December

7:30 in the morning, her eyes open gently to the warmth of the sun. The morning rays brighten up her room. Z turns over to reach for her phone. She had a message from someone. It was T. He had replied to her message from last night, when out of frustration, Z had finally managed to send him a text. It was a stupid text, covered nonchalantly to sound smart. It was just a way for her to find out what he had been up to. Reading his reply, she started to type, asking a follow up question to continue the conversation. She wanted to know what had happened in that past week that he hadn’t sent her a message. She asks him, “how has your week been so far?”, knowing she will get more details. He responded quickly to “really busy, will be this way until I leave for the holidays”. This reply was an end of a chapter for Z. A calm spread through her mind and body, relieving her of all the anxieties. She was allowed to move on now, even though no one had stopped her before.

Throughout the day, this feeling had stayed with her, she was smiling, focusing on her work. Her distractions had gone away. But it was the next day that she realized how little she had mattered in T’s life. After T had texted her about him leaving for the holidays, Z realized that she was not going to see him for at least two months, which meant never. This was due to the lack of communication that had swept over them in the past three weeks, which had been killing Z. For her, communication was key to any relationship and once that lagged, there was not much that could save it. She had tried to keep in contact but within three weeks she saw a transformation in her “relationship” with T; it had gone from knowing everything that happened each day to not knowing anything for days. Even the enthusiasm in the communication was gone. This frustration had finally ended that Friday morning. But Saturday was when she started wondering, “What is the value of us in someone’s life, do we even matter?” Here she was thinking about T, and how he hadn’t even bothered to reply back to her text about her plans for the holidays. He had asked her about it to be polite, but he really hadn’t cared of what the answer was. This made Z question about her value to him. Was this the end of this? These endless and unanswerable questions were keeping her mind occupied.

Being a philosophical person, she knew that there are people in her life that valued her, and she valued them, but her mind kept wandering to people that she met as acquaintances and for short periods of time. What value did she bring to them? Does she have any significance? Knowing Z, she also knew that she had significance in other people’s life, but it might not be crucial enough to matter, depending on the person. But that wasn’t the answer she was looking for. She wanted to find her value, and how her short-term relationships were related to them. Her history was strengthening these questions, and her curiosity was being a companion.

Sitting on her bed, her lamp shining a light on her face, she kept wondering, hoping the answers would come. But she also knew that this is a tale that is going to last a lifetime, since there are going to be many more people and many more chapters. This quest for value is going to be an endless cycle where some people will value her more and some less but that is what is about, isn’t it?!

 

  • H

August

It is the second day of Aug, where did July go, Z does not know. Clenching a warm tea mug in her hand and keeping it close to her chest, she is trying to breathe. For some reason, since she woke up this morning, she has been feeling uneasy. Knowing the power of the chai on her, she makes it to soothe herself. Sitting on her bed, everything else is quiet except the murmur of the AC.

Still trying to breathe normally, she picks up her latest reading, All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. This book, Z picked up in an interesting way. Last month, she was summoned for Jury Duty and since the court is on Canal St, she would walk home every single day to explore the city she loves most. Walking in her heels, she chooses a different route most days. In her second week of coming home from court, she decides to go shopping for her family since her mom’s birthday was coming and she felt generous to shop for everyone. Not knowing which streets are ahead but knowing only the direction towards home, Z turns on Prince St. from Lafayette St. Reading the word “books”, she crosses the street and goes inside the store. Unknowingly she ends up at a famous bookstore that she has been meaning to visit since a few years back, McNally Jackson in SoHo. This feels like home to her. She goes towards the architecture section, browsing through books by Rem Koolhaus and Renzo Piano, when she finds a photo journal on Seoul. Z wants to travel everywhere but Seoul from South Korea is one of the top cities in her bucket list. She picks up the book and is perusing it when she looks up to the sound of the door and she feels the faint breeze touch her skin.

Z looks up to find a famous Bollywood actor, Aditya Roy Kapur, walk in. Her eyes open a little wider but she quickly gets them back to normal, but in that moment, she and the actor make eye contact. Z has a feeling that he noticed her reaction and he knew that she knows him. Z isn’t a fan girl type of a person, she has her celebrity crushes but she isn’t the one running after them to take selfies. She resumes to act like nothing happened and the actor walks to a different section of books with a friend. Z can hear his voice; his Indian accent is distinguishable to her from across the room.

