European architectural art stars in study tour exhibition

Audrey Chung

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Architecture students from the Division of Building Science and Technology (BST) are taking part in the DeCon Architectural Study Tour Exhibition 2005 from 6-9 September to share their overseas learning experiences.


Fifty-six BST students, all taking the Associate of Science in Architectural Studies, visited France, Italy, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands for two weeks in June to study classical, modern and contemporary architecture in some of Europe’s major cities.


The tour demonstrates how CityU places great emphasis on whole person development, nurturing talented professionals, and contributing to the development of society within an internationalized education framework.


The exhibition includes photos, descriptions, and models of buildings which interested the students on the tour, and the architecture is analyzed in terms of

location, space, structure, materials, and construction. Famous buildings under observation include St Peter’s Basilica, whose dome was designed by Michelangelo; Le Corbusier’s Notre Dame du Haut; and the KunsthalMuseum by Koolhaas.


Officiating guests at the opening ceremony on 7 September were Professor Lilian Vrijmoed, Dean of Student Learning; Mrs Julie K W Mo and Dr Paul H K Ho, Head and Associate Head of BST respectively; and Professor S Kitipornchai, Head of Department of Building and Construction.


At the ceremony, Professor Vrijmoed said CityU was committed to providing students with an internationalized education. “On this tour students came into contact with, and developed a deeper understanding of, different cultures, environment and disciplines, broadening their international horizon,” she said. Active involvement facilitated a greater understanding of European architectural design and, by planning and organizing the trip, students improved their communication, time management and teamwork skills, she added.


The prime objective of the tour falls within the University’s philosophy of education: to broaden students’ horizons and nurture whole person development. MrsMo likened this philosophy to a triangle. “The centre represents our students and symbolizes our student-centred education. The three angles represent technical competence, attitude and general skills. Through in-class learning and extra-curricular activities, we can enhance students’ quality in these three areas, paving the way for their all-round education,” she said.


BST organizes overseas or mainland study tours every year for its Year 1 students. Mr Kenneth Tang, a BST instructor who helped supervise students visiting Germany and the Netherlands, said the tour had many educational benefits because it took students out of the classroom and into an environment in which they could explore architectural art in different countries. By investigating Hong Kong’s relationship with different cultures, customs, history, social status and needs, students acquired a much deeper interest in architectural art, he said.


BST student Hester Au Yeung said that before the tour she could only read about classical and contemporary architecture from overseas. “But in Europe I could walk into the buildings and observe for myself. It was an incredible experience,” she said. Her involvement planning the itinerary greatly sharpened her leadership skills, she added.


Another participant Joyce Kwan said she had learned to analyze architecture from artistic, philosophical and historical perspectives during the trip and planned to apply her new knowledge to her future studies.


BST is planning tours to Fujian in December and Shanxi in April 2006. Students will have the opportunity to find out more about Chinese culture and architecture in these two mainland provinces.



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