It's a great experience! I don't know where to start…There is so much that comes to mind when thinking about the trip. From a sensory overload to intense interaction with new friends to relaxing views and amazing food, the entire trip overwhelms any expectations. It is an amazing experience from not only the architectural aspect but from eye-opening cultural aspects as well. I'm pretty sure the bonds created from all of this will last well into the future. I would definitely recommend RAW. There is something that would appeal to all students in these workshops- whether its a new culture, warm weather, great food, meeting new people, team bonding, learning from others or producing a rewarding structure.
I learned that I am very good at adapting. I feel like in architecture school, you are taught to stick by YOUR design, and that your design is the only way to go. At RAW, I found myself morphing my design ideas with others and really working well with the groups to get a beautiful project design. Working with other students, it was great to take one person's idea of the curvature of the roof, change it up, and make it in real life.
I would have to say that it was an experience unlike anything I've done before. Having the ability to personally connect with a community, spend time getting to know them and the trust to build on their land, it was such a huge blessing in so many ways. Culturally, personally, physically- it was extremely challenging, but I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to be stretched and pulled to see what comes out of it!
The incredible site, amount of design input students had, and the full range of tools and skills developed. The entire project was an opportunity to learn.
The fact that I built the structure that I designed gave me incredible insight into relationships between design and construction. RAW helped me bring me back to Earth so while I am designing I will be better equipped to real life scenarios on the job site whether they are good or bad.
The RAW studio was the first time I got to experience the constraints of real building influencing a design. Dealing with the complexities of meeting the ground in a difficult circumstance was very beneficial. Site planning on a very organic site was difficult, but very necessary. If I hadn't been submitted to a group design before, I would say that it was a very good learning experience. I began the program hoping that I would be able to see something I helped design become reality. I ended realizing that design program, site limitations, and other similar aspects somewhat determined the final form of the building themselves. I enjoyed the experience and definitely came out of it much better off.
I genuinely enjoyed this experience. Although we worked hard, it didn't feel like hard work. The work atmosphere was upbeat, creative, and enjoyable–not grueling. I would strongly recommend this program to anyone interested in creative problem solving, building, or designing.
I was grateful to have learned everything presented at RAW Dakota.
Remarkable. I can't really describe it, but it's by far the best experience I've had in relationship to architecture, and it was outside of school!
The experience has definitely given me more confidence to pursue the different challenges that architecture has to offer.
Its given me more confidence with the idea of working with other designers. It's also very encouraging to feel like as an Interior Architecture student I can help bridge the gap of understanding between some of the different specialties of architecture.
The most valuable portion of the workshop was the fast paced environment. I think it really benefited my work skills because we had to make quick decisions and figure out if our ideas were going to work, and if not we only had a short amount of time to come up with a solution.
I am not exaggerating when I say that this was the most valuable experience I have had the opportunity to be a part of to date. I not only grew as a designer and architect student but also as a person.
I really enjoyed learning how to use all sorts of new tools and feel confident in the construction process. Also seeing the details of each connection coming together was critically important in expanding my knowledge of how a design becomes reality.
RAW was the most rewarding experience of my life. While we were all drawn into RAW through architecture, I was quick to realize it was much more than that. RAW is about connecting with fellow designers, learning about structures, but most importantly, immersing ourselves in a new culture and community, creating bonds that will live on always.
I really enjoyed learning about the construction process. It was kind of neat to see how we adjusted details a little bit as we were building. I also thought it was great to be building on the land where we were staying. That connection to the every-day rhythms of the place was unique.
I definitely feel like I know the other side of architecture now, other than just designing. But I also feel like I've learned to be more sustainable as well. The experience made me think a lot about what I really want to do as a designer. I'd like to use my skills to provide design for the other 90%.
13 people in 2 weeks working collaboratively designing and building 2 structures. Being outside the entire time, in amazing weather, right next to the site. Having involvement in the entire process and learning to be comfortable with the tools was very powerful.
I gained a broader understanding of a different culture and a good contrast between my own ways of thinking and theirs. I also learned more about time consideration regarding what a design meant to the person building it. More importantly, I learned to be more flexible in situations that required it, and to go with the flow when needed.
Being able to assess a finished project that I was involved in has helped me to really look at the details of a project and understanding that the parts really do make the whole. I can now look at my work and really ask if it works, rather than assume it does.
The 2011 RAW Oaxaca trip was the perfect break from routine. Every aspect of the cultural setting- the food, language and landscape contributed positively to my experience and the project that was realized flew together. Building on the rim of the valley and under that sun for a whole week was memorable and spectacular. Likewise, the community involved in the building and celebrating made the workshop special.