Last fall, a cohort of 15 architecture students took part in a semester abroad based in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland. Their itinerary included trips across Europe, divided into three legs: first Holland, Belgium, and France (images on slide three); then Switzerland (images on slide four); and, lastly, Berlin and Barcelona (images on slide five). Simultaneously, they engaged in a collaborative project led by Professor Joseph Bedford. The students researched contemporary architects before visiting their built works, these excursions helping to cultivate conversations on the impact of the designs produced by these architects. In tandem with their explorations, the students engaged in a seminar class, studying contemporary theories and touching upon phenomenology, ideology, desire, and subjectivity within the context of late capitalism.

This week marked the culmination of their efforts as the students presented an exhibition in the Cowgill Lobby, showcasing their semester-long project entitled “Collective Villa.” The project sought to disrupt conventional notions of domestic living by conceptualizing innovative approaches to housing design. The studio studied what it meant to foster meaningful interactions and connections among individuals, serving as a catalyst for the emergence of innovative ideas that respond to the evolving societal landscape. Today, to conclude their exhibition, the students held a lecture in which they described their work and experience in more depth to faculty and peers.