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Diane Al Shihabi & Mikesch Muecke

Author: Heather Sauer | Image: Heather Sauer

The US Department of State Office of Cultural Heritage invited the spring 2020 Preservation and Cultural Heritage Portugal: International Perspectives and Design Issues option studio to research, document, interpret and disseminate information on Casa Carlucci, the official residence of the Ambassador of the United States to Portugal. Associate Professors Diane Al Shihabi, interior design, and Mikesch Muecke, architecture, developed the course and organized a study abroad trip to Lisbon from Feb. 8–16. They traveled with 21 students and were welcomed at the American Embassy by Ambassador George Glass.

The Iowa State team spent eight days researching Casa Carlucci, Portuguese history and diplomacy through shared cultural heritage. The project included analyses of multiple museums, historic sites and cities, including Sintra, where students explored a medieval Moorish castle and two 19th-century palaces. This is Al Shihabi and Muecke’s fourth studio collaboration with the Office of Cultural Heritage, a division of the State Department’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO). The OBO highlighted the Casa Carlucci project and the professors’ previous studio collaborations with the State Department on their website and on LinkedIn.

The professors and students greatly appreciated the opportunity and look forward to sharing the results of their collaboration with the public at their final review at the end of the semester.

The photo shows US Ambassador George Glass with Al Shihabi and Muecke and international preservation students from the ISU Departments of Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture and Community and Regional Planning.