplemented with lectures by local architects, and excursions to nearby examples of tropical design and bamboo construction.