Autumn 2010 – Croatia Bloggers

While many of you have been reading our new UW Study Abroad Blog this quarter, I wanted to jump in a take a moment to introduce all of our talented writers/travelers.  We have three students who are all traveling to Croatia on the UW Faculty-led Program titled “Design/Build in Croatia”: Nicole, Gherid & Alfred.

A little background on their program:

The Design/Build program provides students with a unique service learning opportunity to study in an exceptionally interesting and historic country, Croatia. Rich in multi ethnic history and culture, Croatia is a beautiful country with the pine forests in the north and the arid rock cliffs of the Adriatic. The Adriatic coast, with the walled medieval cities of Dubrovnik, Korcula and Split are unique with Roman roots and Austrian Hungarian influence. These sites will be destinations of the program. This program is designed to meet two primary goals. First, offering students the opportunity to explore, observe and study in this unique country and culture and appreciate it’s vernacular environmental design. Second, the opportunity to work with a unique client and design and construct invaluable therapeutic gardens to nurture, stimulate and educate the children and their families.

Students will work with the client, Dormitory Podmurvice River, which is a residential high school in Rijeka, Croatia, and its staff, administrators, and children. They will also work with Croatian landscape architect Marina Butorac to design and build the therapeutic garden. Students will learn the skills of small culturally appropriate site design and construction detailing through this intensive project. The process is formed around the collaborative model of inclusive design. Each student will take on individual responsibilities for various aspects of the project. The rapid pace of both the design and construction will demand a deep level of commitment and responsibility. Students will learn graphics, site design, and construction documentation and learn what constitutes a “therapeutic garden” and how it functions. In the building phase, students will learn principles and methodologies of construction, how to use tools, calculate materials and cost estimating. The students will also learn through the children and volunteers of Dormitory Podmurvice River about designing for high school children at risk.

So keep reading and discover all of their adventures and learning experiences while they absorb the culture and beauty of Croatia!