Hello! It’s been a while since I’ve returned to the United States. School has started again, and as I’m starting my classes, I’m reminded of the experiences I had and the things I learned in Germany. We recently submitted the remainder of our work for the trip. We had to submit a research paper in which we analyzed the design of one of the places we visited (mine was Charlottenhof Palace) through sketches, photos, and descriptions. We also put together our group pamphlet that contained all of our research papers, case studies, and design charettes from the trip.
Now that classes have started, I’m missing being in Germany. I really enjoyed the overall culture of Berlin; if I were to ever move out of America, that is a place I could see myself living in. I overall was very fascinated by the promenance of industrial parks in Germany. These kinds of parks are less common in America, but I really like them and their intention of remembering the history of a site while letting it be taken back by nature.
I also really enjoyed parks like Nordpark and Grugapark, which offer different sections with different focuses. The experience of the park changes as visitors move through it, and there really is something for everyone in these parks. I also enjoyed the promenance of sustainble residential communities. I think it is a wonderful idea that should be implemented outside of Germany as well. It reduces negative environmental impact while also fostering a sense of community and generally tends to be pretty affordable.
Overall, I really enjoyed studying abroad in Germany. It was fascinating to visit so many German parks, palaces, etc., and slowly start noticing the elements that really make them German. I also liked that we stayed in two parks of Germany, Berlin and Essen, because it was fun to compare the two cities to each other and see how much their culture varied. I think our sketching requirement forced me to take the time to really observe my surroundings, which helped me understand why certain things are appealing while other things are not. The trip taught me a lot, and will inevitably make me a better designer as I move forward in my career.