1 Izmir University of Economics (TURKEY)
2 Chiba University (JAPAN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN19 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 324-330
ISBN: 978-84-09-12031-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2019.0119
Conference name: 11th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2019
Location: Palma, Spain
Cross-cultural exchange is invaluable for young generations, but specifically for students in the design field. Experiencing another culture within the field, with expertise, techniques, communication skills, and representation methods introduces students to not only knowledge of the field, but also prepares students to be more open to learning itself. This openness to learning leads students to the path of becoming world citizens, which is a significant defining key characteristic in the competitive professional world. With this in mind, through an agreement between the departments of Architecture at Chiba University-Japan and Interior Architecture and Environmental Design (IAED) in the Faculty of Fine Arts and Design (FFAD) at Izmir University of Economics (IUE) in Turkey, an exchange agreement was signed. During this time, students of both universities have had the chance to experience the culture and collaborate with designers from another department for the past eleven years. Especially, in the past six years, the experience has been accepted as an official internship, resulting in a total of 48 students becoming interns, and learning about the cultures of both countries in Turkey and Japan, developing joint projects together. This was a chance to observe Japanese design approach up close and review the architectural work as part of the Exchange/Communication. A significant improvement in language skills, worldviews and intellectual levels of students were observed as a result of the internship experiences. They benefited from the chance to learn about a new culture in every way, and observe the study environments, projects, and design approaches of students at Chiba University. Moreover, students stayed with Japanese families and learned about their culture in addition to a rich office experience this year. Students had the opportunity to perform internships at both Chiba University studios as well as at design and interior architecture offices at Tokyo. They also experienced examples of traditional and modern architecture, and visited major cities such as Tokyo, Kamakura, and Harajuku. Until now, several design projects have been completed at varying scales, in which the focus has been on cultural exchange, as it is believed that students will gain much more than design experience in these exchanges. The past year, the same students in different teams within the larger group then worked on student housing at Izmir's 8.500-year-old prehistoric settlement: Yesilova Tumulus, as a second project. The nine Japanese and nine Turkish students conducted on-site examination in Izmir. They designed a research center for students taking part in excavations. Students conducted on-site research at Yesilova Tumulus and the Ancient City of Ephesus. In addition to their internships, this was a chance to learn about traditional and contemporary architecture in Izmir. Meetings with professional institutions enabled transnational sharing of ideas. The finalized projects provided specific themes and creative conceptual solutions to the design problem. Six mixed teams of Japanese and Turkish students also presented their work with various media such as, posters, digital representations, and films. The paper discusses the benefits of cross-cultural exchange at the undergraduate level of design, exemplified by design projects and students’ feedback, as well as shedding light on possible future directions.
Design education, interior architecture, architecture, transnational studies, cross-cultural exchange.