"The partnership between IIT’s College of Architecture and Tec de Monterey in Mexico was a phenomenal experience that I would describe as “totally immersive.” The shared summer program challenges the traditional studio environment by combining first hand exposure to Mexico’s rich architecture, with first hand knowledge given by local professors and practicing architects, and most importantly, with the experiences and knowledge collected across the individual lifetimes of the respective students from each of the four cities. Through collaboration with the students of Mexico and a mutual interest in the Noble Profession it was impossible to disconnect from each cities local culture and tradition as we worked and lived with all of our peers. This kind of everyday familiarity and constant exposure made a one week stay in three of Mexico’s most representative baroque cities seem like the experience of a lifetime, and you know what? It was."

Baine Rydin

"Despite sharing a border with Mexico in the United States we have a rather bizarre, limited view of our neighbor. While eating some of the best food of my life I stayed in a 400 year old building one week and stood in a Luis Barragan masterpiece the next. The country was full of these contrasts, old public squares holding rallies of politically active students, market places blocking whole streets in one town and giant, contemporary malls in the next. The overriding theme though was an enormous the cultural depth (right next door), from the ancient ruins, to the preserved colonial cities, to the museums overflowing with the work of both old and new artists."

Karl J Ochmanek









PREVIOUS EXPERIENCES (Fall 2011 Trip to Queretaro with Prof. Sierralta)

"The trip to Queretaro was amazing! The architecture there is unique, the colors vibrant, the food delicious, and the people are very nice! Pay great attention to their hardscape. It is not the usual macadam that, at least, I am used to. The doors, the ironwork on them are precious symbols of history. It is a city rich in culture and history."

Regine, IIT Student

"Despite the troubling sensory overload, the trip to Mexico proved deep in substance. The charming town of Queretaro surrounds you in a labyrinth of colors, smells and tastes. Along with its pleasantries comes historic findings and cultural icon, successfully teaching and captivating you at the same time."

Malcolm, IIT Student

"Having the opportunity to be part of the traveling studio to Queretaro last semester was a great experience. I learnt a lot about the city, the culture, the urbanism and architecture of this part of Mexico, and sharing all those moments with your class friends it's just awesome.

It was also very interesting to discuss the design ideas with the Monterrey Tech students, it gave us a new point of view of the project and a different way to approach it. But the best part is that we became friends, we got along very well and went out together."

Clara, IIT Student

"This past semester, Fall 2011, at IIT, I had the opportunity to travel to some of Mexico's most historic, artistic, and beautifully preserved cities: Santiago de Queretaro, San Miguel de Allende, Bernal, and Teotihuacan. Coming from a Mexican family, myself, I hadn't had the opportunity to actually 'dive' in and experience the utmost aspects of the Mexican culture through my own personal travels. Even though we only went for a week, my exposure to these great cities has left an imprint in my life and in my future career as an architect. If I had to pick one aspect, or a series of events that I think were the most prominent and significant part of this trip they would be: getting a chance to observe and actually be a part of the culture and the lifestyle, being able to engage and collaborate in the student exchange where language wasn't a barrier, but being able to take the history, context, and needs of the Mexican Community into consideration, and just being physically present; walking up those steep, yet lively streets made this an enjoyable and memorable trip."

Sergio, IIT Student