Immediately texting one of her best friend, D, to let her know that she saw one of her favorite actor; D suggests everything that Z does not want to do: take a selfie with him and tell him she loves his movies.

Ignoring the idea, Z continues to explore the bookstore to find books from countries like Italy, France, Russia, etc. Z was in love. Moving to the basement level, she is drawn towards the psychoanalytic section when the actor comes and stands right next to her and they again have an eye contact but this time for a longer period. Z felt like she should talk to him about something but before she could say anything, his friend calls him and so Z taking back the idea, goes to another area.

Standing on one of the landings of the stairs, Z finds the book, All The Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr. There is a golden circle on the cover stating that it was a Pulitzer Prize winning novel; Z’s eyes gleam to that phrase. Wanting to explore different writing styles and read a powerful novel she turns the book around to find out what the book was about. Based in Paris and Germany during the era just before WWII, the story revolves around the lives of two children from different countries and how they meet against all odds after losing so many that they love.

Engrossed just by the description on the back, Z doesn’t even realize when the actor walks up the stairs and walks past her. They share another eye contact before he goes to the café and Z to the checkout counter. She was not planning on spending more that day. Her aim when she opened the first door of the store was to just experience the bookstore.

Without realizing that she bought the book, she walks out to the calming breeze and puts on her headphones. The music takes control and her feet start to move, almost in harmony with the beat. She looks inside the glass window to see the actor one last time, but does not find him. Without feeling regret, Z walks towards home.

  • H

June

The sun touches her arm first, then slowly creeps onto her right side of the body. She flinches, and then curls up in a ball and covers her face with the blanket. In about five minutes, her alarm goes off. She tries to turn it off but realizes that it is of her roommate who is in deep sleep. Not knowing what to do and not being able to see how asleep she is, Z just gets up. Its 7 am. This is new to her, she is always the one who is the last to wake up, but recently she has had some thoughts that have kept her at night.

She knows that no one else is awake right now, so instead of getting up to brush, she checks her Instagram (A really bad habit), and then Snapchat (another bad habit). Its not even like she is engaging in the pictures, she is aimlessly scrolling and touching the red heart. But I guess this is normal with most millennials who can enjoy technology. After running out of social media, she decided to get up. Of course no one is up yet, so Z just goes to the bathroom to freshen up and then make chai. This is her addiction, if you can call it that. It is more of the experience that she has with knowing that chai will soothe her and make her problems go away – even for a minute – than drinking it. But you will find her tell everyone, she comes across, about the joys of drinking it.

Having started her morning right (chai), she sits on the couch thinking what she will do today. Ever since college started, 4 years ago, she has had a job doing anything. This summer, however, she doesn’t have one so far because her internship just ended. This makes her feel uneasy, she is someone who loves to run around hopping from subway to subway in her heels and getting things done. Not having a plan for the day is definitely not her thing. After pondering for a good 30 minutes, she decides to check out a museum. The Brooklyn museum has been on top of her list for a few months now, so that is what she ends up choosing. It is still only 8:30 and going to the museum this early isn’t an option so she goes on her bed and continues to read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

In one of her recent excursions to mend her beating heart, she picked up Jane Eyre. Z loves to read, and one of the activities she indulges herself in, when she needs mending, is to go to a bookstore. This book, although a classic and loved by many hadn’t reached her hands yet, but had always heard about it. So, when the description said, “It lives as one of the great triumphs of storytelling and a moving and unforgettable portrayal of a woman’s quest for self-respect”, self-respect being the key word here, she immediately bought it. She has bought many books this way, to wander her mind to someplace else.

At 9:30, she hears some footsteps outside her door. Knowing immediately which one of her roommates woke up by the sound. The bathroom door bangs. Getting up then would be futile, so she keeps reading for another 15 minutes before going outside to the living room. By this time, Z had a plan for the day even though it was very preliminary. She likes to explore, so she would probably walk around the area of the museum, she thought.

When she goes outside a few minutes later, she hears the subtle clinks of the pans. Someone was already cooking breakfast. It was probably K. She is the one who is very particular about breakfast. All Z’s other roommates just run out of the door. Z goes inside the kitchen, she stands by the fridge and wonders what she is going to eat. She is the worst when it comes to deciding what to eat. Eggs are her go to most of the time, and today was that time.

