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V. Hui1, D. Oakley2

1Ryerson University (CANADA)
2University of Nevada, Las Vegas, School of Architecture (UNITED STATES)
In an age where the world’s information is literally at students’ fingertips with access to ubiquitous computing, it is becoming increasingly evident that the robustness and formats of available electronic media can provide students with a rich understanding of the networked global community. This begs the question regarding the value of field trips and international exchanges as a pedagogical model especially in light of current global economic situation. Given the widespread access to videos, interviews, texts, and imagery that affords users a potentially rich understanding of any localized context, is it truly worthwhile to continue undertaking the coordination, expense, and commitment to offer field trips? How is it possible to leverage the brevity of field trips and exchanges as drivers for critical thinking?
In spite of this situation, the authors of this paper assert that there is an incredible value in trips and exchanges that provides students with true cultural immersion and experiences that would not otherwise be derived via online means. Using a field trip within an upper year architectural design studio between two countries, this paper proposes a series of strategies and tactics that would be instrumental in making field trips worthwhile in lieu of the ever-present access to online content.