Eleven BAC students traveled to Spain with Jovi Cruces, Senior Associate at Dimella Shaffer Associates and Richard Griswold, Associate Provost and Dean of Students. The students were based in Madrid, with excursions to Toledo, Segovia, Cordoba, Barcelona, and more. Students met with practicing architects generous with their time and work. Students were exposed to well-known masterpieces and works by emerging and renowned architects all against the stunning backdrop of spaces influenced by Arab and European architecture.
Richard Griswold underscores the importance and educational value of the summer study abroad programs, "We learned history by inhabiting the evidence it leaves behind. We were inspired by Muslim, Jewish, and Christian traditions coexisting in architecture in ways they do not always do in culture. We ate surprising and wonderful food. We used maps to find treasures. We split up in foreign places to explore on our own and reconvened at the appointed times with remarkable success. We walked, ran, climbed, took broken-down Mercedes taxis, bullet trains, subways, and gondola rides. We made ten-minute sketches of Gothic cathedrals. We saw a lot of art that challenged us. We left our day jobs. We made new friends and colleagues and discovered that every person in our traveling band had a secret superpower that could be called on to the great advantage of the collective. We are exhausted and over stimulated. We are amazed. It's no surprise that I believe in the deep educational value of an action-packed summer abroad, of getting to know a place thoroughly. My hope is that each student will someday return to Spain, to guide others through places they now know -- or even to live. But the work of a BAC study abroad program is to become extremely serious about what amazes us, analyze thoroughly and synthesize it for future use; to dig deep in where a non-designer will just glance. These inspirations, when taken seriously, are the gasoline of a successful professional life. Sketchbooks were our primary tool for capturing and processing this rich stimulus and demonstrating what we understand about Spain and its multiple inspirations -- using drawings, diagrams and writing, both impressions and quantifiable facts."