Above: U.S. Ambassador to Chile Paul Simons (center, gray suit) hosted a breakfast for students and faculty from NYIT and the University of Chile at his residence in Santiago.
Architecture students underwent a crash course in global architecture last September when they traveled to Santiago, Chile, to participate in the School of Architecture and Design’s new student exchange program with the University of Chile.
Professors Frank Mruk and Andrew Heid from New York led a group of 12 NYIT undergraduates on a two-week design charrette with 12 architecture students from the University of Chile, who hosted their American peers.
The program involved design studio work taught by professors from both universities, including University of Chile professors Andrés Weil and Marcela Pizzi, as well as a trip to a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the city of Valparaiso, where the students worked on a joint urban redesign project. In addition, participants attended a breakfast hosted by U.S. Ambassador to Chile Paul Simons at his home in Santiago.
Although they are back in New York, the NYIT students and their classmates in Chile stay connected through e-mail and video conferences. The program continues this spring when NYIT students host their South American counterparts.
“By having NYIT students stay in the residences of Chilean teammates, both sides quickly acquired a dynamic, higher-level point of view,” says Mruk, who also serves as associate dean of NYIT’s School of Architecture and Design. “When it works, this meta-view produces some of the strongest bonds you’ll ever have.”