Week 3 involved a lot less walking and also introduced the start of our collaborative studio project with the students from Technical University Berlin. This meant that we would be going from traipsing around much of Berlin, as had been our itinerary for the past 2 weeks, to going to the studio room on the third floor of TUB. Of course, this meant third floor by European standards. In America, we would call it the fourth. That meant that we were climbing a lot more stairs than we expected when we heard “third floor”.
The building itself was quite nice, though we didn’t have much time to enjoy it. We formed groups of 3-4 people, with at least 1 German student per group. It was difficult to get over the different ways we were taught to work. A quick summary would be how the TUB students seemed to look at each individual piece first instead of the general picture. It often felt like the entire day was spent talking in circles when we should’ve been doing something more. In the end, we did manage to produce a design- but we were unsatisfied with the result. It was when we worked in our groups again, but without the German students (who were off on their excursion week) that it felt like we were getting somewhere. My lesson learned? Sometimes it’s hard to work together when your working style is so entirely different. They wanted to start in small pieces, but we were used to looking at the big picture first and then focusing inward.
Our reworking of the 2-day design charette turned into a reworking of the entire design- we went from circles and waves to diamonds and grids. The end result, however, was much more satisfying.
Post Charette- in what I consider to be more interesting news, we did discover a little more of Berlin, including a cool ice cream shop with the most fascinating selections (of which I got the Salty Dude, which was basically salted caramel, and very delicious).
Below: Salty Dude and EinHorn (unicorn)