Collaboration is at the heart of architecture – and a pioneering student exchange between top architecture schools in Israel and Canada is building the next generation of global architects.
The Azrieli Global Studio program is a collaboration of Tel Aviv University, Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Carleton University and McGill University.
The program’s cornerstones are its field trips. These cultural exchanges are valued opportunities for students to become more globally minded, embrace fresh narratives around politics, language and culture, and problem-solve outside of their comfort zones.
Israeli students worked on a cultural heritage design project for a site at Zibi – a meeting place of First Nations, French and English near Ottawa. Canadian students collaborated on a cultural heritage design project for a site near Be’er Sheva, Israel – also located at the historical crossroads of many communities.
“I loved getting to know and research a culture different from my own, and learning from new and different kinds of people,” says Noa Barda of Tel Aviv University of the experience at Zibi. “It has changed my outlook personally and professionally as it continues to inspire me on a daily basis to keep an open mind and think more broadly.”
Harrison Lane of Carleton University had an equally empowering experience at Be’er Sheva. “It was nothing short of incredible and was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he says. “Facing gritty, contested themes of landscape, culture and history, my understanding of the desert and its many layers we’re challenged thoroughly.”
While the program started out focusing on climate change and extreme environments, it is now expanding thematically into cultural sustainability.