Chatting and eating concluded in an hour and Z went to get dressed. This for her is one of the most exciting parts of the day. For her, fashion is about outfits; what top works with what pants or skirts or dress, and then accessorizing. She always wears a choker and a necklace. Black heels are also part of her most outfits. It seemed like a breezy day so she wore her light pink velvet pants with a white crop top and denim jacket. The pants revealed just a little of her ankles making her look elongated with her black heals. She is petite, so she has to make sure that her outfits don’t make her look short. Although on many occasions that doesn’t bother her since her heels are there to give her company.

With her make up done and accessories on, Z officially begins her almost unplanned day. Her heels clicking away and music that blends with her thoughts. As soon as she steps outside her apartment, the mind that she was trying to keep quiet the whole morning, starts screaming, making the city a blur in the background.

– HS

 

Asphyxiate

Asphyxiation of my mind.

I slowly became weary, tired of the same.

I’m tired of the sameness.

I have nothing to show, but everything to hide.

I have spiraled, lost all respect.

Just a passerby, taking a glimpse of myself.

 

Asphyxiation of my soul.

It escaped when I lost control.

The burning desire to breathe.

The earthly desire to feel.

But I’m indifferent.

 

Asphyxiation of my body.

Collar bones, beautiful collar bones.

They are so sharp, sharper than my tongue.

If only I could speak my mind, I wouldn’t need these ribs of steel.

Now they are beginning to rust.

 

Asphyxiation of my heart.

The chambers collapse, and I begin to fade.

If only my ribs of steel and my weary mind could protect my heart.

Then maybe I wouldn’t have flatlined.

– AJ

Mental Health Awareness & Suicide Prevention

Journey

A year ago, around this time, I was contemplating about the direction of my life and what my journey is supposed to be. I was in San Francisco then, peeping into the other world of architecture that I wasn’t familiar with. I felt a sense of freedom knowing that a lot of students my age, studying architecture, were as lost as I was. I couldn’t put a finger on what was holding me back from letting go, letting go of the shy girl who was afraid to be herself, who wanted to be free from her insecurities.

I have come a long way from there, I have begun a journey to find my path. It might sound spiritual, and it certainly is a way to put it that way, but I have taken a leap to understand and love myself.

The journey started with traveling to San Francisco, for the first time without my family. It gave me a sense of independence knowing that I was there on the other side of the country with a friend exploring my unknown. This gave me a chance to leave behind my troubles, my insecurities and just focus on the beauty and the culture of the city. It felt empowering.

With that experience in hand, and to gain more knowledge from a professor I admire, I decided to study abroad. I went to Portugal and Spain. I spent 6 weeks walking through the cities of Porto, Lisbon, Cordoba, Granada, and Barcelona. This was me leaving behind my comfort and indulging in new cultures, analyzing architecture, and meeting new people. My most cherished memories from the 6 weeks were just walking alone aimlessly, sketching the spaces and the activities that I came across. I learned a lot through that decision of travelling. I learned to be with myself, I learned to appreciate architecture and analyze it to understand the role of it in a space, I learned to be opinionated while listening to others, and I learned to absorb knowledge from any source available. This was an important moment for me to define what my passions are and to start letting show my true side.

The decision to study abroad during the summer had consequences on the flip side as well. While I figured out a lot about myself through that journey, I went on another journey with my emotions back in New York when I was away from my best friends and Design. I was not taking Design for the Fall semester since I took that class during summer, when I was abroad, and that created distance between my best friends and I. This class was a way for us to share experiences of curiosities, frustrations, enlightenments, and happiness, and I was not part of it this time while the other three of my best friends were experiencing this together and so this made me feel left out. This is a powerful feeling that can make you question a lot of things like does your presence matter, do you have anything to add to a relationship, how much do your friends care for you and your feelings. These were the questions that kept running through my mind. I don’t have answers to any of these questions yet and I don’t know if I will ever get answers to them but I must make peace with myself and let myself be ok with having just me when there is a hard time since not everyone is going to be available when there comes a hurdle, I will have to be enough to jump through them.

These experiences have made me stronger, and I do believe that every experience makes you stronger even if you realize it or not, to be my own best friend before anyone else. This I realized through, believe it or not, another travelling expedition to Boston. Boston became for me a canvas on which I explored, I felt, and I realized. I started this year with travelling, and I ended this year with travelling and this is what this year is for me; it is a year of travel adventures and a year where I started to understand and love myself. So 2016, you will always be in my memory as a year of independence.

HS

Ignorance Vs. Ignorance

In the wake of the election and the Presidential Elect that half the country thinks is a misogynist, a rapist, a racist, and a homophobic; there is a bigger question lurking above us: is it the ignorance of the consequences that has us living today as a reality?

