Architecture can be found in every area of the globe, from your house in Brookings, South Dakota, to the Cathedral Church of St. Nicholas in Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK. Traveling can enhance your perspective of a place and become a learning experience.
Three Schools in Four Years
During my undergraduate degree in architecture, I have attended three different schools: University of Kansas, Newcastle University, and South Dakota State University. Each place was in a completely different location and had a unique way of teaching architecture.
What’s a Jayhawk?
During my time at the University of Kansas, home of the Jayhawks, I found how different a place and the people can be, if only a few hours away from your hometown. During one of my classes, we designed a community and childcare center; this was a unique opportunity because our class traveled to the site in Lakin, KS, and spoke with locals about what they need in their town. The site for the project was adjacent to a facility for the elderly, and our class had a chance to take a tour and thoroughly examine how their building could inform and relate to ours. It was a moment of understanding how designs can affect the people they are designed for, and how to make each detail in the building have a purpose. This taught me that architecture isn’t just about your design concept, it’s about whom you’re designing it for.
More to Explore
The fall of my third year, I got the opportunity to study abroad for a semester in Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK. While I learned a lot from my studies there, the places I got to see are what taught me the most. I got to travel to nearby towns and nearby countries: seeing the prehistoric monument of Stonehenge and the grand Westminster Abbey.
While there seems to be no connection between the two, both hold a certain level of expertise and precision. This experience made me realize what I want to do with architecture; I want to make the buildings I design withstand the test of time and bring different styles of architecture from around the world into my work.
Coming Home a Jackrabbit
After my time abroad, I began missing home and transferred to South Dakota State University to finish my degree as a Jackrabbit. After my travels I didn’t think there would be anything else to see in the place where I grew up, and I quickly discovered how wrong I was. One project involved detailing the South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum – mere blocks away from our school. We had to look and measure the building and recreate the building plans. The exercise was more about looking at the building and understanding what we were looking at. We found bleachers that had been blocked off from the first floor, but we knew they were there from the evidence of them in the basement ceiling. The building had changed over time from weather damage and cracking in concrete, and additions made over the years. Every building changes; you only need to look closely to see all the details.
I realized that we can learn from architecture anywhere; whether it be from a building down the street or across the world.
This spring, Kate Anderson will be graduating from South Dakota State University with a Bachelor’s degree in architecture. She is looking to join a firm this upcoming year to learn more about the practice of architecture, and from there will either plan on going to law school to become an architectural lawyer or pursue a masters degree in architecture with a focus on healthcare.