Well I've started my first semester here in Barcelona. As expected my first week was a pretty confusing experience! All notices were in Catalan and all the other students looked very busy whilst I spent the week walking around with a very obvious expression of Â¿Que? engraved on my face! To my rescue was Miguel; the student/international relations officer/hero. He explained all the procedures about what subjects I could choose where to do it!
The university here is huge! There are 3000 architecture students alone and the set up is very much like being back at school. There are classrooms with blackboards! Teachers stand at the front and hammer out three hour lectures about the luminosity of a light bulb to a room full of 50 mulleted Catalans! A slightly different approach to what I ”˜m used to. Last year I was studying at London Metropolitan University and most of our time was spent discussing the correct proportions for mixing plaster. Fun as it was, it seems very far removed from what the Spanish define as architecture. In England education is far vaguer. At times it is not ”˜architecture' per say but more of a vehicle for a series of intellectual exercises. Important this may be, but here they teach architecture and that's it! There are some more conceptual modules to choose from, including one that involves a semester of drawing faces, fantastic! However the obligatory subjects are driven towards teaching students the fundamentals of how glass meets wood meets metal.
So I am set for a year of detailing and I'm very pleased about that. It is not going to be easy though. The level of construction here is very high with little margin for error. But I will definitely learn a lot. All in all, it's good to be here!