From what I have come to understand is that there are two types of ignorance. One that everyone connotes to is when the ignorant are indifferent to facts and logic, and stubborn about their devotion to information, as defined by Stuart Firestein in his book Ignorance, How it Drives Science. The other type of Ignorant are associated with knowledge in a sense that they run after the unknown to answer unanswered questions in a land filled of curiosities. They don’t run after answers, instead they run after questions.

From the situation we are in right now, I am assuming that a lot of Americans identify with ignorance where they did not consider the logic of our Presidential Elect and elected him to the oval office just because they were devoted to their idea of ‘Once Great America’. They overlooked the fact that he could actually win the election. None of them is worse than the other and because of our ignorance we are in a position of uncertainty and fear especially for all the minorities who make our country great.

On the day of the election, I was so excited! This was my first time voting and it was also the first time there was a woman who was so close to winning the presidential election. I had so many conversations that day with friends and acquaintances about voting and the future of this country. This was a big deal for me and a lot of other people who went and voted. I remember being glued to YouTube watching the news around 10 pm-ish. I was terrified. I felt weak both physically and mentally. The votes were being tallied up and Donald J. Trump was winning. It was horrifying. I and my roommates were praying for Hillary to magically win, and since we all belong in the minority it was and still is more of the uncertainty that made us fear of what will happen that can take away our rights and change our lives.

I am sure a lot of people felt similar emotions about the election which has led to the protests in cities around the country and pop up social projects for healing like SubwayTherapy. Both ways, I feel are great to express our feelings without violence, but at the same time there should be a better way to prevent something this major which can alter our country in drastic ways. I am not preaching anything here but in my mind, I feel that Ignorance that leads to knowledge is something that can help everyone. It will help us question better and hopefully help us find answers to questions like, what is true? Why does it matter? How can we move our society forward? These are critical questions that everything should be based upon, not many people utilize this thought process but imagine a world where manipulation was fought with questions.

It would be a world where Donald Trump wouldn’t be a president in.

It is us who must choose what kind of ignorance we run after, the one that can improve our society or the one that can destroy it.

HS

Storyteller

Architecture is a book that stores all the stories and lets people write their own.

I am a lost soul, I like to sit by myself and think, watch people, and read among many other things. Recently I went to the Architecture and Design Film Festival in New York and watched a film called The Storyteller. After Walter Benjamin. by Nathaniel Knop, I had no expectations what so ever about this film. I did not research, I just went after reading a short description. My initial thought from the title connected me to books, the idea of a narrative and how a story can transform lives. The only emotion I was expecting was to be given a new perspective, and the movie lived up to my expectations and much more, it gave me something to ponder about on the direction of how I want to tell my story.

When I was watching the film, I kept getting memories of when I first started reading for myself, it was during eighth grade and I had recently moved to the U.S., I had no friends initially and so I discovered the public library of my town and started reading random books from the young adult section. They helped me soothe my soul and be ok with what I was experiencing. They gave me solace. They would and still take me on a journey I haven’t been before and I can clearly experience every emotion that the character is experiencing. I am in a different world when I am reading and that is what architecture is for me. It is a new world where there are stories revolving around emoting different feelings. One of the scenes during the movie had the famous architect Peter Eisenman talk about the Holocaust museum that he designed in Germany. He says that when he was designing it, he did not want to tell a story as it was not his job to tell it since he was not part of it and none of his architecture tells a story. I don’t know if I completely agree with it but I do understand his perspective and believe that architecture is supposed to be the canvas for the stories of the people who occupy it. I also believe that architecture is a story of the person who designs it, it is supposed to help people connect to that one story and let the inhabitants interpret it in their own way. Architecture is a book that stores all the stories and lets people write their own.

This sentiment that I have for architecture has made me question what I want to pursue in life. I don’t want to be a traditional architect; I want to go beyond. Beyond just constructing for commercial purposes, I want to understand humans and their neurological side to make spaces that adapt to them to soothe and create stories. I want my architecture to heal, I don’t know how yet but I am in the process of figuring that out. It might take me a long time but I know I will get there eventually. My only goal is to create something that will let people connect to my story and let them write their own through it.

