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Department of


Study Abroad

Berlin Summer Academy

Our month-long summer study-abroad program led by architecture Associate Professor Ulrike Passe in collaboration with the AEDES Architecture Network Campus Berlin, faculty from Berlin, Germany, and other US architecture programs, explores the possibilities of designing an urban architectural environment for a low-carbon lifestyle and includes visits to sustainably designed buildings, the Bauhaus in Dessau and professional design offices. It is open primarily to architecture majors, but students from other majors will be considered.

This year, pandemic permitting, program participants will investigate the use of new materials and performance-based design tools for the transformation of underused urban infrastructure spaces toward a possible Berlin HighLine.

Apply online by Friday, March 13, 2021, for summer 2021 semester.

A Berlin Summer 2021 Info Session was held from 6–7 p.m. Thursday, November 19 via Webex.

More About Summer Academy Berlin

Summer Academy Berlin: In collaboration with faculty and students from Berlin, City College New York and the German University of Technology in Muscat, Oman this summer program continues the exploration of possibilities to design an urban architectural environment for a low-carbon lifestyle. This intense design program will allow you to investigate technical requirements and architectural opportunities. In addition to ISU faculty, leading Berlin professionals will work with you on ideas and potentials. Design Students of all levels are welcome to apply. If you have completed Arch 401 and are accepted to participate in Summer Academy Berlin, you can take the program for four credits in the summer and add a two-credit independent study in the fall after you return. These six combined credits will substitute for a studio requirement in your fifth year of the architecture program, meaning you could graduate early!


In 2021, the Berlin Summer Academy will continue the successful collaboration with the AEDES Architecture Network Campus and their continuing topics Urban Housing and Urban Surface in collaboration with local professionals and manufacturers. Problems such as overheating, condensation and heat loss are indicators of a new set of challenges related to a more sustainable, less energy intensive architecture. Since early modernism, rapidly advancing technological innovations, which improve performance and aesthetic appearance, has advanced glass technologies dramatically. However, what has fallen short in this advancement is to calibrate these responses jointly, especially connecting appearance research with material-based performance criteria.

Therefore 101 years after the founding of the Bauhaus, the 2020 Berlin Summer Academy will investigate the use of new materials and performance based design tools for the transformation of underused urban infrastructure spaces towards a Berlin Highline…

The summer program will also include various field trips to sites of innovative buildings over the course of the past 100 years in and around Berlin, The Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, a glass manufacturing plant and of course the Bauhaus in Dessau. Students will collaborate across institutions and engage with local architects and engineers in the development of innovative 21st century solutions.
This summer academy aims to detect those architectural elements in building typology, which have proven to withstand the continuous challenges of dynamic societies. While architecture magazines elaborate on zero carbon building standards, the public attention starts to address the challenges of global warming and an increasing world population. Attempting to adapt to a rapidly changing climate, architecture as a profession is more than ever challenged to create spaces, which cater to those constantly changing conditions. Demographic changes provide further challenges demanding reuse and reprogramming of building structures.  The summer academy will look into developing design strategies which will meet short terms need as well as long term goals. The result will be on exhibit to the public opening with a reception. Associate Professor of Architecture Ulrike Passe will serve as the program leader and accompany the students to Germany for the five-week experience. Prior to international travel students are required to participate in an orientation program. 

Students interested in this program should enroll in Arch 576 section DE (4 credits) in summer 2021.

2021 Itinerary
Tentative program dates are June 6 through July 6

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