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AUS architecture and interior design students visit Cambodia
Fourth- and fifth-year students from the College of Architecture, Arts and Design (CAAD) at American University of Sharjah (AUS) along with Camilo Cerro, Visiting Assistant Professor, visited Siem Reap, Cambodia recently on a 28-day study tour.
The purpose of the tour was to expose students to a new and alien environment allowing them to study sustainable and self-sufficient systems where they were able to apply their learned knowledge in designing a floating shelter project.
The students produced two projects: a map of their experiences overlaid on the plan of the city and a sustainable, self-sufficient shelter system designed to float on a lake and to better the lives of the people using it.
According to student Mohamed Alrekhaimi, "I was shocked to see the life that the people in Cambodia were living. The first week was very rough; it was hard for me as it was the first time traveling somewhere without my family, getting disconnected from them, and knowing that it would be for a full month was really tough. It also was difficult to deal with the new environment and the heat with the extreme humidity. The other things that were troubling everyone were the lizards and the geckos that appeared at every corner after sunset.
Nada Ahmed Salem who enjoyed her trip said, "I got exposed to a very different and foreign culture and designing for a Cambodian family allowed me to closely examine their culture, their traditional building techniques, their vernacular architecture, their local materials and their weather conditions. I loved working with the notion of self- sufficiency and sustainability. We were considering things that we don't normally think about such as source of electricity, source of food, and source of income for the inhabiting family. I think all of these considerations allowed our projects to be real and believable."
She further added, "This trip has given me the chance to do a multitude of different things that I don't think I would have ever done otherwise. Who would have thought that I would spend the day cycling in the streets of a country half way across the world, or would eat food that I'd never even knew existed, or would practice yoga, or would go swimming in a waterfall. My visit to Cambodia has enriched me as a person and has given me a different insight and a broader understanding of so many different things."
The student projects will be presented to the student body of CAAD for review during Fall 2014.