p.p1 more critical understanding of architecture and

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Goethe once said: “Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own”. I relate strongly to this and I believe by going on an exchange at a partner institution of Glasgow School of Art in Europe and in a non-English speaking country, I am going to develop a more critical understanding of architecture and will get the framework to utilize my full potential in both my studies and overall general development.
 
As an architecture student at Glasgow School of Art for almost two years, I’ve learned to design, to think, to invent, to speak, to write, to make, to test, to fail, to question, to stretch a definition, to argue and to change one’s mind. Throughout my studies I’ve demonstrated the ability to develop an individual line of enquiry and manifest it through appropriately presented architectural proposals. My goal for the studio projects was to showcase my ability to explore independently the briefs, critically appraising the opportunities offered in each project, and to achieve a well articulated architectural outcome while demonstrating a wide and controlled range of skills.

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During the second academic year in Studio we embarked on a journey of architectural discovery covering themes of place and housing. Through different individual and collaborative projects, each with different emphasis across the themes and varying in scale, duration and complexity, I had the chance for open and innovative thinking about housing but I also learned how to be more architecturally precise and rigorous. During the development of my projects I discovered a video of a lecture by Jean-Philippe Vassal about social housing given at Universität der Künste in Berlin in 2012. According to him, the city is developed with the help of its smallest unit, the resident’s room. At the same time quality of life, density, relationships, neighbourhood, individual and community spaces must be integrated into the design process. This lecture was really inspiring and sifted the focus of my last design project towards the relationship between the private and shared space, the spatial qualities of each room, the apartment, the housing building and thus the city.

Intrigued by the fact that Jean-Philippe Vassal is head of the department of Design and Urban Development at UdK, and even involved in the third year’s Studio, I started considering the opportunity of going on an exchange with respect to the academic relationships of UdK and my home university. University of the Arts in Berlin is a place of unparalleled diversity, exchange and experimentation. The focus of student training is based on a growing range of alternative practices, projects and forms of critical engagement that offer students an unrivaled setting for the formation of young careers, agendas and future ambitions. Students in 6th semester of the architecture program are encouraged to pursue their own individual paths through the range of possible units and projects they are exposed to, also in other departments of the art school, helping them define for themselves the basis for their future architectural development, interests and goals.

I decided to seek admission to the exchange architecture program of UdK, because they offer some of the most competitive undergraduate programs in Europe. UdK is the perfect setting to study architecture with both teaching and research ranked amongst the best in the World. I strongly think that mobility in international level is extremely important in order to interact and exchange ideas with the worldwide architecture academic community but also to form my own personality. As a competitive applicant for this highly respected program, I am confident in my qualifications, not only due to my interest in the approach of the school but also because of my skills and I strongly believe that by enrolling to a predominantly studio and project-based program I will be given the opportunity to explore an artistic but also experimental understanding of architecture and design in the relevant social, political and cultural context of Berlin. Granting me this opportunity will be beneficial for my journey in architecture to become a well qualified and confident designer who understands the intellectual and aesthetic rigor demanded by the discipline of architecture. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further queries or questions about my portfolio. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Nikitas Zorzos

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