How Far we’ve come…


I can hardly believe that our time in Rome is already at a close. I’ve been hearing various versions of this sentiment a lot lately, and it couldn’t be truer. It feels like only recently that I set my first line to my sketchbook unsure of how this semester was going to go. I remember turning to a fellow classmate after the drawing charrette on the first day and exchanging glances as if to say, “what did we get ourselves into….?”.

Wow, we have come a long way since then. These frequent fleeting glances are less common these days, and it is quite amazing to see the growth and progress each of us has made. Prior to the start of the trip, Ozayr kept touting how good we would be at sketching by the end of the five weeks. I was more than skeptical. He certainly had never seen my sketchbook… I was going to need a lot more than five weeks. But, I am glad to say that this growth is very much real. For those of you following the blog that are thinking about taking up sketching, it really is as easy as starting. When we visited architect Andrea Ponsi in Florence, he said “80% of drawing is simply starting”. That fact stuck with me, and as we are in the final legs of drawing and assembling our maps, I keep telling myself this for inspiration. It seems to work about half the time…. The other half is spent procrastinating like any good architecture student would.

With the deadline approaching, it is amazing to watch all the work start to take form. We are all in the zone, and have become very inventive in order to get our work done. With limited resources abroad, it is hilarious to see what everyone has done to problem solve this issue. No light table? No problem. Stand outside on the balcony at night and trace your drawings against the window. Not enough light? Tape a lamp to the wall near your desk with packing tape. Dropped your 9B? Tape it back together with tons of drafting tape. Our motto: with lots of coffee, little sleep and tons of Gelato anything is possible.

A big thank you goes out to our wonderful history gurus, Dr. Antonella De Michelis and Dr. Paolo Alei. Without their vivid and engaging lectures, this project would not be the amazing assignment that it is. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and passion for it with us. Good luck to everyone as we power through these next few days. May the odds be ever in your favor. Stay tuned for more updates as we go. Until next time, ciao!

Here is a picture of the fluffiest puppy I’ve seen in Rome. For stress relief.

Jake Torkelson

Junior, B.S. in Architecture

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