This spring the College of Design expanded its program in Istanbul, Turkey from a May-term study abroad to a full-semester course. Architecture and landscape architecture students, led by Professor Ozayr Saloojee (Architecture) and Lecturer Brad Agee (Landscape Architecture), spent their first 5 weeks in Rome, Italy, after which they traveled to Istanbul, where they'll spend the next 11 weeks exploring the architectural and landscape fabrics of the vibrant, historical city.
In development since 2006, the program's evolution into a full-semester was made possible with gifts from Mark and Nedret Butler (both B.Arch '72), Peggy and Dave Lucas, Paul and Mary Reyelts, Ertugrul and Karen Owen Tuzcu, Vickie Abrahamson, and Dan Avchen (B.Arch '72).
"It's the seed of something we think will become an important program for the University of Minnesota," said Mark Butler, in recent issue of Legacy, a publication by the University of Minnesota Foundation.
This semester also marks the opening of the Istanbul Learning Abroad Center, which provides a permanent studio space and lounge for College of Design students to study, collaborate, and experience the city together.
"These experiences are fundamental to a design education, where understanding culture and context can be so critical to guiding the design process and its outcomes," said Dean Tom Fisher. "The vision and financial support [of our donors] allow us to make Istanbul a key program among our study abroad options."
Twelve students (with the occasional post by faculty and guests) are blogging about their experiences this spring. Follow their updates here. For information about the spring 2014 program, visit the Learning Abroad Center website.