Year 2012: Collaborative Project with Kumamoto University

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The Memorial Museum of the Fifth High School, Kumamoto University

Every year has a different impression for everyone’s life, and especially for me. The experience in every year was started from 2005, when I got an opportunity as a volunteer to teach basic Japanese for senior high school student. Big thanks for my teacher who allow me to share knowledge at my previous senior high school. Year 2006 was unforgettable moment because it was my first time going abroad participating as trainee in Japanese Construction Company. Year 2007, I completed my study and finally got a first job. Year 2009 was a big adventure by working in Vietnam for two years. Working and experiencing Vietnam in two years was plenty of time for making friends, learning different language, and recording the cities and culture. Year 2011 was time to back to study. I decided to study more about urban design and concentrated in townscape and landscape design. Year 2012 was a year for exchanging idea to the new and diverse world. Why did I write “new and diverse world”? Because there were so many unexpected opportunities I could achieve last year from joining seminar in Philippines to collaborating a design project in Kumamoto University Japan.

Kumamoto University located in Kumamoto City, Kumamoto Prefecture, in the Island of Kyushu. Kyushu Island is the third largest Islands of Japan and the most southwesterly of its four main islands. According to the headline news, Kyushu Island is the place for relaxing mind because of its richness natural environment. The Kurokami campus of Kumamoto University is located about 15 minutes away from the downtown area where many highest buildings and shopping districts are located. Foreign students who have just arrived in Kumamoto, they will stay in Kumamoto University International House (dormitory for foreign students), so do I. International house is not far from Kurokami campus and it takes only 10-15 minutes on foot with Japanese standard speed. It will spend more than 15 minutes for people like me (walking while sightseeing and talking with friends :>).

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Design project as collaboration work with laboratory’s members.

In Kumamoto University, I learn about townscape and landscape design a lot from my supervisor and other laboratory members. Laboratory has so many theory books related to landscape and urban design, but most of them are written in Japanese instead of English. Well, at least I can understand the contents from its image or photograph. How if the book has no any image? Just skip and try to search another book (laughing). At the same floor not far from laboratory, there is atelier where models of landscape design are kept safely. Atelier room is also utilized as seminar room for presentation and regular classes. I think it is quite big for a class, but it depends on the number of students who attend the class as well. At first time, the words atelier which in Japanese called “atorie” sounds like “otearai” which means lavatory. Those two words are totally different, but it sounds alike for me (laughing).

Laboratory (ラボRabo in Japanese) is a second home for all students. They (member of laboratory) spend most of the days at the laboratory than at his or her apartment or house. Laboratory is a home, office, school, place for gathering, place for discussing, between senior and junior, students and supervisor. In here, beside supervisor, a senior has responsibility to guide and help a junior member to complete a project and seminar even though for theses or final project. This kind of laboratory is a better way to share our ideas and opinions with other members. Together as friends, as family, as teamwork, as classmate, they blend in one activity. I hope there will be the same lab based education like that in the future at my present campus. Anyway, studying in Kumamoto University Japan for three months gave me lots of chances to widen my perspective in seeing differences, to adventure many places, and to collaborate in design project with laboratory’s members.

(All materials by writer)

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