Before this trip, I had never before been on an airplane. After studying abroad in Barcelona, I feel like I have outgrown the box I put myself in and feel more confident as a traveler and as a designer. I am still stunned that I was able to go on this trip. I am very grateful that the program was created and for the scholarship opportunities that allowed me to go to Barcelona. I had an amazing time getting to know the city with my classmates, most of whom I have known for years. We will always share the special bond of our time in Barcelona and can reminisce together when everyone else is tired of hearing about it.
For me, the most exciting things to visit on the trip were things that I had studied in the past and finally got to see in real life. The Sagrada Família, Barcelona Pavilion, Barcelona Cathedral, Casa Battló, Parc Güell, and Dali’s work were all things that I had learned about before so it was very exciting to experience them. Even though I had some background knowledge of those places, each of them surprised me because I noticed new things when I was seeing them for myself.
However, I think that not having any background knowledge on my assigned neighborhood for the studio project made me think more critically about the spaces around me because I had to figure out the neighborhood for myself. Instead of the internet or a lecturer telling me everything about the famous building or space, I built my own knowledge from my experiences.
Overall, I feel like I accomplished a lot on this trip. I visited famous architectural landmarks and toured historically important parts of the city. I listened to lectures from locals and visited museums. I analyzed a neighborhood and designed a public space furniture installation that reflected it. I learned how to communicate with others more effectively and we climbed Montserrat as a united group. I learned how to use the metro system and explored with my friends. I found and ate at a new gelato place almost every day. I lived in Barcelona for three weeks and grew into more confident, cultured designer and traveler. Thank you to OVPDEMA for making this opportunity possible.