HS

Love Affair with Lincoln Center

To go hide in a crowded city, the easiest spot is a place that is always filled. You will find those spaces every couple of blocks, but the ones that bring people in are the ones that people can change. A lot of spaces cannot be adaptable; they are designed to be controlled. On the other hand, there are some public architecture that are designed to be modified by the people who use it. They could be changed through activities or just occupancy. New York City has gems of Public spaces that are hiding between buildings that can be modified, but my heart belongs to the ever morphing Lincoln Center. I could probably list a thousand reasons why I love it so much but I think a few will suffice.

Ever since I started school, I had been in search of a place where I could go to find refuge. Maybe it’s the romantic in me who was looking for it or it could have been my need to get away from all the craziness without actually leaving. I tried hard to find a place that belonged to me for almost a year without having any luck. My first choice was the Riverside Park by 125th St., it has its charm with its pier and the rocks that give you privacy when you just want to ponder without disturbance, but the feeling wasn’t there. Second I thought, why not Central Park, it’s one of biggest public space that New York has and I can get lost there without anyone knowing. I would go there after class and sit on one of the higher rocks and read or sketch. It still wasn’t right. I could get the views but the feeling of loneliness was overpowering, even though that is what I was searching for. I felt pretentious just being there.

I kept looking; finally, one night, around midnight, when one of my best friends and I were tired of working on our projects decided to go for a walk in the freezing cold and ended up walking to Lincoln Center. There was no one there and it was pitch dark with one security guard standing under the awning. We giggled and kept walking towards the now turned off fountain. We climbed on the platform by it and just laid down and watched the stars. The feeling of cold went away and I felt at peace. This started my love affair with Lincoln Center.  The place has a welcoming feeling; it is like you are being called. It has abilities to transform in the morning and during different seasons. During the summer it’s at its happiest, the fountain pours out warm water and people are huddled against it watching as the water dances. The three different but coherent buildings that surround it look marvelous with their creamish white limestone which perform as enclosure and structure. The buildings serve as different performing halls functionally but as one they behave as a safety barrier that will protect you come rain or shine, literally. During Fall, this attitude is still prevalent with the colors changing to the brownish hues and the rustling of leaves, but it starts to die down as it gets colder. Which hasn’t stopped me from going there to rethink life.

I have had days when I am super happy and I just need a space to get that excitement out and I would go there, and I have had days when I just couldn’t talk to anyone I know and so I would go there. My best friend knows me and if she even suspects that I need to get away for some time, she would know to find me at Lincoln Center. There was an incident last fall when my best friend, A, needed to talk to me about something and it was super urgent but she had a class in 10 minutes. We still ended up going to Lincoln Center and sat by the fountain in the chilly breeze to decipher the situation and make some sense of it. We have had lots of moments like these but at this particular moment a stranger took a picture of us since we became silhouettes to his lens with the Space being the central element. It was a beautiful moment.

Lots of people have an attachment to Lincoln center as well. When I am just sitting there, people watching, (It is not a weird thing to do I promise, it’s actually a fun activity that can give insight to so many ideas and inspiration) I find so many ways people use Lincoln center and transform the space from just a designed object to a place with emotions. I have seen the fountain area being used as a tourist space, a lover’s nest, a resting place, and even a dancing studio. I have seen music videos being shot there. It is truly magical to see all the activity going on. At the same time when I sit there in the midst of all the noise, I am still at peace.

This feeling is a base for all the other emotions felt when in Lincoln Center. There is a backyard to the arena as well. At first look, it is a beautiful space with a canopy of trees surrounded by a brutalist performance hall on the right and an infinity pool on the left. Once you step inside the enclave, the feeling of motion sets in. Maybe it’s just me but I feel like I am travelling to a place where I can observe everything that everyone else is doing but I am not seen by anyone; it’s the feeling of invisibility in the most serene way. This whole area is mostly a quiet zone and I have seen people come here to chat with a friend, eat lunch, read a book, and study mostly, which are all activities that I have done there, but for me it’s a place to ponder. I have my craziest, quirkiest imaginations while sitting on the curved wire chair under the shade of the trees overlooking the pool or the linear concrete and glass building.

Throughout the two years that I have been going to Lincoln Center for solace, I fall in love with it more each time. My love affair with this place is for life and if you want to find me, you know where to look.

 

HS

 

Threshold through Life

We are so stuck up in our own world; we have no time to pay attention to anything else or anyone else. We live our lives on autopilot. We read some newsfeed on Facebook and look at some pictures on Instagram that we forget in the next five minutes. We become oblivious to everything but us. I recently realized that I was the same. I was self-centered without wanting to be. I thought I gave a damn about the world but I didn’t. That changed, when I travelled to Spain and Portugal.

