Semester in Review: January

School started on the 18th of January and it was great to see friends and new faces again. I was surprised actually by how much smaller my class was for my Sustainable Urban Landscape course. Right now we are 20 in the course where as last semester in the studio class we were 45 or 47 people. On the first day it was very evident who were the SUDes students and who wasn’t. However that quickly ended after a couple of classes when people started to get to know each other. There were some things that were similar to last semester. For starters the first two phases of our class projects were done in groups. By the way, the teachers assign the groups. now that I think of it, I don’t know if there has ever been a time when we have been able to select our own groups. One of the main reasons behind this is that everyone is coming from a different backgrounds and they want groups to reflect this diversity. Then the final phase, which we are in now, is done individually. I remember thinking, as well as my classmates, that on one hand, we felt a lot less stressed, and yet on the other time seemed to be moving so fast, and we were doing a lot more than we had the previous semester.

On the 24th of January, we left for Norway. We were told that we were supposed to meet at the ferry port in Copenhagen. Usually, what has tended to happen if we are supposed to go to a place that is in Malmö, as an example, we will all just go together. Right now the boarder between Copenhagen and Sweden is closed. As a result of that, at the beginning especially, a lot of trains were delayed, or sometimes cancelled… So we had decided to give ourselves even more time than what was needed, however there were a couple of people who had decided that they would leave on the train after us. Sometimes, I feel that no matter how much I can plan and give myself extra time, something tends to end up happen where I end up running late. In this case, I had gotten there 10 minutes before the train was supposed to leave. However there was issues with the ticket machine. Then they were doing maintenance on it. Long story short, I ended up missing the train that I had suggested we take. So I went on the following one with the other girls which worked out just fine.

Oslo Fjord

This was early in the morning when we were all too cold to stay outside any longer on the ship. You can't see it here but it had a great view.

This was early in the morning when we were all too cold to stay outside any longer on the ship. You can’t see it here but it had a great view.

I have no idea why, but all the doors were painted pink on the ship. The rooms were quite small. Truthfully, you wouldn't want to spend much time in them.

I have no idea why, but all the doors were painted pink on the ship. The rooms were quite small. Truthfully, you wouldn’t want to spend much time in them.

Apparently the bags of water was an art installation done by an intern (?) or one of their newer employees. Anyway it was just supposed to be temporary, but they decided to keep it up.

Apparently the bags of water was an art installation done by an intern (?) or one of their newer employees. Anyway it was just supposed to be temporary, but they decided to keep it up.

Their office has quite an extensive workshop and modeling area. This is one of the machines they have that can cut wood and other materials at 1:1 scale

Their office has quite an extensive workshop and modeling area. This is one of the machines they have that can cut wood and other materials at 1:1 scale

Space we did group work in, and had presentations from various people

Space we did group work in, and had presentations from various people

DOGA

Anyone care for a dip?

Anyone care for a dip?

On the last day we had a few hours to do whatever we wanted. Since I had been to Oslo before, I showed a couple of my friends around. We went to this fort, which has a great view, and is open to the public, and we went to the Oslo Opera house, as well as some other places

On the last day we had a few hours to do whatever we wanted. Since I had been to Oslo before, I showed a couple of my friends around. We went to this fort, which has a great view, and is open to the public, and we went to the Oslo Opera house, as well as some other places

Since in our studio class we were dealing with urban landscape on a regional scale, and the region we were working with was the Oslo fjord, we took the ferry so that we could see what the fjord was like from the water. Even if you are not a SUDes student, if you go to Norway, you truly have to see the fjords from the water. The “ferry” was more like a cruise ship. There were restaurants, bars, clubs, shopping, but very little places to sit and just hang out. We did manage to find a spot that could fit a lot of people. The ferry also did not have WIFI, we ended up buying Uno and a deck of cards. Playing Uno was quite interesting, one would think that a simple game like Uno would be something that no one would have a problem with. However, it was not so simple. everyone played Uno in different ways in their own country. So a lot of the time that we were playing was discussing what we would or would not allow. The next morning though at 7:30 am we woke up to view the fjord, because that is when you could start to see the towns and forests from the water. It cold, but amazing. Completely different from looking at them from land. A few hours later, and after going through a very long line to go through boarder control, we made it to Oslo, Norway.

Right away we were off to Snøhette office. We got to talk with them, and they gave us insights to the Oslo Region, and we got to see their design office. After that we went to White Architecture and were given other perspectives. This field study was a lot different from being in Amsterdam, because aside from all of us going down to Moss together at a specific time, we had a lot of group work time we worked in this great place called Norsk Design og Arkitektur, or in English, Norwegian Design and Architecture. This gets shorten down to DOGA. There was one night though, after we had eaten dinner a group of us decided to go walking around the central part of Oslo to see it at night. There may have been snow on the ground that was perfect for throwing snowballs. And we may have started throwing snowballs at large statues in the large stretch between the Parliament building and the Palace… This may have then turned into a massive snowball fight between ourselves… hahaha. We went up to the palace and we may have also gone sledding down the hill, except that we didn’t have sleds. So we improvised and just sat down and because it had iced over we just slid down the sledding slopes that were made in front of the palace. That night was so much fun.

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