2016 Berlin Summer Academy Opening Reception Hosted

The College of Design held a reception for eight architecture students who went to Berlin for a five-week workshop. It was held on Nov. 14 in the Lyle E. Lightfoot Forum


The Lyle E. Lightfoot Forum in the College of Design was packed full on Monday night, and for a good reason.

The opening reception for the 2016 Berlin Summer Academy took place from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. and featured eight Iowa State architecture students’ different design projects. These students participated in a five-week workshop in Berlin, Germany.

Sponsored by Iowa State, the City College of New York, the German University of Technology and Beuth Hochschule für Technik Berlin, the eight Iowa State students spent their time in Germany immersed in the language, history and work over the summer.

Each year, the Summer Academy has a different topic. This year, the main objective for each student was to design a building or living space with a focus on the environmental process.

Each piece of work featured a description of the project, detailed diagrams and photos of the design process.

Dianyu Yang was one of the student designers. A senior in the architecture-professional degree program, Yang built his project, titled “Infill-Unfold” with the “population and housing needs in Berlin” in mind.

Yang described the five-week program, saying that during the design process, there were two workshops per week.

“Each [workshop] has a different topic… insulation, circulation… it’s all about the design,” Yang said.

Yang described the schedule of the program to be “very tight,” as each student must come in with a piece in mind and works throughout the weeks to improve and tighten up their visions.

Despite the time crunch, he said that while in the city, the group of students did find time to have some fun, and by doing so, became very tight-knit.

“This trip is longer than others,” Yang said. “We have weekend field trips with everyone together, going everywhere in the city with each other.”

Yang added that traveling to Berlin was an incredible opportunity. He described the group of students as “family” and said the “introduction to the different culture” was one item he took away from the experience.

“We took Germany history and language classes … introducing us to the culture we were staying in,” he said.

The other works featured at the reception included pieces made by either individual students or groups of students from the sponsoring schools.

One of the group projects included event attendee Marcel Seidel. Titled “LIVING,” the piece featured a building design that was divided into three pieces, cut back and “translates the different rooftop situate with shifting heights and rooftops.”

Other pieces were titled “The Canyon,” by Chen Lang, senior in the architecture-professional degree program, and “Filling the Gap: Apartment for Berlin” by Jian Cao, another senior in architecture, designed with a group.

Yang credited the class credits for why he and so many other students embark on the five-week program but encourages all design students to look into the program and take advantage of the opportunity if they can.