I am not going to preach about how great it is to travel. That even if I try is not going to communicate the message until you experience it, but I am going to share my experience about the knowledge that I received and how that broadened my horizons on issues that I would have cared less before.

The moment I arrived in Portugal, I was faced with an ardent task of carrying my 45 lbs. suitcase up the hill to my apartment that I was renting; mind you I am a 95 lbs. girl. It was a 10 minute walk which felt like an hour.  That is when I realized that I am in a completely new country with a topography that I am not used to. I walked up that hill while stopping multiple times to catch a breath and when I finally reached, I saw a view that completely mesmerized me! I knew at that moment that I would not experience this anywhere else. While walking through the hilly streets of Porto, I experienced architecture that was completely different than the United States. It was more culturally driven with an attempt at modernization. The environment was cozy with people always smiling and drinking and always ready to help. Although the help stopped at the few Portuguese men who tried selling fake weed to me.  Porto was my threshold to the new world.

Next was Lisbon, which was marvelous, more because of the people and the hostel that I was living in. The whole city was celebrating their Independence Day at the time I was there and the excitement in the people was making me excited. The streets would be filled with music and food and people would be out on the streets drinking at 3 am. Also there were an abundant amount of tourists. The first person I talked to was from the hostel I was staying in; he was this guy who was sitting on a long dining table with a bunch of people from different countries laughing about something that I had no idea about. I made my way to the table with a drink I do not remember the name of but that tasted really good. I sat down in an attempt to meet new people and really awkwardly introduced myself. He sheepishly laughed at my attempt and then I got more comfortable and reintroduced myself. He was from New Zealand. I had never met someone from New Zealand before and this was exciting for me. We started talking and he told me that he was on a holiday just before his new job started and I told him that I was on a study abroad trip, studying architecture. It was a long, really fun conversation and weirdly it touched the subject of cricket. He knew the cricket teams I was talking about and that made me really happy since not many people I usually talk to know about it. Throughout the 4 days I stayed there, I met a lot more people from different countries and I found out so much about those people that I will remember for a long time coming.

Spain was the next stop and in particularly the city of Granada. It is a small city with the main attraction being the Alhambra. Everything seems to be surrounded by the majestic presence of the castle, if not literally then symbolically. The streets are filled with shops that are named the Alhambra. There are influences from the Mediterranean region through food, spices, and sometimes even clothes since the Alhambra was built by Mediterranean people. I had expected to be blown away by the architecture of the palace, but I was left disappointed. One of the main reasons was due to all the tourists being there taking pictures which also increased a lot of security blockages. I wanted to observe some peace and sketch in the once magnificent castle but was very restricted. Although I did end up drawing some spaces when the security wasn’t looking and the tourist weren’t bothering. Overall Granada wasn’t one of my favorite cities but it did give me a lot of knowledge on the history of Spain and the influence of the Mediterranean on it.

The last city that I visited on my one-month travel was the famous Olympic city, Barcelona. The first feeling that I felt when I reached the city was that it felt a lot like New York City, and unlike any other places I recently visited from Portugal or Spain. The streets were crowded, lots of people selling things. Public transportation was abundant and the buildings were a mix of contemporary and historic but the modern element was really prevalent. I stayed there for 21 days and most of those 21 days I was functioning as a college student. I would go the university from 9 am till 7 pm. When I would get some free time I would explore the city. The city in general is very open with a lot of history to it. The residents are welcoming to the tourist and there are a lot of places and events based on them. Two things that I would take away from the city was the beach, and my project that I designed. The former is one of the reasons people come to the city for and I can totally understand why. The beach is marvelous even if it is man made. The latter is dearer to my heart since it is my design. When I was functioning as a college student, I designed an archaeological museum in the Gothic district of Barcelona. It is supposed to showcase the Roman and the 18th century ruins that are underneath the site and through the amount of time I spent on the site and designing it, I fell in love with my project. I can envision the people visiting the museum and using the space outside. It, I think, is the best take away from Barcelona I can get, since even through imagination I have my own building there and whenever I visit again I am going to remember that.

Throughout the month, I spent so much time thinking about life, the priorities I have in it and what matters most to me. I was so confused whether architecture was the right major for me but this trip gave me a new direction to think of in terms of what I want to do and how I can do that. This was one of the best decisions I ever made.

-HS