Fulbright Student Researcher 2014-2015
My initial contact with The University of Cincinnati, College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, commonly referred to as DAAP, opened up to me a new way of perceiving the spatiality and the meaning of a ”work of architecture that works”. I had only seen the building in magazines and architectural books. Its presence was discreet, being composed of various older buildings connected by a new structure - a strange object aware of its own uniqueness and importance. An architecture of deconstructed forms (architect Peter Eisenman), a ”cascade” interior painted in artificial colors - green and pink, mixed with grey and white which creates the impression of an ultra-modern artificial iceberg.
DAAP is one of those schools that make you want to have a bed somewhere in its rich library. For me, as an interior designer, who emerged from the school of fine arts, it was a revelation: the departments of art, design and architecture work together in the same building complex. All subdomains of fine arts under one umbrella. Eager to meet (future) professionals and to learn new concepts, I attended classes related to my research topic: Historic Preservation, Interior Design, Architecture and Phenomenology. The courses assumed field trips, which were completed with an architectural survey of historical buildings. I chose to work on one of the most beautiful houses in the Federal Style in Kentucky (dated around 1840), where I did survey drawings of the interior and other wood details (doors, fireplaces, windows) together with some of my colleagues of the Historic Preservation class. Our designs have been used by Cincinnati Preservation Association as documentation for the rehabilitation of the building.
Apart from campus activities, I attended the Cincinnati Preservation Association meetings and I managed to get in touch with a number of experts who helped me get in touch with owners of some buildings that formed the subject of my study: conversion of churches in secular spaces. Getting in contact with professors and specialists in the conservation of historical monuments has refined and enriched my research, which I will present at international conferences (Valencia, October 2015 and Lisbon, September 2016).
In my spare time I attended free courses of painting and taught the children of the local church community how to create hand made things (e.g. rafts of wooden sticks collected from parks and assembled using biodegradable twine) as well as how to draw with pastels.
I had many great experiences during my Fulbright fellowship: working with DAAP student colleagues, painting with children, discussing my research topic with professors etc. But perhaps the greatest satisfaction was when I received a full note of encouragement from a person who specialized in historic preservation which summed up in one phrase all of my professional experience at the time. “Sounds like a plan for a book!" she said with her sincere big blue eyes. ”True!”
My fulbright experience
Students at the advising center
- Anna's Odyssey - by Anna Claspy
- RomericanJourney - by Damaris Lois Bangean
- A Most Unexpected Year - by Melanie Shoffner
- Eric Fretz
- Polar Bear in the Balkans - by David Jimenez
- Romaniadventure - by Anna Sherod
- Romania plus Hannah equals a blog - by Hannah Wolf
- A Palette for Thought - by Elijah Ferbrache
- A Year in Romania - by Anne Murray
- Lauren Hermele
- Katelyn Arlene Browher