Overall, my Germany trip was an incredible experience. I got the chance to learn from a local and expert (Geza!) about the history of the sites we visited. What I found particularly interesting was the way that Germans think about land and landscape architecture. It is important for them to preserve gardens, keep park space, and remember the industrial history of the past through thoughtful landscape design. Now that I have been gone, a few key places stick out to me as most memorable. In no order, here they are:
A former airfield turned into a park for the people of Berlin to explore. This site was not only for recreation, but also doubled as an ecological landscape.
This park was so cool to walk around and see how nature came back to reintroduce itself to a former steel plant and coal mine.
Also a post industrial site, this former railway was turned into a park for visitors to walk among the plants that have grown spontaneously over 50 years of neglect.
Our actual design of this park and partnering with the University of Dortmund to learn about sound was my favorite part of the study abroad experience. Learning about sound in the landscape was fascinating, fresh, and relevant. My previous interest in sound design and music technology contributed to the excitement I had for this project. Soundscape ecology is so important in landscape architecture and urban design but so often is it ignored. I appreciated that the focus of this design was on sound elements.
I left Germany on July 6th to fly solo to Israel and start a new adventure in a different environment. I spent my last few days in Germany longing for a change of scenery, and a language I could understand. I am excited to be here in Israel to learn about a different type of landscape.