Architecture students travel to Berlin for green studies

Abigail Barefoot

A group of ISU architecture students are spending the month of June in Berlin while studying issues of climate change and sustainable urban development.

This year’s program began May 29 and will continue until an exhibition June 30 that will display the students’ work.

This is the first year Iowa State has been involved in the Berlin Summer Academy, and Iowa State is the only school with both graduate and undergraduate participants.

The goal of the program is to help participants gain a better understanding of sustainable development and “the very pressing issues of climate change adaptation and mitigations in an urban environment and scale,” said Ulrike Passe in a news release.

Passe is an assistant professor of architecture and the program director for the group. She helped with the development of Iowa State’s involvement within the program.

There are 11 students from Iowa State participating in Summer Academy Berlin. The program is a collaboration between the Beuth Berlin University of Applied Sciences and Pratt Institute in New York that began in 2006.

The program includes research seminars, site tours, lectures and discussions related to sustainable urban development, climate-change adaptation, waterfront development, contemporary green architecture and German urban planning policies. The students are also exposed to German language, history and culture through classes and site visits.

While in the program, the students will work with peers from other schools to create sustainable urban development. The group will then develop concepts and design approaches for building structures that support sustainability.

While in Berlin, students will examine the Spree River waterfront development as well as visit the Hamburg‘s former port area, which is now being turned into a major residential and commercial area.

“Sustainable design bridges many disciplines, and this program will give our architecture students the unique opportunity to benefit from working with planning students with an urban background and also learn from the German precedents,” Passe said in the news release.

Other schools participating this year include the University of California at Berkeley; Port City University of Hamburg; and the Institute for Sustainable Construction and Design at the Kaiserslautern University of Applied Sciences, Kaiserslautern, Germany.