TIP’s eStudies Program offers a class called Architecture: Reinvention and Design. It promises to help students “discover how architectural interventions can bring new vibrancy to communities and cities across the globe” and explore “case studies on successful adaptive reuse projects that give existing structures and elements of the built environment new purpose. “
So when we were looking for TIPsters to weigh in on the importance of urban design, architecture, and how the world is built, we turned to Cecilia, an eighth grader who took that class last year. We interviewed her by email—here’s what she had to say.
Why did you take a class on architecture?
Cecelia: Before this course, I didn’t really know anything about architecture. I had seen different types of architecture throughout my life and I was amazed at the things people had created. It started out as just an interest, and then I started thinking about how those buildings were built.
The ingenious solutions that architects have come up with to fix economic problems are what really interested me during the course.
What’s something you learned in the class that surprised you?
Cecelia: One thing that I learned about was adaptive reuse projects. Adaptive reuse is basically giving a new life to an old building while keeping the historical aspects of the building intact.
The creativity behind the projects is what really intrigued me. One project I did during my time in the course was on the Danish Marine Museum. Before it was repurposed, the museum was an old dry dock that was just taking up space. It was transformed into a museum by Bjarke Ingels in 2013.
How do you think architecture impacts the way people live in cities?
Cecelia: Architecture greatly influences the way people live in cities. The buildings created have allowed larger amounts of people to live in such small areas by building vertically instead of horizontally.
Architecture has also allowed city environments to become cleaner and healthier by finding ways to add more plant life into designs. Architecture in cities has allowed the population and environment to flourish.
I hope that in the future, architects will find new and even more helpful ways to continue to advance and improve urban areas.
Do you have any thoughts on China’s Belt and Road Initiative?
Cecelia: I previously did not know about the Belt and Road Initiative but decided to research it out of curiosity. Based on what I found, it is a very committed project.
I think the project is very beneficial to the countries involved. China is investing in cities to help them grow, expand, and create opportunities for the economy and people living there. I do see the concern other countries have regarding China possibly becoming too powerful and increasing its influence on other areas. While I do think the concern is credible, I still believe the Belt and Road Initiative is helpful.