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International adventure inspires DMU Architecture students

Italian architecture has inspired students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) during a culturally enriching week-long trip.

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DMU students Zainab and Dilshod sketching at Pompeii  

The visit to Salerno and Naples enabled first-year Architecture MArch and final-year Architecture BA (Hons) students to explore a range of historic sites and collaborate with students from Italy, Argentina, Columbia, Mozambique, Portugal, Spain, Norway, Nigeria, Turkey, Russia and India.

DMU students visited archaeological sites such as Pompeii, Paestum, Herculaneum, the National Archaeological Museum and Naples Underground, and explored the Amalfi coast, the island of Capri, Sorrento and Positano in smaller, self-organised groups.

One group, which included MArch student Carl Dusu and BA students Dilshod Perkins and Zainab Mohammed, went on to take part in a four-day workshop with students and professors from the University of Salerno.

Exploring the theme of ‘urban erosion’, the group visited different sites across Naples, including The Jolly Hotel, an ageing monolith in the city centre, and ‘Palace of the Veterans’, a uniquely-laid building complex in a poorer side of town with narrow streets on a steep gradient.

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Students hard at work during their workshop

Working in different teams, the students flexed their digital map-based photogrammetry and sketching skills and created collages and architectural models illustrating their ideas to revitalise the sites. Each team then presented its work under timed conditions.

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Londoner Carl said: “Getting to work with both architecture and engineering students in Italy was really interesting. It gave us a completely different perspective, as the way they work is less conceptual and more mathematical. 

“It was a challenging way of thinking and I feel that it gave me an insight into what it will be like working with other people’s ideas in the real world.”

The experience will now form the basis of the BA students’ final major studio projects back at DMU.

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DMU's Carl and Dilshod worked as a team with two Italian and two Argentinian students 

Dilshod, who was born in Uzbekistan, has taken advantage of a number of opportunities while at university, including an internship in China and winning the President’s Prize in the annual Rutland Society of Architects competition for his group’s proposals to revamp Leicester.

He said: “The trip to Italy was a great way of building on our established ideas and I definitely feel like we now have a head-start on our final-year projects.

“It was also a good opportunity to work closely with MArch students and learn from their experiences.”

The trip was organised by Leicester School of Architecture Senior Lecturer George Epolito and University of Salerno Associate Professor Alessandra Como, together with #DMUglobal, DMU’s international experience programme.

For Nigerian student Zainab, #DMUglobal was a deciding factor in choosing to study at DMU. 

She said: “Not many universities give you the chance to enhance your studies with trips abroad every single year.

“Even though I had offers from other universities too, I picked DMU because Architecture students get to choose between visiting iconic places like Venice, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona and New York.”

Posted on Tuesday 28th November 2017

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